13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Decent enough effort,
This review is from: Mirage (Audio CD)
After topping the DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs in 2007, it seems that Armin van Buuren has gone on to achieve the international superstardom enjoyed by the likes of Tiesto and David Guetta, not to mention claim 2 more DJ Mag titles. The last few years has also seen his music take a more commercial route, as was evident on his last album 'Imagine', and with names such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Adam Young of Owl City fame making vocal contributions, it may not look good to the old school Armin fans.
The album does start off positively, however, with 'Desiderium 207'. Haunting wordless vocals from Susana draped over dreamy synths makes for a spine-tingling intro, which flows nicely into the title track: an epic trancer which feels like everything and the kitchen sink has been thrown at it. With orchestral pieces and a crunchy guitar riff, it's not dissimilar to the title of Armins previous effore 'Imagine', and equally as powerful.
From here it's mainly business as usual. The vocal-heavy tracks such as 'This Light Between Us', 'Not Giving Up On Love' and 'Feels So Good' you probably won't hear on any self-respecting trance DJ's set, nonetheless there are no filler-sounding tunes on here and there is enough variation to keep you interested. The album also has a feeling of 'flow'; not like they are just a bunch of B-Sides thrown randomly together. The big positives on here come in the form of the progressive 'I Don't Own You' and the hard hitting 'Orbiton', full on trance tracks that will no doubt rip up a few dancefloors and remind you
that it is indeed the same artist who gave us 'Communication' etc.
So it may not be an absolute return to form, but it was never likely to be. 'Mirage' is indeed very commercial sounding. However, after the dreadful 'Kaleidoscope' from the Legend that is (was) Tiesto, it's nice to see van Buuren hasn't completely sold out. There are enough solid trance tracks on here to keep most of the Armin faithful happy, and it's varied enough to be an acceptable commercial dance album, a happy medium which I suspect may have been the aim of the album in the first place.