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on 7 October 2014
I love my trance music and can give an honest rounded review of the first cd. Not sure il even bother with the second... i listen to at least 5 different trance podcasts a week and can say its been a bit of a poor year for decent tracks. There are hundreds of good artists but in the most they are making mediocre repetitive samey tracks now, and these are all on cd 1. Theres probably 1 track il listen to again think its andrew bayer- once lydian. 2011 and 2012 volumes were decent bringing in different housey sounds that were around at the time aswell as the trance. 2013 was poor due to the fact there were not many decent tracks around and the gud ones were not added to the cd. Think were waiting for a new direction because trance has gotten stale imo. The once mighy fsoe podcast now sounds like the same track being played for an hour. This cd is good if you have an hour to spare where your busy doing something else and not really listening to the music. Heard a few gud tracks this year but they arent on this compilation.
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on 29 June 2014
Don't normally write reviews, but this is not Armin's best work, anyone who is expecting the trance he was playing a few years ago will hate this I suspect. It has a chavvy dance music vibe, there are a couple on one Cd that are ok but for me that's really it.
Really disappointed sorry, will be my last Armin Van Buuren purchase.

Not sure who to turn to now both him and Tiesto have turned to mainstream dance music- or is there a lack of quality trance music these days?
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on 11 April 2014
1. Adam Szabo & Willem de Roo – Medusa (Intro Radio Edit) (03:15)

Like Medusa’s gaze had been set upon me, I felt myself immediately put into a state of trance, the hairs on my neck raising, goosebumps embossing across my skin, a most beautiful intro to get you into that feeling you love. Taking no time at all, things got hype and I couldn’t stop myself from stamping on the ground with every thumping kick. The stabs were perfect, a loop I could never get tired of, with accompanying synths that blended it all into one amazing track.

2. Tommy Johnson feat. Nanje Nowack – Burn The Sun (Radio Edit) (03:32)

Like the warm feeling of the sun on my face, I felt so into this song, wanting more and as it slowed I imagined a sun rising over a beautiful ocean, Nanje leads into it with somewhat familiar but equally entrancing vocals, surprising because she’s an unfamiliar name to me. The piano leads are beautiful, leading up with snares and peaking with a shot into the burning gas ball of stomach twisting beauty, I almost wished it hadn’t ended so soon. One last round of vocals, still as hauntingly beautiful, I felt myself ascending even further into the sky…..

3. Alex M.O.R.P.H. feat. Natalie Gioia – My Heaven (Radio Edit) (03:42)

…..And into Heaven. Alex M.O.R.P.H. is a name I know all too well, so I had high expectations for this choon and immediately I felt myself among the clouds, thanks in part to Natalie’s immersing vocals. Another slow moment, guiding me higher towards the golden gates of transient nirvana, before launching me back towards earth, I felt myself freefalling towards the ocean, white clouds passing behind me, I closed my eyes and plunged into an ocean of complete relaxation.

4. Dart Rayne & Yura Moonlight – Athena (Radio Edit) (03:48)

Gated vocals lead into a synth that pulls me out of my state of relaxation and puts me on a mountainous highway, in a super car, going way too fast for my own good. The dry, desert landscape around me, rocks skidding off as I whip around corners, building up to an impromptu race with some mysterious car, all blacked out with a matte black finish. I saw my reflection in it’s tinted windows……

5. Andrew Bayer – Once Lydian (Original Mix Edit) (03:11)

Everything slows, a bridge is up ahead, with room for only one, I pull ahead, they pull ahead, we’re bumper to bumper, neck and neck, everything is a blur, synths are pushing us faster and harder, there’s no way I’m gonna let them win and then….

6. Aly & Fila feat. Jaren – End Of The Road (Hazem Beltagui Radio Edit) (04:14)

….they pull ahead, I feel myself launch off of the cliff, breaking through the guardrail I’m slowly falling through the air, I put my arms over my face, shielding myself from the impending impact, Jaren’s vocals telling me it’s not the end of the road, I open my eyes and see I’m a a full stop in front of the bridge, the blacked out car next to me, the passenger’s window rolls down and there’s this beautiful girl, the girl of my dreams, I feel like I know her, Jaren’s vocals reflecting my thoughts. The bridge was my relationship with her, only one of us would get out of it alive, but here we are, stopped together, she gets out of her car and gets into mine……we cross the bridge together, leaving that all Black vessel behind us. The bridge gives underneath us, and we plunge to the valley below, I hold her hand in mine, and embrace her as we fall.

7. Bogdan Vix & Renee Stahl – Forever (Radio Edit) (03:43)

I wake up next to her, looking at her as she sleeps, I try to remember who she is, why I feel so strongly for her, why I can’t shake this feeling that we’ve been together before, “you’re the best thing that I found. Forever….forever……..forever…..I will never love again”. The synths are strong with this one, bringing me to her I lift her up and we dance, Renee’s vocals are hauntingly beautiful, the whole arrangement is just beautiful and is perfect for playing to somebody you want to show the upmost affection for.

8. Fabio XB & Liuck feat. Christina Novelli – Back To You (Wach Radio Edit) (03:29)

A slow piano intro, here we are dancing on a dancefloor, underwater, just her and I. Who she is becomes clear, the sun rays shooting down on her face “so we dive, never coming up for air, surviving, never giving into fear….no matter what I do, this current pulls me back to you” I feel her pull away from me, I try to follow but I’m being pushed, far away I see her fading into the darkness, I reach and I see her desperately reaching for me, but I can’t reach her and I come down…..the current pulled her away and now I sit, with my head in my hands, wondering what went wrong and why she’s gone…..

9. Andrew Rayel feat. Alexandra Badoi – Goodbye (Radio Edit) (03:010)

I look up through the waves and into the sky, the sun has set and the moon is shining bright on the surface, I break through and walk up on shore, there’s my car waiting. I get in and slam my hands on the steering wheel, screaming but it’s silent. I look over in the passenger’s seat and there she is, smiling at me, I reach my hand out (“stop her before she says goodbye”) and it goes right through her, “goodbye” she mouths before bursting into dust. I try to scream again, but it’s silent. She’s gone.

10. MaRLo feat. Jano – Haunted (Radio Edit) (04:07)

I drive away towards the city in the distance, trying to put it between us, rain begins to fall. There she is again, in the seat next to me but I don’t look in her direction. The Devil wants me to fall, fall for it every time, but she says, “take one breath, it’s not the end”. I look at her with tearful eyes, “One more day, it’s not the end”. I reach for her again, and there’s a light that bursts in front of me, I look and drive into that light.

11. Soarsweep – Between Empires (Radio Edit) (03:34)

A nice crunchy bassline leads up to a beautiful piano section, almost like you’re flying over a giant grass field, the kind you see in those medieval movies, the ones they always have those giant battles on, with white mountains in the distance and a super bright sun shining all over everything, with a castle and walled city. Synths build up to a beautiful melody and great mid kicks.

12. Craig Connelly – Decibels (Original Mix Edit) (04:23)

Low flying synths here, leading up to a violin-like pad, before dropping to a nice melodic section, powerful Tranceic vibes building to a great crunchy section with powerful kicks. Things really start to pick up with this song, going from a more mellow tone to an uplifting bit of choonage.

13. Gareth Emery feat. Bo Bruce – U (Bryan Kearney Radio Edit) (04:12)

Bo’s vocals are being lent beautifully and blend perfectly with this uplifting intro, before dropping into pronounced kicks and a gorgeous synth loop, more vocals overlayed and blended with the tempo, showing off a higher vocal range and then dropping down into a swishy swashy, a hair raising piano section accompanied by Bo’s angelic pipes. Uplifting stabs follow, blending with thumping kicks and building up to a final kick-driven, orgasmic vocal sexssion of Tranceic bliss.

14. Protoculture – Music Is More Than Mathematics (Radio Edit) (03:010)

The transition into this was just a little offputting. It just seemed so sudden. I’ve not heard much from Protoculture but it’s got a very powerful intro, with robotic vocal queues, dropping into a darkish kinda melody, piano and entering stabs lead up to a robotic repeating title queue, looping synths and a rumbling bassline, building up with a beautiful lead synth, continuing for the duration of the choon.

15. Max Graham vs Maarten De Jong – Lekker (Radio Edit) (03:49)

Nice snares, leading up to a sudden stop and drop into thundering kicks and a powerful lead bassline. It has a very to-the-books feel to it and I’m not really feeling it very much until a little change of pace with ringing synths and these beautiful Trance-heavy stabs brings me back, building up to a mix of bassline-thundering-kicky goodness.

16. Markus Schulz – Destino (04:39)

I haven’t heard much from Markus Schulz for a while, it’s nice to hear something from him again. Unfortunately it’s not so much what I was expecting. The intro sounds very messy before leading into a swishy swashy, a low droning bass accompanies a nice melody of stabs but again it all sounds very….almost TOO Trancey. I don’t feel like there’s too much exploration here. It’s certainly just a very comfortable choon. Good, but not too daring and it doesn’t make me go “WOW”.

17. RAM & Susana – RAMelia (Tribute To Amelia) (Radio Edit) (03:25)

And here we are with RAM. He starts by RAMping it up with some nice stabs, before kicking into gear and coming in with this absolutely beautiful, low flying essence-of-Trance synth, slowing down into this angelic piano section, and Susana’s incredible vocals. I couldn’t help but get a little wet around the eyes from this beautiful combination, something that is very different from what RAM usually brings out. The lyrics are beautiful, an orchestral section comes in and just brings this to an entire other level, and Susana is incredible throughout. Gorgeous stabs accompany a powerful synth, equally powerful kicks and an overall vibe of complete and utter nirvana. Closing out this choon is another set of beautiful synths, a chiming piano in the background and the incredible Susana. It’s truly an experience hearing this, especially my first time. I fell in love with Trance again and again, every second with this song!
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on 12 May 2014
I received this double CD in an excellent package.It was brand new, sealed.The 1st cd On the beach was as usually superb and many congratulations on Armin for this.But the second CD In the club left me almost dissapointed. I liked only 4 of the 18 tracks (Numbers 7,12,14,16), and generally something went wrong.I really believe that Armin must change a little the style of music in the next year's In the club CD and put inside fantastic tracks like Alex Morph's New York city in the ASOT 2013. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Armin remains the best by far DJ in the world.
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on 22 June 2014
I've been collecting the ASOT series since I first spontaneously discovered Armin's radio show late one night in 2008. Needless to say I was in heaven when I first listened to ASOT 2008, the first proper trance mix I had listened to since the great Euphoria mixes (well, the early ones anyway). After that I branched off searching for more and stumbled across other series such as Above&Beyond's Anjunabeats/Anjunadeep, Thrillseekers' Night Music, and the odd Renaissance Master Series or Balance mixes (more house-ier mixes). All that being said I hope you can understand my music taste a little better and know that when I say this is one of the best compilation mixes I have listened to, I am not saying that lightly.

Disc 1, despite being a little too up tempo for a mix titled 'On The Beach', does have some beautiful individual tracks that I just cannot stop listening to (End of the Road - Hazem Beltagui Remix a particular favourite) and disc 2 is just the most consistently enjoyable and flowing mix I have had the pleasure of experiencing. It took a few listens to get past the constant pitch bends (present in most of the track transitions) but it just flows so brilliantly and showcases such great, energy fuelled, emotional music that it's hard to complain. I normally end up deleting a few tracks from compilations because I just don't like them or because they spoil the euphoria but every track here has it's place and they work together in tandem to form a brilliantly cohesive whole. Some of the final few tracks on here are truly exceptional (here's looking at you Save My Night (Allen Watts Remix) and the unique Ping Pong by none other than Armin himself).

I have purchased some great compilations this year including Markus Schulz Buenos Aires '13 (looking forward to this years) and the recently released Anjunabeats 11 but this mix is my favourite and after many listens it is not at all losing it's appeal. And for a person constantly searching for new music, like a junkie searching for his next fix, I think that is the ultimate compliment.
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on 21 April 2014
Armin van Buuren has been thrusted into the mainstream limelight over the past couple of years. If I ask someone who listens to mainstream pop 'have you heard of AvB,' they usually say yes. This was unthinkable about 3 or so years ago when AvB was producing incredible compilation after incredible compilation but out of the mainstream gaze, albeit with ASoT's 2004-6 still being the best albums to date, in my opinion. Things were much different back then.

I gave ASoT 2013 two stars, much justified in my opinion. None of the tracks on 2013 stick in my mind at all, so consequently there is some improvement in my eyes in 2014. There are some great tracks on both CDs that are proper trance, for want of a better phrase. The driving beats and basslines, uplifting layers and that great energy and passion that you can only achieve with proper trance. Such examples include the fantastic 'Shine' by John Askew and the vocal but passionate 'U' by Gareth Emery. We're also treated to some proper 'On The Beach' classics (or go back even further, some 'Light' album type tracks), I'm thinking in particular of 'My Heaven' by Alex M.O.R.P.H. This has the dreamy quality of the Beach tracks of yesteryear and take you away to a different location. There are also some modern but intelligent tracks, such as 'Lekker' by Max Graham and Maarten de Jong; this has a start and end like a modern 'trance' track but the synths included in the main body of the song fit well with this and they have come up with a tune that sticks in your head.

Thus, 2014 is an improvement, because there are some exceptional glimmers of great music compared to last year, where such glimmers were almost non-existent. It's also reassuring that AvB is continuing to throw out some tracks like the ones I mention above, despite his move into mainstream music. You never know, lovers of mainstream music may end up buying this album for the AvB name and end up loving some of the more classic trance tracks like those I mention above, thus causing an incredible renaissance and rekindling of the proper trance genre - or maybe I'm in a fantasy land.

For many of these tracks either side of the good ones, are not very good at all, in my opinion. Tracks 1 to 8 in particular on CD2 are horrendous in terms of that passion that I will always associate with trance. They all sound remarkably similar, and moreover contain sounds that grate against the ears. I wanted to turn most of them off before I got to the end. Trance like this has risen above the surface in recent years and, whether it can be classed as trance or not, is irrelevant. It's not very good, very samey and at times almost unlistenable.

Then, of course, we're treated to the compulsory inclusion of the pitchbend, which makes an appearance in most of the tracks on CD2 except for the ones that I happen to like. I still don't understand this, because a pitchbend, whilst maybe sounding euphoric during a build up in a club, sounds horrific when listening to it going about your day to day business and usually ends up making what is already a fairly poor track into something even worse. Whatsmore, the track Mythology actually manages to centre the entire song around a pitchbend, which must have genuinely been quite difficult to do.

For those of you fed up with the current absorption of trance in electro, fear not, as whilst some of the poorer tracks on this album have glimpses of electro most of it is probably classed as trance. But in my opinion (and that's all this is), the quality of many of the tracks are no better than the electro-type tunes that are infiltrating other compilations; whether they are classed or trance or not is irrelevant.

So 2014 is better than last year, thanks to a smattering of cracking tracks that give me hope that true, passionate, uplifting and thoughtful trance is still alive and in the mind of AvB. It's just a shame that the tracks on this album are black or white, great or poor, with very little in between - with, overall, more being poor than great.
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on 7 August 2014
So I own pretty much all the State of Trance albums and this one for me is below par. The last 3 were good (2012, 2011, 2013 in order of preference) but I've only been disappointed by this one. AVB's talent is picking killer tracks - yes the mixing is at time poor, but I've generally found 2-3 amazing tracks on each album (and have generally gone on to buy more albums by these artists). But this year, nothing. I always prefer the CD1 rather than the CD2 on these albums but this is the worst CD2 I've ever heard. It's just not trance. It's generic, repetitive and boring Techno. I have no idea what it's doing on a trance album. CD1 is ok but really not great. Nothing stands out and again many of the songs are not trance - they're like dance versions of pop songs.

All that said music is such a personal thing - I've seen other 5 star reviews saying this is the best one yet. I'd just really suggest you give it a good listen on the samples before buying it, no matter how much you liked the previous albums. For me it's just not anywhere near as good as the last 3 years. And if you're new to the whole State of Trance game I'd really recommend you start on 2011/2012 as in my opinion they are a lot lot better than this.
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on 1 June 2014
Once again AvB has picked some really great tracks for 2014's edition of A State of Trance and both mixes will not disappoint his followers. The only comments i would make is that CD1 which is always labelled 'On the Beach' and features a more relaxed sound is not quite so chilled this time - not that i'm complaining as I usually prefer CD2 'In the Club', but if there were any fans expecting slower paced tracks here you'll be disappointed. The only other thing is that some of the vocals are a bit too cheesy even for AvB's standards but that doesn't detract from enjoying the mix.
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on 27 May 2014
As i am a lover of Trance and hard Trance it was a joy to listen to it. A good mix of vocal and flowing beats. Didn't buy his last years State Of Trance because it didn't get great reviews. But have bought previous albums down through the years and they were top class. Would recommend this cd highly.
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on 14 May 2014
Awesome mix, 6 Stars, the best mix of all time, armin really knows how to make you feel goosebums and uplifting spirit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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