Armin van Buuren
Imagine


4.5
superb

Review

by Michael Giguere USER (3 Reviews)
March 21st, 2012 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: van Buuren takes his extensive knowledge of live trance to craft a masterful album without sacrificing quality.

When I visited the Netherlands this past summer, I had the feeling that I had found a country that was completely aware of their own identity. Everyone was tall, blonde, and really liked to party. Granted, I was only in Amsterdam for a day or so, but it was enough time to take in the culture. And after becoming familiar with Armin van Buuren’s style, I finally understood where his awareness of what makes a great trance track great came from: his own heritage.

Imagine is ripe with seven-minute long dance masterpieces. van Buuren seamlessly integrates his guest vocalists and musicians to create a hypnotic world where objective #1 is to dance and dance some more. It’s easy to picture this album being played in full at van Buuren’s locale of choice: a massive arena or stadium packed with trance enthusiasts. The fact that it sounds so live speaks wonders for his ability to make trance music sound entirely spontaneous and heartfelt. Many artists fail to capture this energy in their electronica tracks due to inexperience in understanding what stadium trance really feels like. van Buuren, on the other hand, hosts one of the largest trance radio shows in the world. He knows what he’s doing.

On an individual track basis, Imagine shines in its ability to emphasize the progressiveness of the record. Rather than hastily throwing out the kick loops and bass off the bat, van Buuren builds tension with empty space and cinematic effects. A good example of this is on “Face to Face”, which begins with ethereal sounds and vocals, eventually building up to a light piano melody that drops into the main drum hook a few minutes in. It’s wonderfully executed and indicative of van Buuren’s style; he doesn’t mind losing the casual fan over his tendency to be patient with his music.

Obviously, critics of the genre of trance as a whole will loathe the repetitive nature of individual tracks. But if you don’t mind hearing the same loop for a while, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself listening to this album. There’s no bass drops or clichéd hooks, just simplified dance music at its best.

Recommended tracks: Going Wrong, Hold on to Me


user ratings (51)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2012


31626 Comments


Didn't realize it was shit trance day

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

pizzamachine
March 21st 2012


12572 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't recall this being shit trance.

Sgian
March 21st 2012


69 Comments


Couple of tracks are pretty enjoyable, yeah

mikeg1992
March 21st 2012


223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2012


31626 Comments


How did bass drops even get mentioned?

mikeg1992
March 21st 2012


223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Because I liked that he wasn't tempted to use them?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2012


31626 Comments


Why would a trance artist ever use bass drops??

mikeg1992
March 21st 2012


223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There's just a lot of cross-genre shit that bothers me, I don't know. I just don't want our society to turn into these people:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110722193116AAhLyEo

sifFlammable
March 22nd 2012


2741 Comments


good trance = ?

bad trance = ?

Manic_
March 22nd 2012


447 Comments


its all bad unless its Goa

sifFlammable
March 23rd 2012


2741 Comments


i need someone to enlighten me on the genre in general

ThroneOfAgony
March 26th 2012


3485 Comments


Deviant just hates trance. It's certainly understandable though. The only trance I really like is either Tiesto or ATB honestly. Psy-Trance or any of that stuff isn't so hot imo

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2012


31626 Comments


I just hate shit music ;)

ThroneOfAgony
March 26th 2012


3485 Comments


oh no you didn't :O



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