Trance for the most part is a load of old bollocks. With artists such as Tiesto being lauded for ***ty remixes and Basshunter merely existing, it's hard to see any reason to delve into the genre. But like most music, the proper stuff was made back in the day, before 3 of a Kind or Nick Clegg, a time of true artistic expression or something. Chicane first released the fantastic Far From the Maddening Crowds in 1997 to great success, though it wasn't until Behind the Sun where he truly struck gold.
Compared to its predecessor Behind the Sun features a larger vocal prominence, though still retains the expansive instrumental passages of old. The rich atmosphere has also been heightened by an array of modern sounding strings which are still superb to this day, as opposed to Maddening's slightly dated sound. After the short opener Overture we're introduced to Low Sun, a lovely piece featuring various wind instruments to create a relaxing aura. No Ordinary morning has a similar approach but with a more melancholic demeanour. The angelic vocals and sweeping strings bring the song up to another level. While the album has been relatively subdued up until this point, the anthem Saltwater is an absolute classic and a true peak of the genre. It features Enya's sister of all people on vocals and has one of the most recognisable melodies in all of electronic music, if not the radio then I'm sure you've heard it on a Lloyd's TSB advert or something. The rest of the record follows suit with the blissful Halcyon and the mesmerising Autumn Tactics, though it's not until track eight that we reach another 'hit'. Don't Give Up is a rather by the numbers affair, featuring renowned hack Bryan Adams, the song doesn't really excel until the chorus with its infectious hook. Adam's synthetic vocals do nothing but distract from the music on this one and was a very odd choice indeed. The album thankfully ends on a high note with Andromeda which fittingly sends the album off with a cool beat complemented by the subdued yet memorable strings.
Chicane's second effort remains their finest, incorporating traditional anthemic numbers with chillout tracks to great effect. Behind the Sun offers excellent diversity and intoxicating melodies throughout. If you can get past the pissing Bryan Adam's appearance then this is a fantastic listen that pretty much any tom dick and harry can enjoy.