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Voice of Earth

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Album Review

The name of Simon Berry's Art of Trance alone might conjure bad images of beret-wearing DJs behind the decks, but at least dance fans will find much less wrong with the music this time around. Truly, whereas Art of Trance's debut — Wildlife on One — seemed to disguise a shamble of originality with "tribal" smoke and mirrors, on this effort there actually seems to be a much better ratio for effective, danceable orchestration amidst the pretentiousness. "Breathe," for instance, starts the album and completely overcomes nearly every self-indulgent move made in the past. Aria-like vocals float over the expected trance strings, while the crisp beats just build and build into a beautiful crash of heartwarming keyboards. It's not overtly chart-friendly and it's also not too aware of its own "intelligence" to frustrate the listener either. Thankfully, most of Voice of Earth follows the same template. Songs such as the cartoon-moodiness of "Requiem" still might reflect Berry's predilection towards the pompous, yet most of the other songs keep the interest going. "Panorama" injects happy/sad piano tickles that would make Robert Smith proud. "Madagascar" even holds its own against Berry's flawed back catalogue; just ignore the fact that it is an amazingly inferior version to the Ferry Corsten remix that made the rounds out in trance circles. To be honest, Voice of Earth still tends to repeat a lot of flaws in the first album, but the crimes are at least more interesting now. If Berry keeps it up (and pays attention to his remixers), he just might construct a gem sometime down the road. Let's just hope he takes off his beret by then, too.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The most recognized guise for Platipus Records chief Simon Berry, primarily due to the timeless success of "Madagascar" and...
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Voice of Earth, Art of Trance
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