Armin van Buuren - 10 Years
Considered one of the world's biggest DJs, Armin van Buuren has (as the title suggests) been making music for 10 years. This collection gathers together various tracks from his career so far - some of which were previously hard to find -, in addition to new material. Around half of what's here is uninteresting, identikit trance, thanks to plodding beats and clumsy synths. Worse still, disc one opens with a short orchestral piece, something of a delusions-of-grandeur cliche in trance sets now.
When he puts his mind to it, however, Armin can knock out a decent tune. Burned With Desire, Shivers (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Red Light Dub) and This World Is Watching Me, despite still keeping to a trance formula, are undeniably rousing; all pounding along and possessed with powerful vocals. Who Is Watching and Zocalo are far less typical of the genre. The former has a Stevie Nicks-ish vocal and a natural percussion sound. The latter is a collaboration with producers Gabriel & Dresden and is nicely dark and brooding.
Armin fans will no doubt have noticed that three of the tracks just praised (or the original version in the case of Shivers) are taken from 2005’s Shivers album. Newcomers, at least those looking for something more sophisticated, might be best to buy that instead, but, for regular trance-heads, 10 Years will no doubt be a necessary purchase.