Review: Paul van Dyk evolves little on 'Evolution'

Associated Press
In this CD cover image released by Vandit, the latest release by Paul van Dyk, "Evolution," is shown. (AP Photo/Vandit)
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In this CD cover image released by Vandit, the latest release by Paul van Dyk, "Evolution," is shown. …

"Evolution," Paul van Dyk. (Vandit)

German trance music titan Paul van Dyk treats us to his musical evolution with an album aptly titled "Evolution," a light listen that features his signature synth-soaked approach. The good news for van Dyk fans is that he hasn't lost his touch.

The bad news is it's the same old touch, delivered at the same old pace and does little to show that van Dyk has truly evolved since five years ago, when he last delivered similar stuff.

Early tracks like "Symmetries" and "Eternity," the latter featuring Owl City vocalist Adam Young, are simply too soft around the edges. There is no urgency to run to the dance floor and shake off the weight of the week to such flimsy fare.

"Rock This" builds up nicely and gets the blood flowing, but the bottom-end bass never comes hard enough and the listener is left anticipating something more fulfilling.

Van Dyk redeems himself slightly on "Lost in Berlin," featuring sparse but catchy vocals from Michelle Leonard. Here van Dyk allows himself to get lost in a beautifully churning pace and give listeners something they can really move to.

These are the times when harder edged DJs and live electronic artists rule the dance floors. Deadmau5 and Grammy-winning Skillex are the current forces to be reckoned with in the sphere of electronic music. If van Dyk wants to keep pace with their powerful progressions, he'll need a better evolution.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: "I Don't Deserve You" features contemporary Christian singer-songwriter Plumb. Her vocals soar to the rafters and van Dyk plays off her pure tones perfectly. He supports her with a gentle build of synthesizer work and a crescendo so lush you can't help but smile. Plumb emerges as the star on an album of fading lights.

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Ron Harris can be reached at https://www.twitter.com/Journorati

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