Enjoy the Silence

Is this that "cruel summer" Bananarama were singing about in Karate Kid? Between the record heat and boring club nights, the only rescue of late has been my CD player. Fortunately, the promo fairy and the cutthroat vendors on Amazon have brought me some new music that I’ve now had a chance to review.
Markus Schulz
Do You Dream
Ultra Records [US]
CD / MP3
06 15 10
This record sounds like a strategically planned idea to get Markus to the #1 slot in the DJ Mag polls. There was an earnest quality to his tracks that still appears in glimpses on this new record, but it’s undoing is summed up in the title track, boringly titled after one of the strongest trance singles of 2009. "Do You Dream?", Markus Schulz‘ third full-length, is plagued by unnecessary vocals. On 12", the title track was fierce but the vocalizing on this slightly re-tooled album version removes that urgent quality. There are vocal tracks that work well like ‘Not The Same’, the cover of Cass & Slide’s ‘Perception’ and ‘Goodbye’ with Max Graham, but the 4 track vocal mid-section after the title track should have been cut. The Khan entries are superfluous and sound like an attempt to duplicate earlier hits like ‘Cause You Know’ and ‘Without You Near’. As a result of all these cameos, Markus’ deep and introspective production (like last year’s incredible Dakota album) suffers by not being in the foreground. Smashing instrumentals like ‘Rain’ and ‘65.4 Hz’ don’t deserve to be radio-length and some of the written-for-the-music vocal cuts would be better served as 6 minute instrumentals instead of pop. Sadly, it sums up the direction of Armin van Buuren and the Armada camp in the last three years. We don’t wanna go back to Coldharbour but we miss the music. 6/10
PS – Coming up tomorrow, a review of the 2 latest Anjunabeats comps.
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