[Review] Dutch DJ pumps up the bland

By Sam Gusway
By Sam Gusway |

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It's hard to tell who influences whom when you compare Calvin Harris, David Guetta and Tiesto. Harris and Guetta both have some signature riffs that are instantly identifiable, even if they are a little overused. Tiesto, on the other hand, is sort of like the dishwater of pop techno.

The DJ whom DJ Magazine rated No1 three years in a row is nowhere to be seen. Instead, he gives us a collection of generic pop that's been pumped up with some formulaic basslines and synth surges.

A Town Called Paradise, Tiesto's fifth studio album, sees him working with some interesting up-and-coming vocalists and bands. But it's unclear exactly what Tiesto brings to the table. For example, on the track featuring Icona Pop, they sound just as you'd expect: perky, fun and a little audacious.

Rocky, with Kaaze, gets closer to the roots of the underground club, but the album's standout track is probably Say Something. Its low-key sound still manages to move you without being clichéd.

If you need 18 tracks of high-energy filler to get you through your workout, this album might work for you. Otherwise, there's much better electronica out there.