By Peter Diez
Last week marked the release of Tiesto’s new album, Club Life Volume 3: Stockholm. Club Life albums are compilations of some of the hottest tunes during the epoch produced or remixed by Tiesto himself. The majority of tracks on all three of these volumes are Tiesto originals, while he handpicks a few favorites to sprinkle in between his own masterpieces. Each Club Life volume is named after a city whose essence is captured in musical form in a one hour long story of sounds.
Volume 3: Stockholm, is different and the same as the previous two volumes. The first two were similar in their poppy/progressive sound. Volume 3, while still bringing more of the same, also has several tunes that are darker, heavier, and more pure house-sounding but with Tiesto’s signature futuristic, heavily layered edge and deviation from predictable, repetition and song structure. What I mean by that, is that instead of the predictable chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus format, some of the songs are almost like a story, like an orchestral, classical music piece that tells a story and might repeat themes but doesn’t repeat the exact same blocks of music in a predictable format, most notably the first track on the album, “Paradise” by Tiesto and Dryo. This song is pure magic, pure genius, pure bliss. This is what they play at the gates of heaven after you die and are entering. At one point there is a sound effect that even sounds like people cheering and screaming, before the song was released, and I used to listen to live rips on YouTube, I thought that it was just the crowd yelling that the mic picked up, but it isn’t, it’s the angel’s cheering for you as your soul transcends your ego and becomes free.
Next on the album is “Take Me” featuring vocalist Kyler England. I think it’s interesting that Tiesto has chosen to put the two best songs on the album first, back to back; it primes the listener for the rest of the album in a good way. “Take Me” is along the sound of CL Vol 1 & 2 being progressive and poppy. When I say poppy I don’t mean cheesy at all, this song is just beautiful but sooo high energy, it sends shivers down my spine every time even though I listen to it several times a day.
The album includes other progressive masterpieces such as Alesso’s “If I Lose Myself”, Hardwell’s “Apollo”, and a new Tiesto original, “Love and Run”. The album also unveils a harder, housier edge we have not seen from Tiesto in a very long time. Tunes such as “Shocker” and “Back to the Acid” are a welcome new flavor to the club life series. “Shocker” is just great, heavy and dark…sounds along the lines of Showtek’s “Cannonball” which btw SO SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THIS ALBUM, oh well.
The album has a few so-so songs on it, but the majority of them are superb. Tiesto is one of those artists that practically every song he produces or puts on an album is a masterpiece, In contrast to most artists that have maybe one or two hit singles on an album and the rest are mediocre at best. My only beef with the album is Tiesto’s remix of Icona Pop’s “I Love It”, I’m sure most of us could have done without that…it has no place amongst gems like “Paradise” and “Shocker”, but If Tiesto has to remix a pop song or two to break into the mainstream and bring the joy of EDM to the masses, I’m ok with that.