Something that is often missing from current dance music are actual songs- you know, the traditional verse, chorus, verse thing. Status quo seems to be a massive build-up, then a dropout with a chorus or refrain before another build-up back to banging beats. When working with the legendary freestyle singer Judy Torres, that just won’t do. Not to be confused with the song of the same name by Armin van Buuren/Cindy Alma, “Beautiful Life” is a beautiful pop translation of the stadium sound. The original production by Eric Rezn has a bit of the ’90s trance sound in there as well, recalling some of the best Perfecto tracks. The synth line sounds oh so familiar, and my trainspotter brain is in overdrive trying to place it. With a few fun “oh oh oh” chants in there as well, this is a great, uplifting end-of-night track for a commercial club (or even for dance radio). The Monikkr mix toughens it up a bit while keeping the pretty elements and the vocals as the focus. It’s definitely great to hear Judy Torres in clubland again and I hope that we don’t have to wait three years for another wonderful new song from her.
When I first got Armin’s ‘Intense’ CD, I listened to it over and over again. As much as I loved the first two singles “Waiting for the Night” and “This is What It Feels Like,” it was the one between them, “Beautiful Life,” that I kept going back to. The track is a mix of progressive trance-pop with some electro flourishes – neither too aggressive nor too mellow – but a wonderful blend of both. Cindy’s vocals float on top and express the uplifting message that we all need to hear. Dance music is an escape, whether you are in the club or listening to it at home – and the allusion to falling into a dream with the music guiding you is just about the perfect expression of it. The remixes succeed by taking the vocals into new directions. Kat Krazy’s style could best be described as ADD/EDM, and the mix of random aggressive and pretty phrases is similar to his track “See the Sun” as well as his epic mix of Good Natured “5HT.” Mikkas brings a fusion of big beat and dubstep, while Protoculture goes main room stadium trance. A mix for every DJ to play, and Armin might just have a second radio hit on his hand.