Gareth Emery’s upcoming album ‘Drive’ is shaping up to be the album of the year. Coming from the mastermind behind “Concrete Angels,” this may not be much of a surprise, but with the two incredible strong lead-off singles “U” with Bo Bruce and “Lights & Thunder” with Krewella, it is already seemingly a must buy for anyone who like trance/progressive/house hybrids. The original version of “Lights and Thunder” blends pretty trance and progressive melodies with a few pounding beats, but nothing that is too aggressive or grinding. That balance of being energetic without being cliche big room is difficult to reach, yet Gareth succeeds again. The Yousaf sisters from Krewella contribute a strong lyric relating weather and anticipation to unity and achievement. If there is such a thing as a 2014 remix of PLUR (Peace Love Unity Respect), this is basically the theme song. Another impressive element of “Lights & Thunder” is how well the lyrics and melodies translate to the different genres of remixes – the hardstyle of Darren Styles, the big room banging of R3hab, the bouncy electro of Deorro, and the progressive trance of Omnio. Each remix is solid on its own, yet contains enough flavor of the original to make the package cohesive. You can count me as one of the many who plan to purchase Gareth’s album when it is released on April 1st.
British producer Gareth Emery starts 2014 with the rather strong new “U” featuring vocals by Bo Bruce. Its hard to judge new music from Gareth, because I always go back to his record “Concrete Angel” and want every song of his to be that magical. While that kind of expectation is unreal, “U” does stand on its own as a strong commercial, progressive pop single. Bo sounds like a cross between Sarah Mclachlan and Sinead O Connor over the track which has a “Summertime Sadness” feel. “U” is also one of those songs that grows with every listen. I liked it when I first heard it and every time I playback a mix show with it, the song stands out more and more. For a big room mix, check out the pumping take by W&W.