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.
Everyone’s buzzing about the premiere of “This is What It Feels Like” last night on BCC Radio 1. Armin describes his forthcoming album ‘Intense’ as a mix of house, electro, and trance with a touch of dubstep and rock, so this lead single is a great setup, fusing stadium house and trance with elements of rock. If you are a fan of recent tracks by Daddy’s Groove and Carl Nunes, “This is What It Feels Like” will feel similar- yet instead of experimenting with alternative rock, it embraces more of the classic and progressive rock genres, with Armin adding his signature euphoric and pretty glaze on top if it. The vocals of Trevor Guthrie (formerly of SoulDecision) are heartfelt and emotional with an INTENSity as he sings lines like “don’t even know how I survived” that will bring you in as part of the melody. The piano lines and “ooh” vocal hooks compliment the vocals perfectly and complete the track. “This is What It Feels Like” feels like it can be a crossover pop hit upon release internationally, even strong enough to bring Armin some Top 40 attention in the US. As a first taste of Intense, the song makes us look forward to his explorations into the new world of Trance 2.0.