You’ll hear a lot of music fans berating an artist they once idolised, labelling them ‘sell outs’ because that artist has jumped ship to another genre or aimed it’s music towards the mass market. I’m not one of those. But Tiesto has been a victim of that label after being much-loved by trance fans for so long. But we all love different music, even DJs, and I respect him completely for doing what he wants to do whether it was because he wanted to explore another side of his musical spectrum or was just after the big bucks and fame – we’d all love more money (and maybe fame).
The one thing Tiesto always had that set him apart from his peers was his ability to make a song unique and full of feeling, whether it was his original production or a remix, and this was reflected in his In Search of Sunrise albums. He picked songs that harboured lush melodies, vocals that were eerie or dreamy, it was like he’d spent all year listening to every part of every song that no-one had yet heard, to judge whether it was good enough to associate himself with it.
The thing that disappoints me with Tiesto is showcased here in Clublife Volume 2: Miami. I know his productions these days aren’t meant to touch us at the depths of our inner-being like his trance ones did, rather he just wants to engulf all his listeners into a frantic party atmosphere, but I still want to hear good fucking music, songs that make me run to my computer and Google the lyrics, or the setlist to see what track was played, songs that actually stick in my head because they were different, the melodies were catchy and the dynamics made me punch the air a little bit harder. Instead, we’ve been fed the same generic house for a good couple of years, and here Tiesto, the man who brought so much uniqueness to electronic music, who I thought would pull something special out the bag, largely carries on the trend with thankfully a few exceptions.
Credit where it’s due, ‘Chasing Summers’ is actually melodic and he mixes it up a little in there with a dark, feisty interlude reminiscent of his trance days, then jumps straight into his collab with Wolfgang Gartner destined to be one of the summer’s biggest global dance tunes, although I think Wolfgang has the biggest influence on this track and if it wasn’t for him, the album may have sounded more repetitive than it already does. Tiesto’s “What Can We Do” (Third Party Remix) follows, but it’s a very typical house track that stays in tune with the repetitive nature of the majority of the album, which is however saved a little with “If A Lie Was Love” by Baggi Begovic which features some lovely vocals and some angry punchy sounds.
Following are probably 2 of the most disappointing remixes I’ve heard in a long time. Remixing Gotye and Coldplay, they both sound like an amateur bedroom producer has cut 8 bars out of a Swedish House Mafia track and stuck the vocals on top. but it wasn’t an amateur bedroom producer, it was one of the World’s best electronic music producers.
Sultan & Ned Shepard give a typically catchy uplifting contribution courtesy of “Walls” in addition with them warm vocals as they always seem to get spot on. Tiesto and Hardwell’s remix of The Naked & Famous’ ‘Young Blood’ next up is a favourite of mine with some progressive organ-like sounds with plenty of hats to give it some pace and a beautiful breakdown, although slightly ruined with them all too familiar unneeded big, sharp synths, which is prevalent in the rest of the album as they go on to be carbon copies of ‘What Can We Do’ and a lot of other house tracks that have been around for a few years, like an annoying stray dog that was cute at first but now you just want it to fuck off, although the Axwell remix, and Tiesto’s touch on “Can’t Stop Me” are a little more bearable.
Overall, this isn’t the worst album in the World. It’s something you could play at a party, get ready to before hitting your local town or simply cruising to in your Nissan Sunny, but then you can do that with any current house album, podcast, etc. It does little to try to stand out and be amazing. And that’s where the disappointment lies. Tiesto’s Club Life series should be his new take on ISOS because you can still convey that level of imagination and creativity through uplifting house music, but the fact is, although he’s still got a knack for picking songs with great vocals (you’d be surprised at how rare an attribute this is), this isn’t the making of what you’d expect from one of the world’s best, someone who’s always been so full of ingenuity. It has some credibility but I feel that’s to do with others saving it for him. He said the he wanted to capture what people in Miami were listening to at the moment, but he should be the one to tell them what they want to hear. Tiesto was always a shepherd, yet now he seems happy to plod along being a sheep.
Tiësto – Miami (Original Mix)
Tiësto – Chasing Summers (Original Mix)
Tiësto & Wolfgang Gartner – We Own The Night ft. Luciana (Original Mix)
Tiësto – What Can We Do (A Deeper Love) (Third Party Remix)
Baggi Begovic ft. Josie Cotton – If A Lie Was Love (Baggi Begovic KNAL mix)
Gotye ft. Kimbra – Somebody I Used To Know (Tiësto Remix)
Coldplay – Paradise (Tiësto Remix)
Sultan + Ned Shepard ft. Quilla – Walls (Original Mix)
The Naked & Famous – Young Blood (Tiësto & Hardwell Remix)
John Dahlbäck – Life (Original Mix)
John De Sohn ft. Andreas Moe – Long Time (Original Mix)
Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl ft. Georgi Kay – In My Mind (Axwell Mix)
Avesta – Arena (Original Mix)
Afrojack & Shermanology – Can’t Stop Me (Tiësto Remix)