Chicane - Behind The Sun
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Chicane
Behind The Sun
(C2 / Columbia)

Light trance is by nature a very summery sounding music. The beat has just enough kick that you can either dance to it or push it into the background while doing other things and the light and dreamy soundscapes that drift around it are a breath of fresh air as opposed to more stifling, heavier sounds of other genres. With that said, Behind The Sun is being released at pretty much exactly the right time. Mid July is when the temperature seems to be the most unbearable nearly everywhere, and the group helps out by offering up an album of fluffy (but very well-constructed) dance music.

Those who can't stand lyrics of any sort or harder beats should probably stop reading this now and head for other releases, but for others this is some really uplifting and nice music. With their other releases available on import, this is the first album by Chicane to be released in the United States as well. The way trance has caught on, it shouldn't have too many problems finding a niche somewhere.

After an almost 4 minute opening wash of ambience called "Overture," the album starts in earnest with some light chiming at the beginning of "Low Sun." After awhile, it moves into a segment with conga drums and flutes that might have you thinking you're listening to new age music, but the soft sweeps of keyboards keep it barely above super-cheese level. After a mediocre vocal track in "No Ordinary Morning" comes the album centerpiece in "Saltwater." Essentially, a tranced-out remix of the Clannad song "Harry's Game" from their album Magic Ring (and the movie Patriot Games), it's a beautiful, 10-minute epic that is the epitomy of the genre. With airy vocals and a progressive beat, it builds several times into an ecstatic high.

Even if that track doesn't get you going, they follow suit with another similarly strong track in "Halcyon." Also clocking in at almost 10 minutes, it's another one that's destined for the dancefloors. From there, the disc goes into pretty little track with strummed guitars and vocals by Justine Suissa. Doing something that might make most people cringe, the group includes a track called "Don't Give Up" with none other than Bryan Adams singing. Fortunately, his vocals are run through a processor of some sort and the track isn't too offensive for those having flashbacks to the 80s icon.

The album winds down with a remix of the aforementioned "Saltwater" and a semi-cheesy track called "Andromeda." As one could probably expect from reading the above, it's a little cheesier than the average trance album, but will probably appeal to some of those who enjoy Paul Van Dyk or even ATB. Call it low-calorie trance.

rating: 5.7510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00