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Andy Duguid

Believe

(Ultra; US: 27 Jan 2009; UK: 9 Mar 2009; Canada release date: 10 Feb 2009)

The debut album from this Scottish DJ is exactly what you should expect from a pal of Tiësto, Paul van Dyk, and Armin van Buuren. It is well produced, but completely by-the-numbers. Every build-up, breakdown, and progression follows a standard template developed during the heyday of Madchester. The sounds aren’t anything special, though well arranged and adequately selected, and the lyrics are the usual backslapping clubber fare. The line “you got my number but you forgot my name” (from “My Number”) pretty much sums it all up. This album is a drop in the sea.


To his credit, Believe is as good as any professional house record in terms of the quality of its sounds and dynamic mixing, which is crystal clear across all frequencies. The bass is punchy, the pads sweeping, the synth leads crisp, and the odd organic instrument sounds present. However, The aesthetic is simply too passé and pedestrian to make any impact outside of Ibiza and the Ministry Of Sound. This album could have been released five or ten years ago and no one would have been the wiser. As such, it’s for Judge Jules fans only.

Rating:

Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.


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