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(Water Music; US: 22 May 2007; UK: Available as import; Germany release date: 27 Apr 2007)

ATB is the alter-ego of one André Tanneberger, a german DJ who has been spinning his magic on the dancefloor since ‘98—which also happens to be the year of release for the song on which his reputation still rides, the UK #1 “9pm (Till I Come)”. Associated largely with the trance genre thanks to that and subsequent releases, ATB’s latest album Trilogy is aimed at least as much at pop radio as it is at the dancefloor. The resulting vibe is one of dance remixes of pop tracks, though many of the tracks descend into balladry; the last two tracks in particular (called “Some Things Just Are the Way They Are” and “The Chosen Ones”) have vague Bruce Springsteen(!) and U2(!!) vibes, respectively. Heather Nova shows up for a few excellent tracks as well, and the vocals on the album as a whole do far more to enhance the music than distract from it. While this approach has, to date, divided the trance community as to its merit, those who don’t pay all that much attention to the genre are likely to find an easy-to-listen-to album with a few nicely singable hooks and lots of ghostly, reverb-y synth work. The limited edition of the album comes with a second disc meant for the chillout portion of a long evening, and is actually a lovely, if lightweight, companion to the album proper—“Trilogy (The Final Chapter)” and “9 AM” (a sequel, perhaps, to that first big hit?) are standouts as memorable tracks on a disc destined for passive listening. Trilogy won’t win ATB any new converts to the dance/trance scene, but it will challenge the perceptions a bit of those already indoctrinated.


Mike Schiller is a software engineer in Buffalo, NY who enjoys filling the free time he finds with media of any sort -- music, movies, and lately, video games. Stepping into the role of PopMatters Multimedia editor in 2006 after having written music and game reviews for two years previous, he has renewed his passion for gaming to levels not seen since his fondly-remembered college days of ethernet-enabled dorm rooms and all-night Goldeneye marathons. His three children unconditionally approve of their father's most recent set of obsessions.

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