[Album Review] Sweden's Adrian Lux Impresses With Self-Titled Debut Album

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By Steve Siegel

There are only a few up and coming electronic artists who have made an impact on commercial dance music like Adrian Lux. The Swedish DJ and producer has a robust remix portfolio (PNAU, Rebecca & Fiona, The Good Natured) exciting collaborations ("Eagles" with Sander Van Doorn), and of course, his originals ("Teenage Crime" and "Can't Sleep"). This week, he unveiled his self-titled debut release on Ultra Records, entitled "Adrian Lux," that brings the former model's considerable talents together in one pristine package of pop-savvy electronic productions.  

As modern dance music continuously produces new talents piggy backing off the euphoric trance chord mania started by Axwell and Avicii, Lux's album showcases his distinct compositional method. Lux fills his album with a lush array of synthesizers and anthemic vocals while also utilizing a variety of striking production techniques not normally seen in the electronic world (for example, the stirring acoustic guitar of "Teenage Crime"). The result is the best debut album release of this young year and an album that will definitely be in consideration for dance music album of 2012.

However, even I wasn’t prepared for the perfection Lux threw at me with the opening track, "Burning." This is probably my favorite cut on the album. It begins with high octave arpeggio that is endlessly appetizing to the ear (the Lux trademark). Next, the lovely vocals of Dante come in, detailing the agonizing details of a break-up (classic EDM right here folks).  

When Lux drops in the kick drum and bass at the 1:04 mark, we're off and running on what will no doubt be one of the serial jams of the summer. As Dante repeats, "the light we had is burning up" over a lovely saw-tooth bass line, your head is compelled to move to the beat. Robyn would have been proud to call this song her own if she was singing on it (speaking of, can we get that collab?).

"All I Ever Wanted," the second track of the album, continues the dance-pop ethos of the record.  Perhaps in a nod to the production style first popularized by Lux's contemporary Alesso, "All I Ever Wanted" opens with a driving two pronged bass line where Adrian couples a live distorted bass with a synthesized sawtooth lower end frequency underneath. The vocals of Joakim Berg work nicely with the vintage trance riff that is at the center of the track.

From there, we move into two staple tracks of the Adrian Lux catalogue: "Teenage Crime" and "Can't Sleep." "Teenage Crime" has always been a record that has really impressed me. And yes, I know it was released a few years back but still, it's stunningly unique in today’s dance music world. I've already mentioned the guitar, but one thing I really like about "Teenage Crime" that is often replicated on other parts of Adrian Lux is the uniqueness of the vocalist. Lux seems to have a serious ear for choosing vocalists who have a different style than the typical R&B singer or pop crossover artist used in most of today’s commercial house music. Sometimes, he favors the more airy style of female vocals a-la Kaskade, other times, he likes to apply ample amounts of French House vocoded accents to his vocalists like in "Weekend Heroes." Either way, each track on this debut release always offers something unique in terms of vocals, and that’s not something you can often say about dance music albums.  

Another standout track I really dig on this record is "Silence" (featuring And Then). Lux again opens with one of his classic, poppy, arpegiated riffs before beginning a slow build up with an understated synth pads that would make Eric Prydz proud. Lux drops out the percussion for a bit before bringing everything back together for a vintage trance drop reminiscent of Calvin Harris' "I'm Not Alone." I'll probably be banging this one out a lot when I'm flying down the Michigan highways this summer.

There’s not enough space here to cover the rest of the excellent songs on this album. From "Boy" to "Fire" and back again to "Can't Sleep," Adrian Lux bombasts the listener with hook after hook. In the end, "Adrian Lux" is a fantastic release, especially considering it's a debut album and how hard it is to make a good dance music album.  After the last track fades out, there is no doubt left that one can instantly recognize the Adrian Lux sound, the greatest achievement one can have in contemporary dance music. (Download Adrian Lux "Adrian Lux" on iTunes.)

Steve siegel contributorAbout Steven Siegel
Post contributed by Steven Siegel, ArjanWrites.com's dance expert in-residence (and trusted camera man). Currently finishing up his senior year at Emory University, Siegel is a massive dance music fan and a budding DJ/producer. You reach Steve and listen to his own productions on SoundCloud. Steve tweets at @steviesiegs.

April 6, 2012 in Contributor: Steve Siegel, Dance | Permalink

Listen to Yasmin "Finish Line" (Freemasons Radio Edit)

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Freemasons' radio edit of Yasmin's "Finish Line" packs a positive punch that will have you grooving along instantly. I promise. Yasmin is a British-Iranian artist based in London who released this song in the UK earlier this month. "Finish Line" was produced by Labrinth who previously collaborated with Tinie Tempah ("Pass Out," "Frisky") and released his own artist single "Let The Sun Shine" last year.

In an interview with Ministry of Sound, Yasmin explains what the song means to her. "It was the first song that I made where I really felt like I’d found my own sound and who I wanted to be as an artist. [The song] is about a mutual decision in any relationship that you sometimes have to make when you realise that no matter how much you want it to work, it’s not going to."

Already charting in the UK, some great remixes of "Finish Line" are making their way internationally just in time for the start of the summer season. Freemasons not only produced this excellent radio mix of the song, but they also produced an atmospheric, chill out After Hours mix of "Finish Line" that is included on the "Finish Line" EP. Listen to tracks of the remix EP here. (Download)

May 28, 2011 in Dance, Remix | Permalink

Watch Alex Gaudino "I'm In Love (I Want To Do It)"

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Featuring the vocals of the spunky Maxine Ashley, Alex Gaudino's "I'm In Love (I Want To Do It)" is blowing up on radios and dancefloors around Europe. With its feel-good melody and pop-savvy beats, it is a bonafide summer fling that is accompanied by a video that perfectly fits the song and the season. Watch it after the jump. (Click here to download the song. Cool Keith Harin-inspired art too.)

July 31, 2010 in Dance | Permalink

Preview Madonna "Revolver" (David Guetta Remix)

David Guetta lets loose on Madonna's brand-new "Revolver." It's a big, pumping remix that seems to be all over the place. Fun to see him going mad over his own creation.

October 15, 2009 in Dance | Permalink

Listen to Paloma Faith "New York" (Cutmore Remix)

Emerging burlesque pop singer Paloma Faith is stirring up a storm overseas. Check out the totally fun club remix of her new single "New York" by Cutmore. Nicely done. Lots of positive energy.

September 27, 2009 in Dance | Permalink | Comments (0)