Group Therapy

Group Therapy

by Above & Beyond
     
 

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One of the few trance acts to sustain their anthemic sound over an entire album, British production outfit Above & Beyond have a lot to live up to following their 2006 debut, Tri-State, which is widely recognized as one of the genre's landmark albums of the last decade. Opening with a similar orchestral instrumental ("Filmic") as

Overview

One of the few trance acts to sustain their anthemic sound over an entire album, British production outfit Above & Beyond have a lot to live up to following their 2006 debut, Tri-State, which is widely recognized as one of the genre's landmark albums of the last decade. Opening with a similar orchestral instrumental ("Filmic") as its predecessor, and with former Faithless vocalist Zoe Johnston and regular collaborator Richard Bedford back on board, sophomore album Group Therapy doesn't exactly make much effort to shy away from their previous winning formula. There are the twinkling Robert Miles-style dream-trance numbers ("Alchemy," "On My Way to Heaven"), the epic Balearic club bangers that prompted Madonna to use their remix of "What It Feels Like for a Girl" as the official single ("Sun & Moon," "Sweetest Heart"), and nods to the old skool on the acid house beats of "Giving It Out" and the early-'90s ambient electronica of "Sun in Your Eyes." But as lushly produced as these are, the Anjunabeats label founders only begin to justify their pioneering reputation when they attempt to push their floor-filling boundaries, as on the dirty electro basslines, stop/start rhythms, and Calvin Harris-ish stadium riffs of "Thing Called Love"; the lolloping synths and progressive trance vibes of "Black Room Boy," which also features a rare vocal from the trio's Tony McGuinness; and the euphoric tribal chanting of the midway instrumental, "Prelude" -- while their chillout potential is fully realized on the gorgeous "Only a Few Things," an Air-inspired slice of downtempo mood music perfectly suited to Johnston's ethereal Judie Tzuke-esque vocals. Five years after their innovative first offering, Group Therapy feels like Above & Beyond are playing catch-up. But although there's little here to suggest the Queen of Pop might come calling for a second time, it's still an often hypnotic and uplifting listen that proves the trance genre is capable of transcending its super-club roots.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/07/2011
Label:
Ultra Records
UPC:
0617465279522
catalogNumber:
52795

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Above & Beyond   Primary Artist
Jono Grant   Group Member
Zoe Johnston   Vocals
Tony McGuinness   Vocals,Group Member
Paavo Siljamäki   Vocals,Group Member
Richard Bedford   Vocals

Technical Credits

Above & Beyond   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Zoe Johnston   Composer
Justine Suissa   Composer
Big Active   Art Direction,Imaging
Andrew Bayer   Composer,Additional Production
Richard Bedford   Composer
Bob Bradley   Additional Production
Christopher Marion   Arranger
Sorcha Shepherd   Composer
Christian Howes String Productions   Arranger

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