The undisputed “king of trance music” is back again with a massive 28-track project that encompasses everything an artist at the pinnacle of his respective genre should produce. Van Buuren initially grew in fame thanks to his massive and unique trance synths and beats. The way that his music gets people moving on the dance floor is only something accomplishable by his particular style, and that is unwavering in this production as well.
“Balance” sees Van Buuren taking the trance elements that catapulted him to stardom in the electronic dance music world, to begin with, and amplifying them, splicing in folk and pop elements as well to appeal to an even more diverse audience. Listening to one of the Dutch producer’s tracks is always a treat to the ears, a beautifully symphonic harmonization of ethereal synths, angelic vocals and larger-than-life bass.
The lead song, “Sucker for Love,” falls immediately into those crossover pop sensibilities and could easily chart high internationally due to its cross-genre appeal. The departure from a traditional trance beat drops to something almost dubstep in nature is a departure for Van Buuren, who has mostly only seen his work in such a way through other artists’ remixes. However, it works well in this application, proving the width of grasp the “This Is What It Feels Like” composer truly has on his craft.
The often festival-teased and well-received “Blah Blah Blah” track is arguably the most intense on the album, foregoing those loving pop/trance sensibilities found in many of the album’s other songs for traditional Van Buuren massive beats and trance-linked synths. It is the type of song that begs to be played out of a massive speaker system at full blast, and it most definitely is at every major electronic music festival in the world right now.
Although the project does not have any other particularly large names attached to it, that is not the realm that Van Buuren succeeds in anyways. The producer is known for sourcing more obscure singers that compliment his unique style of production, and he did not falter in this application either. Guests on the album include Jordan Shaw, Sam Martin, Candace Sosa, and Ne-Yo amongst countless others.
Overall, “Balance” compliments Van Buuren’s discography well, and coincidentally provides balance to his overall image. This new album shows a maturity in the artist, one that proves his music can extend beyond the grounds of Ultra Music Festival, Tomorrowland, or any of the other international festival stages he constantly headlines. “Balance” is exactly that, a balanced offering of music with a little something in it for everyone, served up by one of the most iconic names in dance music on the planet.