by Tiana Feng
Dutch Trance DJ and producer Armin van Buuren is back with his fourth studio album Mirage. With Imagine he had created a fan base all over the world. He’s one of the favorites around the world because he doesn’t appear to “sell out” like some of the others do. In Mirage he shows us that he can stay true to his roots yet offer the audience something new.

Tracklist
1. Desiderium 207 (featuring Susana)
2. Mirage
3. This Light Between Us (featuring Christian Burns)
4. Not Giving Up on Love (with Sophie Ellis-Bextor)
5. I Don’t Own You
6. Full Focus
7. Take a Moment (featuring Winter Kills)
8. Feels So Good (featuring Nadia Ali)
9. Virtual Friend (featuring Sophie)
10. Drowning (featuring Laura V)
11. Down to Love (featuring Ana Criado)
12. Coming Home
13. These Silent Hearts (featuring BT)
14. Orbion
15. Minack (with Ferry Corsten)
16. Youtopia (featuring Adam Young)
17. Breathe in Deep” (featuring Fiora)
18. Take Me Where I Wanna Go” (featuring VanVelzen)
19. I Surrender” (featuring Cathy Burton)
20. Love Too Hard” (featuring Jessie Morgan)
21. Virtual Friend (Acoustic Mix)” (featuring Sophie)

2 years after Imagine, Armin actually built a new studio just for to make this album. The album cleverly opens with Desiderium 207 which features Susana doing Enya like vocals. It’s one of those songs that could be either a hit or a miss and I think he executed it perfectly. Desiderium is Latin for Desire and Enya’s vocals give you that yearning for desire and the beats that come afterward heal that lust and gives you what you wanted.

One of the major criticisms I have on the album is that the album is way too long. He has a lot to offer in terms of new ideas, but by track 20 your head would be spinning because the album lacks a bit of coherence. I Surrender becomes somewhat a 8 min yawn because he brings back the typical uplifting trance beats that reminds me of Cascada (I love her btw) for some reason.

Not Giving Up On Love, released as the second single of the album is one of the most pop up songs. It has that top 40 sound that Guetta and Tiesto masters, but remains true to Armin van Buuren’s sound at the same time.

Full Focus has an addictive bass drive which takes you along for the ride. It’s totally instrumental but kept my attention throughout with the interesting use of electronic effects.

Virtual Friend featuring Sophie again. I feel like there’s two things going on at once in this. It could have been a beautiful acoustic track or a wonderfully innovative instrumental piece, but the combination doesn’t totally work for me.

I’m not sure what a Minack is but it’s one of my favorite tracks of the album, although it sounds mostly like it is produced by Ferry. It has some of the more unique sounding tracks of the album evolving from one idea to the next. Youtopia that follows afterward is a very weird ending (to the hard copy) of the album. The track features Owl City’s Adam Young, who I actually don’t mind in the track. It sounds exactly like somebody took an Owl City song and remixed to make the next top 40 hit, but in this case it kind of works. I just thought it was a weird way to end the album. Tracks 17-20 are only available when you order through iTunes.

I have a bit of mixed feelings about the album. I haven’t really listened to its entirety all in one sitting because it is sort of hard to do to its lack of coherency. Most of the individual tracks are well produced and would please the masses but the concept of “album” is a little bit lost on me on this one.

Armin van Buuren feat. Susana- Desiderium[audio:http://groovebat.com/download/34h.mp3]
Armin van Buuren feat. Adam Young- Youtopia[audio:http://groovebat.com/download/34j.mp3]
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