About five years after releasing “In Between” world’s most famous German DJ and electro-music producer Paul Van Dyk is back with a new album called “Evolution”. This sixth studio album named “Evolution” introduces some really nice new collaborations. The album won’t sound completely new for fans, it’s rather a subtle mix (or let’s say combination) of older tunes (samples) from “Reflections” and “In Between” combined with powerful trance-like vocal performances. With “Evolution” Paul follows the same success recipe as with his previous albums – in some way this album could have also been named “Paul and friends” – because you will get a lot of featuring including Adam Young (Owl City), Austin Leeds and Russian top DJ Arty.

In  “Evolution” Paul Van Dyk has used a lot of female vocals (Sue McLaren, Michelle Leonard) which for me puts this album in the “trance” music category. Let me begin with the track by track review of “Evolution”:

Symmetries: This track is a pure trance track featuring Austin Leeds. Not the best track but a good introduction track to set up the stage and atmosphere for the rest of the album.

The Ocean: One of the best tracks of the whole album. The Ocean features beautiful vocal passages with the special Paul Van Dyk trance rhythm.

Eternity: If you liked the “spacy” vocals of Adam Young and his mega hit “Fireflies” you will really appreciate this new track.

Verano: Not a lot to say, a pure trance track…

I don’t deserve you: A track with sad vocals (à la “Say Hello”-Deep Dish). Really on the edge between a commercial song and a pure trance track.

Rock This: this is a track composed by Paul Van Dyk without any other artists, a pure instrumental (if we can say so 😉 ) song.

The Sun After Heartbreak: Take “Times of our Lives”  and put a female vocal (Sue McLaren) on the track and then you will get this superb track. You will also get a strange feeling that it has a curious “All Saints”-touch..

Dae yor: Yes! A pure PvD track featuring Dutch DJ Ummet Ozcan. Rapid and deep bass: a top track for your car audio system.

All the Way: I really appreciate the beginning of the track with the typical “We are alive” rhythm. The vocals (again slightly auto-tuned but not so much as in Lost in Berlin) are performed by Tyler Michaud.

If you want my love: Got mixed feelings concerning this track: the first track part is a classical Paul Van Dyk with a slight “Wir sind Wir” touch. But then comes the saxophone part… This gives a  80’s and very late night adult film touch that completely kills the song. For me the worst track of the album, a saxophone played in this manner has nothing to do in an electro track. And if you tell me that Miss Alexandra Stan did it in the past, I will tell you that it’s a pure commercial dance song, all what Paul Van Dyk tried to avoid…

Lost in Berlin: This is a far as I know the first time that auto-tune was used in one Paul’s tracks. It gives a curious touch to the track. I have mixed feelings about this because the middle part (3:48 – 5:05) of the track is oversaturated by the high pitched notes and the auto-tuned voice. It’s a true novelty for a Paul Van Dyk track to use this technique.

A wonderful day: In the pure continuation of ex-NU NRG member Giuseppe Ottaviani style.

We came together: I was kind of surprised at the end of the track (5:02) to discover a very curious and dissonant bell passage. I’m not sure of the result, but it makes the end really original and almost unforgettable!

Heart Stop Beating: A pure commercial trance song with vocals performed by Sarah Howells. In some way you could be tempted to think it’s a song composed by Tiesto.

Which track is worse buying on iTunes?

Here is my personal #6 “Evolution” track list:

  1. The Ocean
  2. I Don’t Deserve You
  3. Dae Yor
  4. A Wonderful Day
  5. Rock this
  6. All the Way

Conclusion

Evolution” is a typical Paul Van Dyk album, you won’t miss any ingredients of his legendary rhythms and production quality. Paul also avoided the trap of following the current commercial “Guetta”-esque electro-style music through a well mastered disc constantly holding the essence of his success: an intelligent combination of fundamental rhythms and uplifting trance passages slightly empowered by sublime vocal passages. To sum up: put some “Reflections”, “In Between” in a blender and you will get “Evolution”.

Final note: