Album Review: Above and Beyond – Common Ground (2018 LP)

If you’re looking for the perfect cruisy soundtrack for your summer beach party the latest release from Above and Beyond could be just for you. The English based EDM group is already making waves on the charts within days of their latest release, Common Ground.

The list of nominations and awards that they have amassed over the years is impressive, including Grammy Award nominations, Dance Music awards and sell out shows. The trio is known for their remixes and production work and on this thirteen track album they have collaborated with a wide range of artists. The opening track “The Inconsistency Principle” is a gentle start to what lies ahead before sliding seamlessly into dance themed “My Own Hymn” with Zoe Johnston on vocals.

The following track, “Northern Soul” with Richard Bedford picks up the pace yet again without a jarring change of style. Indeed, one of the strong points about this album is the variety of sounds and styles yet with a cohesive consistency that makes it easy to listen to the album on repeat.

While listening to “Naked” with Justine Suissa on vocal I started imagining the situations when this album would suit. In fact, this would be equally appropriate as a romantic backdrop or turned up loud at an alfresco barbeque party. The tunes are well produced and would appeal to a wide range of listeners.

Over the years, Above and Beyond have clearly honed their craft and make this fourth album seem so simple and easy but there is obviously talent involved in the making of such an inviting collection of songs. Rotating the singers between songs gives the album a fresh sound; each track stands alone yet the album has a consistent feel. The pace is controlled to lift the mood at the right time and allow some time for reflection.

Marty Longstaff is introduced on “Tightrope” which is a personal favorite, before Justine Suissa, Richard Bedford and Zoe Johnston close off the album.

At the risk of repeating myself, for those interested in trance, dance and progressive house music, Common Ground could be the best investment for your 2018 summer soundtrack.

Review Score: 8.0 out of 10.

The new Above & Beyond album Common Ground out now on Anjunabeats.


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