The camera pans over a massive crowd in Belgium (or maybe it’s Atlanta or Ibiza), girls wearing neon bras and vibrant sunglasses scream and reach for it as if catching it would propel them to a new level of PLUR. Guys without shirts who spend far too much time at the gym raise their arms and start sweating. It’s at this moment Gareth Emery drops the beat for “Dynamite (Ft. Christina Novelli)” and everyone loses their shit.
Drive is Gareth Emery’s latest project and it’s out just in time for festival season. Songs like “Dynamite” and “Million Years (Ft. Asia Whiteacre)” can be expected to be blasted across the world this summer. They follow the tried and true EDM model of sentimental vocals, massive drops and bass lines that are conducive to foot-stomping and fist-pumping.
Emery shows some range on songs like “Firebird” and “Javelin (Ft. Ben Gold),” which have more of a trance vibe. When the album is played in its entirety (a continuous mix is included when you purchase the album), these trancier songs feel like the lull for the big-room house drops. The stand-out track of the album has to be “Lights and Thunder (Ft. Krewella).” It’s the heaviest hitting and the most adventurous of the album and it pays off greatly.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Gareth Emery has put together an album that can be enjoyed by a wide audience. He has previously made it to number one on the iTunes charts, and has been in DJ Magazine‘s top 100 DJs the past eight years. The listener doesn’t have to be a basshead or even know anything about EDM to get amped and dance to this album (though, they might assume it’s Avicii). Drive is extremely lyrical for an EDM album, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The lyrics, though, fall short in their content. General, almost cliché, metaphors mixed with predictable and familiar drops won’t produce anything earth-shattering.
Drive is simply fun. So stop taking yourself so seriously, cut yourself up a neon tank top, perhaps with something witty written in large block print, pretend it’s your first EDM show, and just dance.