With a strong distaste for trance, it’s no understatement to say that my tolerance for Tiësto has been tested over the years. But collaborations with female vocalists Nicola Hitchcock of Mandalay (“In My Memory”) and Suzanne Palmer (“643/Love’s On Fire”) in the early 2000s helped soften his typically hyperkinetic productions, making them so much more palatable to me.
More than half of the Dutch DJ’s recently released fourth album, Kaleidoscope, is comprised of collaborations. Left-of-mainstream artists called to vocal duty include Tegan & Sara, Emily Haines of Metric, Jónsi of Sigur Rós, and Nelly Furtado, among others. These pairings have some longtime fans crying foul, moaning about Tiësto’s move to a more commercial sound. But while they exclaim “sellout!” and stamp their feet, his evolution via more recognizable names has found major favor with me. And really, Kaleidoscope is still pretty trance-y in parts (the vocal-less “Louder Than Boom” is a particular horrorshow that needs to be banished from my iPod).
First single, “I Will Be Here,” features Australian dance-rockers Sneaky Sound System. Though the song’s been out since mid-summer (previewing the release of Kaleidoscope), it’s recently been enjoying major play on Sirius XM’s BPM channel. I dig the track, though the pronunciation of “here” as “hyear” drives this grammarian more than a little bit batty. The video for “I Will Be Here” is a visual treat, and presents what is quite possibly the best use of a parking garage since Michael Jackson’s “Bad”:
Second single, “Escape Me” is a collaboration with vocalist C.C. Sheffield, a sometime-actress and lead singer of L.A. band, Le Rev (their MySpace page features the original Tiësto-less version):
Of course, for my dancefloor dollars, you can’t beat the one-two punch of tracks 11 and 12 on Kaleidoscope. Tiësto’s team-ups with Tegan & Sara (“Feel It In My Bones”) and Nelly Furtado (“Who Wants To Be Alone”) have earned Infinite Repeat™ status on my iPod. I’m hoping the future brings the release of extended mixes of both.