This is the first release by DJ Paul Oakenfold, who has had a long and successful career as a DJ. His works have been highly influential throughout the EDM scene, having worked as a remix artist prior to going solo. Nonetheless, this album was quite a hit, selling over one million copies globally, which is not a bad run for a DJ. It featured many of the best artists of the day, so it should be interesting to listen through and through. Let’s hear it.
Ready Steady Go – Extended Mix features Asher D. It begins with some treated guitar parts, some deep harmonies and some Acid House based squelches. Soon enough, this kicks in and is an interesting and decent listen with a bunch of House music based textures and multitracked guitar parts. Nonetheless, this does sound really cool and wonderful, not too bad for a DJ who used to do remixes of the Happy Mondays and similar artists. In any case, this is a great tune with “Ready, steady, go!” chanted throughout. Very cool and decent listening, it is mostly guitar driven music this track, along with some thundering House Music styled beats. There is a nice breakdown in the second half, followed by an Acid House build up and release back into your ears. A cool and decent tune to hear, this is really good to hear. Nice to hear, a good mixture of Rock and House music, something that should be explored more by musicians. It ends with a delayed set of sounds to conclude. Good work.
Southern Sun – Extended Mix features Carla Werner. It has some nice acoustic guitar parts in the left channel to begin with, along with some excellent EDM House music based textures following it. Carla Werner sings very, very well here and her voice flutters nicely over the top of the mix. This is an outstanding piece of music in terms of overall quality, it sounds mind-blowingly decent and amazing. It has some minor key melodies that aren’t a million miles away from Trance music. Nonetheless, this still sounds fresh and amazing to this day. It powers along nicely and smoothly, and this is something ideal for that party with your crazy friends. It is very decent sounding music, although to be fair, some of the minor key melodicism may not be to everyone’s tastes. The midsection is gorgeous, there is something really pretty and undeniably cool about it. Paul Oakenfold managed to get this album sounding like a million dollars as well, which is really excellent. A really cool and enjoyable tune, this music must be heard by all fans of EDM, it is very lively and pretty to hear. There are some nice strings and multitracked sounds throughout, and it slowly wraps up at the end. Excellent music, most definitely worth your time. A really great listen, it slowly fades out nicely right at the end. Great work dude.
Time Of Your Life features Perry Farrell. It begins with some warped and low pitched sounds, sounding very warm and dark. Soon enough, a vocal sample enters and we get underway. This quickly launches into a cool piece of music with Perry Farrell singing nicely throughout. Again, this is a decent and underrated tune that deserves listening. The lyrics are fairly impressionistic and the tune itself is really great. The breakbeats, symphonic styled arrangements and simple singing make this track a real winner. A great tune to listen to, and this album comes across (so far) as a solid gold winner. A wonderful and different listen. In the second half is a warped sounding breakdown with some static Acid House sort of sounds, before resuming to the action. A really excellent listen from start to finish, this is suitable for parties. Great music to hear, it fades out nicely. Excellent.
Hypnotised features Tiff Lacey. It begins with a nice mixture of a violin electronic patch and some electronic treating. Soon enough, this song gets going nicely with some excellent electronic beats that sounds very original. Some calm and tranquil singing by Tiff Lacey emerges, and this is a gorgeous and euphoric sounding tune. It is an unique sounding piece. Soon enough, this song launches into a good piece of ghostly sounding EDM. This is extremely good, it just sounds very awesome and natural musically, even for EDM. Some original and out-of-this-world sounds are present on this track, making it come alive. Even if this isn’t the best EDM album of all time, it is one of the best sounding efforts in EDM overall. The beats shut down around the middle, leaving the vocals and melodies alone for a bit. This is a fairly Progressive House piece of music in terms of its overall structure and styling. The beats quickly resume afterwards, and this piece is a gorgeous and lovely piece of music to go. Paul Oakenfold’s music is obviously fairly underrated, he deserves credit due here where necessary. A great listen from start to finish, this does sound clever. Towards the end are some chugging bass guitar parts, breakbeats and cut-up melodies. Nice, not at all boring throughout the six minute length of the track. Great to hear.
Zoo York features both Clint Mansell and the Kronos Quartet. It begins with a solid string section in the background, some dark and unusual sounds that are adrenaline pumping, before some lone female vocals get going. A pretty and incredible listen, this is something akin to James Bond’s music playlist whilst heading through the jungle. This is an absolutely gorgeous and tripped out sounding piece of music that really touches one’s soul. It is simply that good, and it leaves a last impression on the listener themselves. An awesome listening experience, this sounds very amazing and worth it. There is a brief pause of the music in the middle, followed by some DJ scratched breakbeats and the music from the first half of the track re-enters. Again, this is an interstellar and spacey piece of music that sounds excellent, quite frankly. This beats a lot of the Trip Hop and similar music from the late 1990s down onto the ground. The climax present towards the end is really nice, and this is an amazing tune. Great to hear. It ends fairly abruptly with a keyboard part.
Nixon’s Spirit features Hunter S. Thompson. It is a shorter piece at under three minutes. It begins with some loose twangy instrumentation, with a recorded phone call over the top of it all. This piece then launches into a strange atmospheric tune. This has a sample about the legacy of Richard Nixon from Hunter S. Thompson himself. It’s good, although is somewhat weird. Even if you don’t like the statements about the former USA president, it’s okay to listen to this. The tune is fairly short.
Hold Your Hand features Emiliana Torrini. It begins with some Fender Stratocaster styled guitar, bombastic beats and another deep and moody soundtrack to listen to. This is very beautiful, nicely layered and sensationally good to listen to. Even if this is a bit of a featured celebrity record, the music on this album is exceptionally decent and nice to hear. A really pretty and fantastic tune to listen to, the music is varied and interesting enough to demand repeat listens on this album. A beautiful, artistic and nice mash up of tunes, this music is about requesting love from a partner. A nice tunefulness about this track, it gradually fades out at the end.
Starry Eyed Surprise features Shifty Shellshock and Crazy Town. It is one of the hit singles from this album. It begins with some Trance styled sounds, multitracked vocals and has a catchy beat to match. Crazy Town’s rapping here is really decent and on point, and this is quite a hypnotic tune to listen to. Nonetheless, this is an extraordinarily cool and fresh music piece that does make a good impression. This has aged incredibly well, and sounds like it could be released today with no issue whatsoever getting noticed. A very chilled, hypnotic and pleasant listen. An effort worth hearing, and a good example of a good taste of House Music for someone, for example, who knows nothing about EDM. Great effort.
Get Em Up features rapper Ice Cube. It launches straight into a good tune with Ice Cube rapping well over the top of this rather eerie sounding track. This is a surprisingly good collaboration between both Ice Cube and Paul Oakenfold, a straightforward, excellent and punchy tune that makes sense as a joint effort. It sounds very much like something Ice Cube could have made back in the 1990s on his own, although this was released in 2002. In any case, this is a really cool listen that sounds super extraordinary. There is some gorgeous piano in the background, along with other very pretty and valuable fragments of instrumentation here. Nonetheless, very enjoyable, all the way through to the fade out.
Motion features Grant-Lee Phillips and goes on for some time at over six minutes long. It begins with some simple drum beats and some Techno sort of sounds, before some other interesting textures enter. Grant-Lee Phillips enters sings in a very pretty and decent way, and this tune maintains its deliciousness and interest throughout. The chorus is quite dark, melancholy and disturbing as well. In any case, this isn’t the best song on the album. However, it still kicks the proverbial nicely. A really cool piece of musicality, this song sounds good, even if it is a bit dark at times. Grant-Lee Phillips sounds a bit like Bono from U2, and this tune is okay, but it wears out its welcome somewhat over time. There is a breakdown in the second half which is dark, minor key based and trippy. Soon after, some drumbeats enter and we gradually move along towards the end. A good and interesting effort, but not a great one. In any case, this should have been edited a bit for length’s sake. The outro is brilliant, however, very minimal and spacey.
The Harder They Come features both Nelly Furtado and Tricky. It begins with dreary piano and organ, before some deep basslines enter. The guests here put in an amazing performance over a really ordinary and miserable sounding piece of music. Unfortunately, the last two tracks of this album prevent this from being a solid gold classic to listen to. Tricky’s vocals probably are not needed here either, the whole tune just sounds really ordinary. A really depressing music piece, this is definitely worth skipping. Fortunately, it is only three minutes long, so you can easily avoid it. A bad conclusion to an album that is otherwise great. It ends with Nelly Furtado finishing up singing and some piano.
To be fair, as mentioned before, this album would be a real solid gold classic…except for the last two songs. They drag down an otherwise great album for people to listen to. Still, the rest of the album brings a promise and fresh sound to EDM that is one of the finest listens out there. Is this still worth hearing? Of course, especially if you are a House Music or EDM fan, it just works extremely well. Nice job anyway, Paul Oakenfold.
Amazing DJ stuff.