Tiësto’s Club Life Volume 3: Stockholm (album review)
Only fourteen months after his sophomore compilation, Tiësto is back with the third installment of Club Life. From Las Vegas to Miami, Tijs crosses the pond to deliver his evolution over the past year in the form of Stockholm. Volume three follows in the footsteps of its predecessors with a fool-proof formula. One facet offers some of the most popular, anthemic productions in dance music, while another offers brand new homegrown collaborations from Tijs. Between big room gems and a few unique anomalies, upcoming artists are recognized and one of the most seasoned veterans reveals his sonic mindset for 2013.
The disc begins with one of its strongest offerings, Tiësto’s collaboration with Dyro, “Paradise,” a track that solidifies a breakthrough for a rising star and serves as a gift to DJs this summer. Wasting no time, Tijs gives us his first solo production of 2013, “Take Me,” which has set the tone for the album upon its release last month. But another familiar name follows, as Baggi Begovic’s “Compromise” keeps the aura going strong three tracks deep.
Tiësto & Dyro – Paradise (Original Mix)
On the first installment of Club Life, Hardwell had been rising in popularity and was featured for “Zero 76.” Two years later, Hardwell is the sixth ranked DJ in the world with an anthem of his own to offer the Club Life series — tweaking his renowned “Apollo” for an edit custom-made for the album. Moments after Baggi’s solo spotlight, we hear the rising star once again, this time alongside Mark Alston, Jason Taytor, and Tiësto himself on “Love and Run.” Enhanced by a vocal from Teddy Geiger, this mega-collabo embodies the contagious euphoria of the album.
Tiësto, Mark Alston, Baggi Begovic & Jason Taylor – Love and Run (ft. Teddy Geiger)
Big tunes, big remixes; that’s what Club Life Volume Two had been about, just see “Paradise” and “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Tiësto brings this concept back for Stockholm, offerings his takes on four popular records and dishes them out in bulk. First is his remix of Zedd’s “Clarity,” a song that has boomed in popularity since he had originally remixed it, and his take alongside Ken Loi of “Sweet Nothing” follows in similar taste. Icona Pop’s “I Love It” gets an exclusive rendition for Tijs just for Club Life, matching the commercial-appeal of the radio-dominating hit, and an indie smash hit sees new life with his version of Passion Pit’s “Carried Away.”
Icona Pop – I Love It (Tiësto’s Club Life Remix)
Moguai’s “Champs” and Alesso’s “If I Lose Myself” come next, both solidified as two of the year’s biggest hits if that hadn’t already been established. Playing it safe with undisputed anthems provides aural pleasure, but the last round of tracks bring all that could be enjoyed by the ears, with the surprising sounds that warrant a tip of the hat to Tiësto and his compilation.
Pelari’s “Cango” takes hold, and two questions are immediately raised followed by a bold statement easily made: Who is Pelari? Why haven’t I heard of him? And this is the best song of the initial dozen already heard. Next comes another one of Tiësto’s best kept secrets, Moska’s rendition of his Calvin Harris collaboration, “Century.” Many have tried and failed to re-work some of the most savored Tiesto records, but Moska dishes out the most respectable attempt of the last five years.
Pelari – Cango (Original Mix)
With three tracks left, we’re given two collaborations that have already seen their Musical Freedom releases; “Shocker” with DJ Punish and “Back To Acid” with Moti. Rounding off the album, Tiësto revisits his work with Quintino and Alvaro, “United,” the Ultra anthem that came off as a Dutch “Heart Is King.” With Blasterjaxx, Tiësto’s second bid to transform “United” into a dancefloor devastator alleviates the happy-go-lucky feel of the first half the album and brings it to a close with deep-thumping, heart-stopping energy.
Tiësto, Quintino & Alvaro – United (Tiësto & Blasterjaxx Remix)
The one-two punch from Moguai and Alesso aside, Tiësto focuses on his own productions — originals, collaborations, or remixes — to “fit with the spirit of [his] experiences in Stockholm.” Hand-crafted tracks give fans a taste of his 2013 mindset, much like Miami had in 2012, and Las Vegas in 2011. This round, Club Life Volume 3, hits harder and comes with more bulk than expected — and with less of the commercial appeal. If you liked volume one, and you like the recent releases from Musical Freedom, Stockholm is the album for you.