Nervo solidify their EDM reign with debut album ‘Collateral’
Dance music superstars, faces of Cover Girl, fashion trendsetters, chart-topping songwriters — it’s hard to believe that this is Nervo‘s first album after almost a decade in the industry. From their penniless days working as coffee shop waitresses to penning David Guetta and Kelly Rowland’s Billboard #1 smash “When Love Takes Over,” the Aussie twin DJ/producers have endured a long and winding road on their path to EDM stardom culminating with the release of their debut album, Collateral. The 15-track record contains a medley of their enduring dance pop anthems past and present such as “Hold On,” “Reason” and “We’re All No One,” as well as infectious newcomers like “Did We Forget” and “The Other Boys.”
The lead track “Bulletproof,” featuring new vocalist Harrison Miya, serves up a piano-tinged build assisted by the newcomer’s haunting vocals that ascends into a climactic big room drop primed for all the theatrics of the mainstage.
Mim and Liv’s 2013 anthemic “Hold On” remains a fan favorite in their catalog of heartfelt hits. There’s good reason this track became the girl’s first #1 on Billboard‘s Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
With the help of wistful vocals from Amba Shepherd, “Did We Forget” combines melancholic lyrics with conga drums and some bass-heavy kicks that should be the album’s next single.
The girls go intergalactic on “Oh Diana,” a space-age trip that builds into an other-worldly drop fit for a video game soundtrack. An assertive male voice echoes “temptation is hard to overcome.”
“Haute Mess” is reminiscent of The Chainsmokers’ pop culture beast “Selfie,” filled with all the electro-heavy drops and a snide voiceover from a sassy drunk female who, in her best Californians voice, claims to be “so much better than her.” This is basically the anthem for that blacked out bride-to-be dancing on (and falling off) the table at her bachelorette party.
Forget Mickey! “Hey Ricky” is a flirtatious girl power anthem with one hell of a nostalgic and instrumental drop. Rapper Kreayshawn along with electro pop singers Dev & Alisa inject their audacious artistry in between xylophone and snare drum builds and breakdowns.
Drum and bass lovers unite. Nervo returns with Nicky Romero for “Let It Go” where the opening starts out with Tipper-style raindrops before erupting into a head-banging bass drop.
“Rainham Road” entraps all those who press play in a mesmerizing daze of sonic seduction that will leave you feeling next level like Super Mario Bros.
Progressive banger “Rise Early Morning” dabbles in elements of trance thanks to Brooklyn-based dream pop band Au Revoir Simone’s breathy head-tingling vocals.
Grab your roller skates and hit the rink to this disco-infused track that has all the groove and attitude of Pam Grier in Foxy Brown. Nervo enlists the help of iconic producer and musician Nile Rodgers for “The Other Boys” as Kylie Minogue and Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears playfully duet over the funkadelic drag club tune.
Some people may say “Reason” is three years old, but think of it as three years young. This stellar collaboration alongside Hook N Sling is about as catchy as a record can get and is impossible of aging. Think of your happiest memory or place, now make this the accompanying track to that transcendental moment.
As the girls resort to a safer production formula of big room builds and drops, “Right Thru Me” offers little-known singer J Park a chance to showcase his reflective pop rock vocals that flawlessly contrast the uptempo melody.
“You’re Gonna Love Again” is an electronic-pop blend with triumphantly thunderous bass and hopeful lyrics making this ready for a run on the Beatport charts.
It was four years ago when the original track was released but the NERVO Goes To Paris remix of “We’re All No One” featuring Steve Aoki & Afrojack was the reboot we didn’t know it needed. While it’s hard to top the original, this chill pop rendition encompasses the mood of summers in Paris. I’m guessing, I’ve never been.
Whether you’re driving to the beach, working out at the gym or perusing SoundCloud at work, “It Feels” will make the perfect sound track as the hypnotic melody pulsates under Nervo’s seductive, layered vocals.
Overall, Collateral showcases Nervo’s confidence and mastery over their pop-friendly EDM anthems fans have come to love. Honestly, if a deeper, darker underground vibe is your thing then this clearly isn’t the body of work for you. But with so many producers attempting to stay relevant by trendily hopping from genre to genre, Mim and Liv thrive at being their best: high-energy selves with a slew of party records that will even have the most cynical of critics catching themselves tapping their foot and singing along.