ALBUM REVIEW: Adrian Lux Debut Album
These days, it’s hard to get someone to legally purchase a song, let alone a whole album. If there was one illegal download you should avoid swiping and actually pay for though, it would be Adrian Lux’s long over-due, self-titled debut album.
Out today via Ultra Records, Lux’s name has been synonymous with indie vocals and big-room Swedish synths that don’t give off the generic anthem stench. He is perhaps the leader in his genre. His genre exactly? Not quite fully-indie. Not quite fully-progressive. Electronica? No, not quite fully that either. But a mix of all three.
He has been shaped by the flourishing music scene in Sweden. For those not in the know, the Swedes aren’t just masters of house. They’re world renowned for their pop singers and punk/alt rock. Lux’s music has fused his country’s surroundings into something brilliant and marketable. Good foreign music for good music’s sake.
Despite it being his first album, Lux is no newbie to the scene. It comes as a shock that he hasn’t been given this album opportunity much sooner. With a back catalog of music and after years in waiting, Lux fans will notice that some of the track list will look quite familiar.
As a whole, this album has value far beyond the Beatport community. Many of these productions are just fantastic songs that, in a perfect world, would trickle into the mainstream. Lux’s production prowess might, one day, see his skills being used to score movies or develop indie pop-bands. Don’t let the radio edit length of these tracks confuse you, this isn’t a Swedish mega-album full of 3-minute gimmicky drops, samples and loops. This is a true CD full of songs. Actual songs. Remember those, house heads?
The vocal work featured is stellar, as expected. His album is aided by the voices of Rebecca & Fiona, Lune, Dante, Joakim Berg, And Then and The Good Natured. Again, this is an album of songs not a big-room instrumental mix. The voices of Lux’s muse’s carries each song against the back drop of his well designed instrumentals.
Begning with ‘Burning,’ the album gets off to a fast start. Save the best for first, eh? A full five or six minute version could definitely be picked up for a DJ set. Following with ‘All I Ever Wanted’ we get a taste of the chorus-driven head bobbers the album is filled with. ‘Teenage Crime’ is one of the older Lux tracks that was brought back in for the momentous occasion. Do you ever wonder how this song would be recieved if Axwell and Henrik B never got their hands on it? ‘Weekend Heros’ brings in Lux-favorites Rebecca & Fiona. Not the best Rebecca & Fiona collaboration, but it’s hard to dislike those lovely voices. ‘Can’t Sleep‘ may be the oldest song on the release. Still amazing after nearly three years–Vintage Lux. ‘Angels’ and ‘Silence’ feature some clever synths, but overall is filler compared to the rest of the offerings. ‘Boy’ was an indie sleeper last summer. This spring it is a great re-discovery. ‘Alive’ was a favorite this past fall and rightly gets a spot on the debut. ‘Wildheart’ may be the deepest track of the dozen. Ambient vocals over a subdued instrumental will have a place only in the indieest of hearts. ‘Fire’ is one of the songs of the moment and needs no introduction. Also a project of Lux for over a year, it has enjoyed success since its release. Closing with ‘Leave The World Behind,’ a mysterious track that Pete Tong had played in 2010 and had vanished into thin air, Lux gives the stage to Lune. A fitting ending to a brilliant album.
Overall, Lux gives many who are used to six or seven minute anthems a breather. We get reacquainted with verses and chorus’. It’s a welcome change. If you have ever found yourself humming the indie tune of the moment (say, ‘Somebody That I Used To Know‘ or ‘Video Games‘) you may find yourself liking what Lux is offering. This album surely has a place for many. Electronic dance music fans and rockers alike.
Full audio after the jump!
Burning (feat. Dante)
All I Ever Wanted (feat. Joakim Berg)
Silence (feat. And Then)
Boy (feat. Rebecca & Fiona)
Alive (feat. The Good Natured)
Fire (feat. Lune)
Leave The World Behind (Bonus Track)