This is a very unfashionable album. Trends in dance music pass so fast, and this man has been around for about three decades. Imagine that. He has been at the forefront, always one step ahead of us serving us the future. Why would Paul Oakenfold who practically taught Britain to love house give us this album?
I guess it is just a case of jumping the bandwagon. Like so many before him, Oakenfold has chosen to embark on his journey to maturity. This involves proving that you’re a proper musician with many strings on your lyre, demanding an album of great stylistic variety and a whole bunch of famous people doing vocals. Instrumental tracks have no place in this new concept of "DJ as singer-songwriter". Perhaps you need to sing a sexy French duet, associate with new, promising rappers or confess a life long secret obsession with Pink Floyd. Anything to prove the point: I am different from the old, outdated nineties DJ:s you’re all so tired of.
This is exactly what makes Paul Oakenfold sound so old, not just unfashionable (which is not a bad thing in itself). His musical voice is so tired that it is hard to hear him behind the army of rappers and songbirds clogging up the studio. Among the multiple styles represented, from funky big beat through hip hop to ethnic chic, no consistency or character can be discerned.
The production is faultless, of course, and the guests, from Ice Cube to Grant Lee Phillips, are all famous folks. But the cooperation does not sound inspired, and the idea to team Nelly Furtado and Tricky in a melancholic slow song is just plain silly. A more energetic - and much better - track like “Ready Steady Go” still falls short of even the latest work of Fat Boy Slim and the Chemical Brothers. I find some relief in listening to the pleasant voices of Carla Werner and Tiff Lacey, both of whom we are sure to hear more from in the future.