Various Artists "Synthesizer Dance Volume 8"
So finally the eighth volume of Hypersound's successful Synthesizer Dance collection serie is available. The initial idea with these albums was to give new artists a chance to release their songs on a album before they had enough material for a complete album. This must have changed during the years as half of the songs on this album are made by Gustaf Grefberg and Humphrey Robertson which both have released solo albums during the years. Probably the need for this kind of album is not so big any longer as some of the artists will probably release own albums soon anyhow.
Most of the composers on this album are wellknown from the earlier volumes of the album serie with one exception. The newcomer Klass Bijland makes his debute on this album and is doing that quite well. His song is well produced and has everything that could be expected for a newcomer.
Gustaf Grefberg has contributed with three songs on the album and his work definitly increases the total impression. The style of his songs is similar to the ones on his solo album Born in the Stars with hard leadsounds, some fast played chords combined with the powerful orchestral drums. On the song The Pleiaides he has also used orchestral sounds on the leads and the result sounds so good that this must definitely be the best song on the album. Eventhough Gustaf's songs are impressive and sounds good it feels like it is time for him to come up with something new soon as most of his material is done within the same style and with the same sounds which makes it almost difficult to distinguish them.
Jan Schipper and Dreamtime have delivered some good songs eventhough they are not their best ones. Compared to the other artists they have come up with much better structures on their songs which makes it interesting to listen to the songs from the beginning to the end. Melodies and voice programming is one of Dreamtime's strong side and this song is no exception. Actually there is at least twice as many melodies in the song Into the Haze than in each of the other songs. A special reward should go to Dreamtime and Gustaf Grefberg for chosing songnames that feel unique and don't include the words "space" or "planet".
The quality of the songs have been varying on the previous volumes and this album is no exception. The songs that have been made by Gustaf Grefberg, Dreamtime, Jan Schipper and Klass Bijland have all a good quality both in production and composing aspects. The contributions by Neutron, Daylight and Humphrey Robertson do not fulfil the requirements that can be expected for music that are released on albums. They should have spent some more time when they composed these songs as the songs sound quite simple, predictable and remind mostly of demosongs that we could expect for free on the web rather on albums like this.
A surprise on the album is the Axel F Theme made by Based On Bass. This is mostly a copy of the original version with a slightly modified bassline. The song works quite good eventhough it feels like it doesn't offer much as most people are quite tired of the original by now.
Common for many of the songs are that they are quite short compared to what we are used to. The main melody in the songs are often repeated just too many times, so they feel a bit annoying after a while. Some words must be written about the albumcover which has caused a lot of debate after the album was released. The covers for the previous volumes in the serie were made by Thomas Strütt and eventhough they didn't look impressive they were much more well done than the cover for this album. With a simple photo and a title written with a standard font, this is definitely the worst album cover in the genre so far. Hopefully people will listen to the soundsamples at Hypersound's website before they decide whether to buy the album or not, as this cover is not the type of cover that sells an album.
This album is definitely worth the money and can be recommended to all people that have bought the previous volumes in this Synthesizer Dance serie. The album is not the best one in the serie but still much better than the previous one (Volume 7). Many of the songs include just a few melodies that are repeated over and over through the whole song and therefore it is most likely that the buyers of this album will be tired of the album after playing it a couple of times. A suggestion for next volume is to invite more new artists like Klass Bijland and try to limit the number of tracks that are sent from wellknown musicians like Gustaf Grefberg and Humphrey Robertson as they seem to have enough material to make their own albums.