April 3, 2012
Morgan Page: In The Air (Album Review)
Music, as a wise woman once declared, makes the people come together.
As with his 2010 studio album Believe, Progressive House DJ/producer Morgan Page‘s third effort In The Air relies on vocal contributions by talented singers hailing from a multitude of genres. As he explained of his new album: “This record exists between the club and pop worlds with a little bit of indie thrown in there as well. I wanted to try some new flavors and attitudes, while keeping my sound intact.”
Accordingly, there’s a slew of new names to add to Morgan’s ever-growing list of collaborations, including Tegan & Sara (who aren’t actually strangers to the dance scene, having already guested on the brilliant “Feel It In My Bones” off of Tiesto‘s Kaleidoscope in 2009), as well as singer-songwriters like Greg Laswell, Shelley Harland and Coury Palermo.
“In The Air,” the album’s opening track, lead single and namesake, also happens to be Page’s first #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay Chart–and rightfully so, as it’s one of the best songs of 2011: Co-produced by BT, Sultan and Ned Shepard and featuring the vocals of frequent Telepopmusik collaborator Angela McCluskey, the crisp, chill-inducing powerhouse dance anthem was perfectly timed along with the changing season when it topped the chart in October: “I’m feeling a change in the air,” McCluskey hauntingly croons above the song’s pulsing beat.
The album’s second single on the other hand, “Body Work,” finds the EDM maestro working up a sweat with Canadian sister act Tegan & Sara. After the pounding club mix of the song was unleashed in late 2011, Page unveiled the album version back in February 2012; a slightly more pensive take on the track, underscoring the tender (if not slightly awkward) tone of the Canadian duo’s sexually-charged club thumper. “You do your body work/I feel my pulse working overtime/I get shy in these lights/I feel your body doing overtime,” the twins anxiously warble.
Beyond the album’s two massive singles, there’s plenty of highlights packed into the eclectic (yet cohesive) record, including “Where Did You Go?” with Jonathan Mendelsohn and Greg Laswell’s stunning album closer “Addicted,” which finds the singer achingly recounting the details of his troubled relationship atop a gorgeous, piano-tinged melody. “I might be addicted to how you always get the best of me,” Laswell sorrowfully croons above the soaring chorus.
Two of my favorite voices also make an appearance: There’s the tranced-out “Carry Me” starring omnipresent dance floor queen Nadia Ali and her distinctively melodic vocals, as well as “Gimme Plenty,” which features nu-jazz troupe Bitter:Sweet‘s Shana Halligan. (A very unexpected and happy surprise!) The songs sees the songstress singing lush Britney-like commands across the sultry, bouncing chorus: “Gimme more, gimme love, gimme plenty,” she coos.
In The Air is an absolute treat from start to finish, featuring solid production value that trumps Morgan’s previous record and plenty of soul-searching lyricism that go beyond the oft-basic themes of so many dance tunes on heavy rotation in the clubs. Every song’s a smash, filled with emotion and pulsating energy–the best qualities that EDM has to offer.
Check out a sample mega-mix of the album below…