From Then On – Paul’s journey post the ASOT incident in February 2016 is nothing less than magical. Surviving, regaining strength and rocking the world just like old times is what this album shows in principle. PVD’s 8th album is his most personal yet even though it features more than ten other artists and co producers. However, this isn’t POD 4 – It’s truly a Paul van Dyk artist album.
The album begins with by far the most beautiful non-dance ever track produced by Paul titled ‘While You Were Gone’ along with Vincent Corver. Absolutely stunning intro for a massive trance album with a simple yet powerful melody. Now I am probably the biggest PVD fanboy there can be, this track does get my eyes a little moist, it’s just beautiful and emotional – Goosebumps
The ‘Business Side’ of the album officially begins from ‘Inhale’ featuring the legendary M.I.K.E. Push and Fred Baker. A driving trance track the transforms into an Anthem in no time. It’s obvious that when some of the biggest artists collaborate on something so special, the result delivers. Followed by this is a proper PVD track titled ‘Touched By Heaven’ which was also released as a single. Classic vibes, modern sound – timeless soul. Well what this track means to Paul is pretty obvious from the title. Classic PVD pads, stabby synths and the ‘For An Angel’ reminiscent airy keys – the perfect recipe for a Beatport #1
Remember the old Motorola ad that featured a young Paul and his track ‘Connected’ from Reflections? Well the next track titled ‘I am Alive’ is a pure homage to that. You have to hear it to relate. 10/10 for nostalgia Paul! A relaxed track with chill vibes that takes you back to 2003 (Who doesn’t want to back there?). Now that we’ve successfully gone back in time, remember Ronald van Gelderen? Well he’s back along with Eric Lumiere and Gaelan to give us the first (of only two) vocal tracks titled ‘Everyone Needs Love’. Also, released as a single topping Beatport charts (pretty standard eh?) is this uber energetic club monster of an anthem. PVD’s legendary club formula here, never fails.
‘We Are’ was the biggest ever Trance track on beatport only last year, and looks like Alex M.O.R.P.H. is here to return the favour. ‘Breaking Dawn’ is a true sequel to the legendary collab, not falling short by any means. Starting off as a fairly relaxed track, the breakdown turns a beautiful melody into an Anthem in no time! While it’s older brother was more Club oriented, ‘Breaking Down’ is more melodic, album like.
The next track is one of my absolute favorites on the album. ‘Vortex’ featuring now Vandit Superstar James Cottle is an excellent example of collaborations done right. Signature van Dyk sounds with distinctive Cottle habits makes it an instant hit. There’s no conflict in the sounds, nothing overpowering the other, just pure unison turned into magic. Trance at it’s finest. ‘City of Sound’ was one of the biggest tracks on ‘The Politics of Dancing 3’, unsurprisingly Jordan Suckley returns creating yet another monster titled ‘The Code’. Well I have used the term ‘Anthem’ a lot already, but this is the epitome.
Next up is yet another Beatport #1 released earlier this year titled ‘Stronger Together’ co-produced with Pierre Pienaar. Lots of pads, melody, suspense turning into a an avant garde club track. Absolutely a ‘vegan’ track – zero cheese, pure Trance. Track 10 is the marque, the album titled track ‘From Then On’ featuring the electrifying Leroy Moreno is a start to finish 138 cracker! Nothing too harsh or noisy, standard PVD protocol with the legendary Vandit Kicks and loads of electricity!
What would you title a happy dream equivalent of a track – ‘Fairytales’. Paul’s dream only begins relaxed until Steve Allen hacks into it. It’s beautiful, it’s powerful – It’s how happy uplifting should be. Happy melodies, just like old times.
Talking about beauty, ‘Close Call’ is yet another simple yet stunningly beautiful track co-produced with Tristan D. It’s like a high end chef’s knife, glamorous and edgy. Finally, we have our 2nd vocal track on the album – ‘Escape Reality Tonight’. Rebecca Louise Burch’s stunning vocals and Emanuele Braveri’s co-work has resulting in a hauntingly blissful nirvana of a track. Perfect for those late night drives with that special someone.
Finally, we have reach the end of the album, the finale. ‘Safe Haven’ is a solo production which without a doubt would have the legendary Jean Michel Jarre proud. A ghostly outro sealing the record with all it’s glory. A non dance track with a rather experimental sound puts this masterpiece of an album to it’s rightful end.
To sum things up, and to put it all in perspective – This is by far probably Paul van Dyk’s greatest ever musical offering. In my opinion surpasses the likes of ‘Reflections’, and probably even ‘Out There And Back’. It brings back what was lost in the modern Trance scene – Simple Beauty. By simply sticking to the essentials and avoiding everything unrelated, we have by far 2017’s greatest Trance album, and probably one of the greatest there can ever be. For me personally, the only thing missing is a track collaborated with Giuseppe Ottaviani (at least for the sake of tradition). I am sure there’ll be a follow-up Remix album (Though it doesn’t need one) soon next year giving us a new take it.
For those who say PVD is back, he never ever left. Here’s proof!
Review by Hushrov Bhesania