Denny Tsettos

Club Anthems, Vol. 1 [Ultra]

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Club Anthems, Vol. 1 doesn't leave much to your imagination. The high-energy dance music featured here is about as imaginative as the title of the album itself -- in other words, rather faceless. As commonplace as the sound of these "club anthems" may be, however, they're nonetheless what they're billed as. Give credit to the Ultra Records assembly line for that, at least. Each of these inclusions dates from either 2003 or 2004, and each is indeed clubby and anthemic. Some -- like Junior Jack's "Da Hype," for instance -- are even full-fledged anthems in the sense that they'll be very familiar to a great many club-goers and dance music aficionados. When you line up 17 tracks like this back to back, you get a mighty exuberant listening experience, one that'll make you feel like you're all vodka-and-Red Bulled up at a trendy metropolitan club in the middle of a neon-lit dancefloor at peak hour. Yup, that's the mood of this disc. So if you're looking for such indulgent listening, look no further. This one is full of certified club anthems, and it's mixed fairly well by Denny Tsettos, a certified club DJ. That makes Club Anthems the real deal, even if it is unimaginative. Then again, it's not totally unimaginative. The one especially big anthem here -- the aforementioned Junior Jack dancefloor-filler, "Da Hype" -- is topped off by a Robert Smith (of the Cure) a cappella, which is a surprise addition. Another particularly novel highlight is the Oscar G remix of Ultra Naté's "Free." The original is a classic in every sense of the word, one of the best tracks to come out of the early-'90s New York house scene centered on the once mighty Strictly Rhythm label. This remix is somewhat superfluous (why not just spin the original?), but it's nonetheless one of the standout moments here on this otherwise straightforward mix disc of solidly contemporary dance music.

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