Various Artists

Dance Essentials, Vol. 2

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Despite the fact that there is only one essential dance song on the whole thing, Dance Essentials, Vol. 2 is still a respectable collection of techno-pop. Mostly taking influence from the French techno scene, the songs featured here have the same tight beats and disco-influenced feel that became such a phenomenon around the turn of the century. "One More Time" is not only the essential track, but really the blueprint for most of the other songs on the disc. The only other song that comes close is Iio's "Rapture," which is quite catchy and infectious but isn't quite up to Daft Punk's incredible dance anthem. Otherwise, there are some good songs from Bel Amour, Part One, and Roger Sanchez that are not only interesting because of how they stand out from the other tracks, but are also quite dance-friendly. The rest of the disc is made up of better-than-average filler, with maybe one or two avoidable songs. The only real disappointment is that there isn't two or three more songs that are unquestionably great, but that is usually to be expected with techno dance compilations. Anyone looking to hear some interesting variations on popular techno ideas should give this a listen, although be warned that the "essential" tag is only very loosely based in reality.

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