Forget the World

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Ever since he dominated dancefloors in 2010 with "Take Over Control," producer Nick van de Wall aka Afrojack has been the go-to EDM DJ for that roller-coaster-with-a-double-loop experience. His crisp and punchy tracks come on with bumpy and infectious hooks, then at some point, everything goes wonky as the tune spins about the room brilliantly, bouncing off the walls and shooting off fireworks as it goes. The same applies for a great portion of the Dutch DJ's debut album, the wonderfully titled Forget the World, but "Take Over Control" is deemed a moldy oldy and doesn't appear here, meaning the polished track list is missing a hit where the artist still sounded fresh and hungry. The big hit here, the soaring "Ten Feet Tall" with vocalist Wrabel, sounds more like the stadium techno version of Coldplay, with hearts on the sleeves of shirts that cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Then there's the superstar Sting appearance on "Catch Tomorrow," where the former Police man feels free to vamp, and offers up a performance somewhere between Tom Jones and any given drunken uncle. The former places while the latter fails to show, but the winners here come from unexpected places, like the loopy, patented Afrojack break that makes "Freedom" an instant EDM celebration. With Wiz Khalifa and Devin Cruise on the cut and Afrojack showing some restraint, "Too Wild" introduces the subgenre of micro-EDM in fine style, then Spree Wilson and a furiously strumming acoustic guitar turn "The Spark" into a big rocket of festival circuit, jam band joy. Snoop Dogg in party mode is a shoe-in for this fluff, and his appearance on "Dynamite" does not disappoint, but the hits keep coming, and coming, and if anything, Forget the World plays more like a collection of 12"s than a well-tempered album. The curious can part it out while the Afrojack faithful can party on.

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