Paul van Dyk

Out There and Back

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Paul van Dyk, Germany's most prominent trance producer at the turn of the century, edged forward creatively on his third studio album, Out There and Back. Whereas his past two albums, 45 RPM (1994) and Seven Ways (1996), were fairly straight-ahead affairs similar in approach to a trance DJ mix dotted with anthemic moments such as "For an Angel" and "Forbidden Fruit," this third album is more eclectic, with distinctive songs and a greater emphasis on vocals. In fact, those listeners with an affection for mid-'90s trance might be disappointed by the eclecticism on display here. "Another Way" is an early highlight, sequenced as the third track. The one-two punch of "Avenue" and "Tell Me Why (The Riddle)" a couple tracks later stands out as the album centerpiece. As with most albums of this type, Out There and Back drags a little toward the end, but everything considered, this is still a more well-rounded and thus engaging album than van Dyk's previous two and, certainly, most others in the trance bin.

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