During its early-'90s heyday, few could have predicted the enduring resilience of the Euro-dance format. More than a decade later, though, another "happy hardcore" sensation arrived in the form of 23-year-old Swede Jonas Altberg -- better known as Basshunter -- who achieved multi-platinum success in mainland Europe with his 2006 single "Boten Anna," and topped the U.K. and Irish charts in late 2007 with an English version of the same song. Now You're Gone: The Album is Basshunter's first English-language album, featuring English-language remakes of tracks from his second Swedish release, LOL <(^^,)>, as well as the Swedish originals "Boten Anna" and "Dota" (re-recorded as "All I Ever Wanted"). Not surprisingly, Now You're Gone: The Album is unashamedly formulaic. "Now You're Gone" recalls the O Zone's infectious hit "Dragostea Din Tei," complete with robotically altered vocal effects. "Dota" lifts the entire chorus melody from "Daddy DJ" right down to the last cadence, while "Please Don't Go" and duet "I Miss You" mine the Stock, Aitken & Waterman production style for all it's worth. Where Basshunter succeeds, and others fail, is that he's got a genuine ear for an unforgettable melody. And while everything past track four is essentially an inferior rehash of what's gone before, for 12 or 13 minutes Now You're Gone: The Album is pure pop bliss.
Review by Dave Donnelly