“Evolution” is very much a collaboration-heavy album, but not in the sense of having a crossover R&B star featured on every track. The collaborators van Dyk has chosen do include vocalists like Sarah Howells and Michelle Leonard, but it is his work with his peers by way of co-production that really stands out here. Two collaborations with trance superstar Arty are featured here, including a very cool drum ‘n’ bass vibe on “The Sun After The Heartbreak”. Ummet Ozcan brings his signature sound to “Dae Yor”, providing one of the record’s best highlights. (If you haven’t yet heard Ozcan’s brilliant “Miami Sundown” yet, I suggest you track it down immediately.) Most of the vocal tracks work well, including “Eternity” which features the vocals of the man behind Owl City, Adam Young.
Austin Leeds guests on the album’s fantastic opener “Symmetries” and returns a few tracks later on the lead single, “Verano” ,which has been getting pounded in clubs throughout the world. Fans will definitely want to check out PVD’s own Full Fire Remix of this one for a more big-room take on this anthem. Perhaps the true gem of this disc is “Lost In Berlin” with Michelle Leonard which “evolves” from a techy, electro sound to a pure hands-in-the-air anthem over the course of its six minutes. Album closer “Heart Stops Beating” doesn’t seem quite a strong a tune as some of the other selections here, but is preceded nicely by a fantastic collaboration with Giuseppe Ottaviani in “A Wonderful Day”.
Paul van Dyk’s sound continues to evolve with each album he releases and while he retains the familiarity of his classic sound and style throughout, he isn’t afraid to explore some more tech-heavy arrangements giving the disc an extremely well-rounded feel. This is definitely one you’ll want to listen to from start to finish and you shouldn’t find yourself reaching for the skip button anywhere here. With 15 cuts and bonus tracks available on the iTunes release, this one has something for fans of PVD new and old and feels like a true return to form for the acclaimed German superstar.
Check out this fantastic interview with Paul van Dyk below as he talks about the album, his Evolution World Tour and what he thinks about the state of electronic music today.