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Steve Angello – Human [Album Review]

Steve Angello – Human [Album Review]

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Believe it or not, “Human” is only the second studio album by Swedish Greek DJ and producer Steve Angello. One of the most talented electronic music producers of our era, with only two full-length albums, but with a huge backlog of songs who shaped the progressive house scene to its current state.

“Wild Youth”, the artist’s first full-length LP was released two years ago, with beautiful singles and great video clips. The Preset’s vocals were wonderful on “Remember”, “Wasted Love” is still one of our favorite mainstream singles, but the album lacked the whole taking-it-to-the-next-level step. And that’s why we got “Human”, a totally different project compared to its predecessor, but with the same “maestro” pulling the strings in the studio.

“Human” is not your typical, mainstream album release. With more than 90 minutes playtime stressing across 21 songs (!), you can already fill the shift towards something more open and with many powerful ideas. “Wild Youth” was compact, snappy, with a lot of radio airplay potential, but this time, we have the mind of Steve Angello without following any certain LP rules.

The album starts strong with the track “Rejoice”, with T.D. Jakes’ powerful words and an even more powerful beat dropping from time to time during this epic seven and a half minutes long inspiring tune. This track is maybe one of the most important songs you will find on “Human”, especially if you think about its (lyrical) content and the fact that album ends with “Nothing Scares Me Anymore”.

It’s important for the listener to understand that Steve Angello picked up this tracklist in order to follow a certain order regarding the album’s content. The producer empowers the listener to believe in his inner strengths with his very first track, in order to take a musical journey, to discover what it means to be “Human” through the artist’s eyes and finally being able to state “Nothing Scares Me Anymore”. While his previous EPs like “Genesis” was more focused towards his relationship with religion and spirituality, this project embraces this topic and takes it even further by focusing on its general impact on Steve Angello itself.

It’s an interesting approach towards creating a concept album, but at the same time keeping its abstract nature. “Breaking Kind” is, for example, a track, which will probably never be played during one of his live shows and right after that you are able to witness an excellent collaboration with Highly Sedated. “Flashing Lights” is definitely more Highly Sedated than Steve Angello, but in a good way. It keeps you close to this man’s state of mind and close to everything he thought about during these two years. It’s not a bad thing to take some ideas and to be inspired by people who have been inspired by your ideas in the past.

Not everything is groundbreaking or perfect on “Human”, but in most cases, you still want to enjoy most of his songs over and over again, even if they won’t blow your mind. “Are You” featuring WDL is a perfect example of a standard progressive approach, but you are still able to enjoy his intriguing synths most of the times.

Steve Angello has its ways to keep you caring about this project and he doesn’t hesitate to bring in a fully capable drum group called The Procrastinators and letting them do their thing (some of you might remember the group from Steve’s 2017 live performances).

We could keep doing a track by track review and keep praising songs like the magnificent “Wanna” or the three-minute long epic build-up on “God”, but there isn’t really need for that. “Human” should be played on everybody’s playlist from start to finish – at least during your first 4-5 playthroughs. Each listener (and especially people who love the good progressive sound) will understand the full potential of the album, only if they take the time to dive into Steve Angelo’s second studio album from start to finish. You probably won’t adore every single track on this album and you will probably end up having your favorite songs and skipping a few here and there. On a tracklist that stretches over 21 songs, that’s something that cannot be avoided.  But you have to give it to this man ’s small attention-detailed approach on something with such a huge variety when it comes to its sound as a whole and to each beat in its own. Nothing feels rushed or gimmicky and at the end of the day, it’s really refreshing and interesting to listen to Steve Angello’s “sound diary”, learning more about him as a person, as a producer and as a “Human” being in general.

If this album stands as the first big step towards the producer’s recently announced vision about SIZE in general, well then the future looks bright for every upcoming project and release originating from that area.
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