The big question for all of you is course, 'does it feature any big future trance classics?' The answer is... 'Yes it does!'.
Somehow a lot of people expect Ferry to come up with an album filled with trance. But before I'll dive into this new album, I'd like to explain to you that the Ferry Corsten albums have always had a mixture of styles. His first album, ‘Right of Way’, had tracks like ‘Whatever!’, ‘Punk’, ‘Skindeep’ and ‘In My Dreams’ and his second album, “L.E.F.”, had “Are You Ready”, “On My Mind”, “Forever”, “Cubikated”, and “Freefalling” on it. YouTube them! All not quite your typical trance right?
Anyway, here we are with Ferry’s fourth installment, “WKND”, which opens up with a peaceful vocal trance track called “A Day Without Rain”. You might remember the vocalist, Ellie Lawson, from her previous works ‘4 Strings – Safe From Harm’, ‘Richard Durand – Wide Awake’ or the recent ‘Space Rockerz – So Out Of Reach’. This track however, features her best performance so far!
“Feel It” was the first single of the album and I think it’s a great party type of track. No deep sophisticated trance or anything, but as I said, Ferry always likes to mix it up on his albums so this should not come as a surprise. One minor thing I do not like is how the track suddenly ends while you’re in the middle of the track.
Up next is “Aint No Stoppin’”, a track clearly made to get some radio airplay. It’s not that bad though. The vocals take some time to get used to, but then you’ll find yourself enjoying the catchiness of it. Unfortunately the track ends just as harsh and sudden as the previous track.
The fourth track is one of the weaker tracks on the disc. The chord progression in “Don’t Be Afraid” feels a bit simple. The track builds up to an alarm sound-ish climax, which perhaps works well 'life', but doesn’t suit too well for home listening.
The tempo is increased with “Not Coming Down”, with Betsie Larkin delivering vocals. Thankfully, this is not a cheap follow-up to ‘Made of Love’, but really something completely new. The intro section features some powerful stabs making you excited and after two minutes we reach the breakdown where a piano is playing some chords. Betsie’s vocals are introduced here and as the breakdown progresses warm pads are layered into it. Big strings are followed and the little 8-bit layer used in the background makes this part really special. The climax is really energetic and gives a good balance with the quite long breakdown.
The collaboration with Armin van Buuren, “Brute”, is (just like Minack) a cool creative production. I like this one a little bit more even as it has some more power but both are unique tracks. The melody is pretty much just a straight-forward one-note melody but every now and then a couple of notes are layered onto it. This is what gives the track real character. I would have liked the use of these double notes a bit more, but perhaps doing it too much would make it less special. Less is more, right?
I’ve heard “Live Forever” already in July last year when Ferry played it at Electronic Family. The ‘random-sounds’ at the end of each bar is not a new concept, but they do sound really cool in here. The vocals by Aruna are quite poppy aren't on par with ‘Safe (Wherever You Are)’ where her vocals were quite stunning. The synth chords are not that memorable either but the beats-and-bassline part with the cool effects definitely save this track.
Sarah Bettens is a new vocalist in the trance scene, you might know her from the ‘Wild And Perfect Day’ track by Rank 1 vs. Jochen Miller. I’m guessing this one, “Let You Go”, is going to be the next single to get some radio airplay after ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’. A decent pop EDM track but nothing outstanding.
“Check It Out” is quite a risky track by Ferry, but I admire him daring to release this. Not only does the track feature rap, it also got some jumpstyle beats. The main melody is a combination of the popular Swedish House Mafia sound with a Ferry Corsten spark over it. It all results in a crazy party track that works wonders on the dancefloors.
I’ll have to be honest, “Love Will” is not something I liked. The vocals by Duane Harden are quite unpleasant, and they are accompanied by an annoying piano melody. It’s all way too much pop for my taste. Fortunately, it only lasts for a few minutes...
The vocals of Jes Brieden sound delicious in “In Your Eyes”. Specially after the previous track. However, this is not her best performance. Jes has delivered some unbelievably sexy vocals in the past like in Tiesto’s ‘Everything’ and of course the legendary ‘As The Rush Comes’. This track is still nice though, but it’s not going to be a track we’ll remember in ten years from now.
The same goes for “Walk On Air”, with vocals of the Australian singer/songwriter Amba Shepherd. It’s not too bad, but without any big climaxes or unforgettable hooks.
Those do appear in “Take Me”, the biggest beast on the album. The beats and the bassline are classic Ferry sounding and when you hear this track for the first time it’s unclear what is going to happen. At 1:40 the beats disappear and the track leaves you with this strange synth. It almost feels as if it plays some random notes, but slowly more notes are revealed. The track gives you quite some time to get used to it, when out of nowhere the climax features some big strings. It creates an enormous burst of energy, before the melody introduced in the breakdown returns. Trance fanatics are always hoping for full versions, they can be happy, ‘Take Me’ is here in full form.
WKND finishes off with “WKND”. This track seems to have some nice ideas but overall I find it a little bit noisy and messy with too little variation. The breakdown sounds not too bad, but it doesn't really go anywhere afterwards.
As expected, the album does not really feature trance only and a lot of… “Ferry Corsten” sounding tracks. The album does contain a few tracks that will be remembered in the future being “Feel It”, “Brute”, “Not Coming Down” and “Take Me”. Four possible future-classics on one album is not bad at all!
“A Day Without Rain”, “Live Forever” and “In Your Eyes” can be enjoyed by many trance fans as well.
All in all its not a bad album. If you appreciated Ferry's previous albums, you will appreciate this one too for sure!