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Positive Feedback ISSUE 63
september/october 2012


Above and Beyond, Group Therapy
by Jimmie Bustillos


above and beyond

This is my first review of any "EDM" album, also known as Electronic Dance Music, for Positive Feedback. Furthermore, I felt that this album was one that had I not had the curiosity to check it out, I might have missed the chance to listen to something that I can proudly say is the very definition of Trance. Although Above and Beyond are a group that are hyped up to be one of the best trance groups out there, they certainly are behind the movement, with their own distinct style of Trance. Their style is distinctive enough to be labeled as "anjunabeats," which happens to also be the name of their own record label. The reason why I say their style is distinctive is simply because when you hear any of their tracks, especially on Group Therapy, you instinctively think "oh, that's A&B (Above and Beyond)!" Their style of trance is composed of atmospheric blends within music, brought on with great piano compositional additions, backing electronic kick drums, and radiant synths pushing on the forefront. The first track on Group Therapy is self-describing of the style they encompass. Indeed it is a "filmic" style of musical production. People have asked me what is a short way to describe them, and that's what I tell them, that it is filmic. I feel like their first track really sets the mood for the whole album, which is not a bad thing.

Most tracks on the album have great vocals added to them by ZoŽ Johnston or Richard Bedford. One track features Tony McGuiness. The whole album contains about 3 tracks without any vocals. Each track takes you on a serene journey of what I call relationship and life experiences. Group Therapy has lyrics that represent love, and love lost. It also represents the whole joyous experience a person might encounter at certain stages in their lives. Furthermore, some tracks describe happiness, the little things in life, deception, heartbreak, and the feeling of being lost. It does have upbeat songs, given some of the themes. The album is very well produced and is something I'd listen to on a soothing drive down a long road into the sunset, or the sunrise. Don't take my word for it, give it a listen and tell me if I'm wrong.