Other highlights include lead-off track (and personal favorite) "Haunted," which features the angelic vocals of Lo-Fi Sugar singing over calm, swelling synths and light, electronic beats, and "Let Go," which was co-written by Rea Garvey of popular (at least in Europe) German rock band Reamonn. Reminiscent of the under-appreciated Junkie XL, it not only includes a bit of distorted electric guitar but actual drums as well, and Garvey's vocals even get Bono-ish at times during the song.
Van Dyk's long, progressive trance tracks on In Between, like the shorter, poppier songs are multi-layered with all kinds of effects, electronic sounds, and other instruments. But the long ones are arguably the heart of the disc: songs like "Another Sunday" (which samples Probspot's "Blows My Mind") and "Complicated," one of three tracks featuring the beautiful voice of singer/songwriter Ashley Tomberlin.
Not every song and collaborative effort churns out a memorable tune, however. The Wayne Jackson-led "Stormy Skies" fails to make an impression and is just too gloomy for the liking. But lapses of good songwriting don't last long. Piano flourishes highlight mid-album instrumental "In Circles," while live strings - conducted by Dietmar Menzinger - and the Talking Heads' David Byrne's never-aging vocals on "Fall With Me" end the long player on a high note.
In all, In Between has some memorable moments and instant classics, and enough other well-written material to qualify this album as a winner, and the first clear-cut one since 2000's Out There And Back, which is also perhaps its closest comparison as well. IB isn't an instant classic itself or trend setter, but then again, it ain't easy to make one in a genre that is arguably long past its prime and that he had helped define and shape in the 1990s. But one of the world's best DJ's has managed to pull off a mildly impressive, if slightly flawed trance record...in the year 2007. That is a success in and of itself.