Building upon his growing reputation both in clubland and mainstream pop circles, genre-traversing Italian DJ and remixer Benny Benassi makes a bid for U.S. commercial success in his own right with Electroman.
Although some of the tracks are overwhelmingly layered with washes of synths and keys, there is a handful of cuts here which strike just the right balance between club-geared and radio-friendly. “Beautiful People,” with its simple melody and message, is bolstered by an effectively understated vocal by R&B superstar Chris Brown, whose tone is just the right match for the house-tinged electro arrangement. Meanwhile, the more aggressive instrumental “House Music” keeps the vibe underground in a very effects-driven atmosphere, while “Automatic B” brings influences of rave and even Miami bass atop a minimalist arrangement.
A couple of the vocal collaborations, like “Control” and “Close to Me,” featuring Gary Go, lack melodies engaging enough to stand apart from the pack of DJ/artist collaborations currently infiltrating the market. However, stylistically flavorful pairings like “Rather Be” with Shanell and “Leave This Club Alone” with Dhany invite audiences of a variety of tastes to a party that’s refreshingly welcoming — and just might be the catalysts to propel a genre on the cusp of becoming the new contemporary-pop fashion to that next level.