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BT

Movement in Still Life (Nettwerk)

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If you didn't already consider BT a pop artist, Movement in Still Life will convince you otherwise. Having made a name for himself along with Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, and Paul van Dyke as a major luminary in the progressive/epic house style of dance music throughout the '90s, BT (Brian Transeau) takes advantage of the current widespread popularity of trance and progressive house and mixes it in with other radio-friendly styles on Movement in Still Life.

Where his previous albums, Ima and ESCM, remained stylistically focused, like so many other dance albums out now (such as Fatboy Slim's You've Come a Long Way Baby and Paul van Dyke's Out There and Back), Movement in Still Life runs a wide gamut of contemporary pop styles that takes in everything short of Britney Spears. That said, Movement in Still Life has its moments of sheer, unadulterated dance music wonder -- most notably "Dreaming" and "Mercury and Solace," both of which contain vocals by former Opus III member and renowned dance diva Kirsty Hawkshaw. They're ace tracks that would make any dance aficionado proud -- including Oakenfold and Sasha, who've recently dropped the songs into the epic trance sets they've been playing in clubs.

But BT steps away from the decks on "Shame" and "Satellite" to belt out drippy guitar ballads that, honestly, are better left to 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, as Transeau lacks the vocal range and technical ability to pull them off convincingly. Furthermore, BT enlists Mic Chekka to start the album off on an uptempo rap/dance hybrid, "Madskillz," which is a blatant pitch to commercial radio. But that's likely what will happen, and the cross-pollination of different styles that make up Movement in Still Life will place BT firmly in major market heavy rotation. And after the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, he'll be the next big electronic-pop thing.

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