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‘Smash’: Martin Solveig’s disc of hits finally unleashed (album review)

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The only producer/DJ who can be mistaken for a tennis pro, Martin Solveig, has dominated 2012. After creating tracks for Madonna and DJing MTV’s Movie Awards, the next major move was to drop his own album. Solveig is finally packaging his biggest and freshest tunes for his fifth studio album, Smash. He has been able to capture something special with this album, reaching a wide audience with commercial-friendly tunes while maintaining his European style. Smash includes everything from the long-time anthem “Hello” to Madeon and Dada Life remixes. We consider it a well-rounded electronic album worth attention.

“Hello” is the album’s opening track and it acts as a warm welcome to the full-length Solveig disc. He follows up with “Ready 2 Go,” a similarly familiar track. Keeping listeners comfortable and rounding out the introductory big three, is of course, A-Trak’s rework of “The Night Out,” which has been Solveig’s biggest hit this year. After easing into the album with familiar favorites, Martin gets ready to move into his unreleased and exclusive material.

Martin Solveig – The Night Out (A-Trak vs Martin Rework)

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Once the already-popular tracks are finished, the fun really begins with brand new material from Martin’s studio. “Can’t Stop,” another feel good pop house melody is graced with a vocal from Dragonette — whose voice you might recognize from Kaskade’s “Fire In Your New Shoes.” Drifting away from the cookie-cutter formula that shaped the first four tracks, the following production reflects Solveig’s French influence. “Racer 21” is a modern day nu-disco tune that remains calming while flirting with funk, making for the album’s most unique effort. Juxtaposing those feelings, “We Came To Smash” returns the take no prisoners, high-energy feeling to Smash with big crashes, a vocal from dev, and an overall dubby twist.

Martin Solveig – Racer 21 (Original Mix)

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The next segment of the album features two tracks that have been around and also feature Dragonette  — “Boys & Girls” and “Big In Japan.” Together, these are the tracks that represent where the album could begin to get boring. Nine tracks deep and the Dragonette/Solveig pop, love tunes have become old. Slotted in between, however, is “Get Away From You,” the album’s least-electro production that runs closer to euro-punk rock.

Martin Solveig – Get Away From You(Original Mix)

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The album begins to slow down with the down tempo tune, “Let’s Not Play Games,” which serves as the most heartfelt offering on Smash. Martin knows this is no way to close out an album, and that’s where a slew of brand new remixes come in. Madeon’s remix of “The Night Out,” Hardwell’s remix of “Ready 2 Go,” and Dada Life’s remix of “Hello,” all pitch new life into increasingly stale hits and ultimately bringing Smash full circle.

Martin Solveig – Hello (Dada Life Remix)

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Wrap-Up

Martin Solveig’s fifth studio album brings an assorted offering of sounds to the table — everything from popular commercial hits to thumping remixes, and quite literally, everything in between. Dig beneath the radio-friendly, Dragonette-assisted hits and find productions from all ends of the sound spectrum. Below the radar you will hear sedative French house, euro-punk, and even devout melodies. With new takes on his classics and funky experimental productions, Solveig expands his horizon past the definitive sound of “Hello,” and boasts production value with his Big Beat release Smash.

Rating: 3.5/5

Purchase: iTunes

Don’t forget to enter our ultimate Electric Zoo contest with Big Beat for a chance to meet Martin Solveig at New York City’s Electric Zoo this Labor Day Weekend.

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