Groove Armada: White Light

Groove Armada: White Light
I imagine it is difficult being Groove Armada. It has been over a decade since their signature hit “I See You Baby” was released and yet most people in the United States can not name another Groove Armada tune. A quick search turns up people who think they can name other Groove Armada tunes but usually it is people wrongfully attributing Deee-Lite‘s “Groove Is in the Heart” to Groove Armada. But in their native UK, it is a completely different story. Groove Armada are not merely one hit wonders; they are one of the biggest purveyors of electronica music. In the UK, they have had six top 50 albums and eight top 25 singles. Their sixth album, Black Light was released back in January to high critical praise and good commercial performance. The album’s companion piece is White Light.
White Light is not your typical remix album. The album features Groove Armada’s two members, Andy Cato and Tom Findlay, remixing the source material from Black Light. The result is a re-interpretation of their highly successful album that is representative of their stadium live shows.
Hearing “stadium live shows” made me think the album would be less personal and more gaudy and big but that is not really the case at all. Take for instance “1980”, the only completely new song on White Light. The track has a 1980s synth feel with a strong driving dance rock beat. The female vocals on the track’s verses sound like Natalie Merchant to me which only enhances the 80s feel. But it is the female child-like chorus vocals that really make the song memorable. The chorus vocals remind me of Justice‘s “D.A.N.C.E.” Between the vocals and the beat, the track is not normal club fare; I think the track might do fine in a club atmosphere but it definitely has a bigger arena feel.
That feel seems pretty consistent for all of White Light. I personally love the dynamic of taking dance music to the arena; it makes for a fuller and less pigeonholed sound. For fans of Black Light, the album allows for a completely new experience but White Light can easily be listened to as its own album and hold up just as well. For me, I think White Light might actually outdo its counterpart.
Rating: 7.0/10
MP3: Groove Armada “1980”
Buy: iTunes