There are only a very few electronic music producers who rise to the status quo of being called international music artists. Paavo, Jono and Tony, the DJs/producers, budding artists, famously known as Above and Beyond, fit like a glove in that category. The dynamic trio certainly have not disappointed with their sixth studio album – Common Ground – released on January the 26th across all major streaming services.
Common Ground is a beautiful, emotional album from Tony, Pavo and Jono that continues their meteoric rise to electronic music commercial fame. The album lives up to its expectation one of the albums of the year, a celebration of emotional lyrics, hands-in-the-air moments of euphoria, and pumping beats. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why Common Ground should be on repeat.
A Celebration of Self Love, Overcoming Hardships and Moving On
Every Above and Beyond track is crafted with a story in mind, a message that is used to convey a feeling, to inspire and to provoke internal emotions. The album is full to the brim with tracks that celebrate self-love and compassion. ‘My Own Hymn’ is an ode to compassion, forgiveness and climbing out of suffering. It’s about choosing to alter one’s perception and write your own story. ‘Northern Soul’ is about holding on to your values, to your soul and giving your all even if your dreams are crushed. ‘Alright Now’ follows the same pattern of picking yourself up from hardships, this time moving on from a breakup, and how everything will eventually be alright. ‘Tightrope’ questions your purpose in life, your existence, when everything is lost and in tatters.
Addressing Relationships 101
Relationships are tough work. Above and Beyond are always on top of their game when addressing relationship issues showcasing the relationship life cycle in their albums, and ‘Common Ground’ is no different. ‘Naked’, albeit the name is a song about the importance of communication in relationships, and how couples should lay out everything in the open – literally get naked. Both ‘Sahara Love’ and ‘Always’ is about the warmth of love, making sure your partner understands that you are always there for them. ‘‘Happiness Amplified’ is a beautiful song that says what every man in love really feels, just looking at their soulmate. It is about how a person is complete, content and truly happy spending the rest of their lives with their one. Moving on through the relationship cycle, ‘Cold Feet’ tackles the unsureness of relationships, the notion of giving your all and wanting to be everything your partner desires, but you are scared of being lost and broken. One of the best tracks of the album is ‘Bittersweet and Blue’ which masterfully tackles the pain of loss, whether through breakups or death, the impending blow it brings to your life.
The Memorable, Emotional Lyrics
Known for their masterful lyrics and collaborating with the artists who exemplify every message they want to convey, ‘Common Ground’ is filled with thought provoking, tear inducing and emotionally studded lyrics. From the powerful ‘You can break my heart and crush my dreams but you can never take my soul’, the warm ‘When I see your face I feel the sun inside me rise and everything awakens in this sweet paradise’, and the questionable ‘When you can’t shut out the voices, and your head’s about to blow. Where’d you go? Please, does anyone know?’ down to the comforting ‘I’m gonna be ok, I’m gonna be just fine, I’m gonna be alright now’, the happiness amplified ‘This is the love of my life right here. This is the end of my night of fear. This is the meaning of ever and ever.’, and the ever haunting ‘This is your life, dreams can come true. But like your memories of me, they’ll be bittersweet and blue.’ The meaning and story behind the lyrics will be etched in your mind.
The Angelic Voices of the Collaborating Artists
Every Above and Beyond album has a staple of artists that define the direction, the messages and the soul of the album. ‘Common Ground’ brings back old-time favorites, exciting new-comers and retains existing talents. Singer-songwriter Justine Suissa of Oceanlab Satellite fame is back with three tracks on the album, ‘Naked’, ‘Cold Feet’ and the beautiful ‘Alright Now’. Old-timer Richard Bedford, who collaborated with the trio on their old albums, the strong, emotional voice behind ‘A Thing Called Love’ and ‘Alone Tonight’ returns to collaborate on three songs, ‘Northern Soul’, ‘Happiness Amplified’ and ‘Bittersweet and Blue’. Grammy nominated singer and Above and Beyond favorite Zoe Johnston lends her voice on three songs, ‘Sahara Love’, ‘My Own Hymn’ and the acoustic ‘Always’. New comer Marty Longstaff features in the first release of the album ‘Tightrope’ and is sure to be a regular. One thing’s for sure, the plethora of beautiful voices on display will make you purr with content.
The Hands-in-the-Air Moments
With emotional, dreamy and epic arrangements come tight-knit production values, pumping beats and certainly lots of hands-in-the-air moments. This is a staple of Above and Beyond productions, and the album is full of them. ‘Is it Love?’ or rather known as 1001 has a superb breakdown, ‘Norther Soul’ has a pumping bassline that is a dancefloor stormer and the epic ‘Common Ground’ is always used to end massive three hours shows. As the lights are turned on the clubs, you can be sure you will see hands-in-the air, teary-eyed and euphoric fans singing at the top of their lungs. This is the ‘Above and Beyond’ effect.
Listen to ‘Common Ground’ by Above and Beyond on Spotify NOW