Album Review: Kaskade, 'Fire & Ice'

83 Billboard Rating

Kaskade
"Fire & Ice"
Producer: Ryan Raddon
Ultra Records
Release Date: Nov. 8

DJ/producer Kaskade's seventh album, "Fire & Ice," is an electronic hit parade showcasing a variety of personalities: seductive chanteuses, wily rockers and sweet-voiced gamines. But the beauty is in what unifies them-Kaskade's singular ability to imbue the utilitarian thump-thump of dance with musicality and emotion. "Room for Happiness," featuring a spirited vocal by Skylar Grey, reads like a lyrical companion to R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," convincing a tired friend to keep on keepin' on. "Let Me Go" vocalist Marcus Bently might be the guy Grey is talking to; it's introspective and dark, with a smudgy synth adding to the tension. "Ice" with Dada Life uses the chain-saw buzz of current electro to up the dramatic ante, while the irresistibly soulful "Waste Love" (featuring Quadron) is true to the original spirit of house music. The second disc remixes each track, giving most new lives as contemplative downtempo. Overall, it's Kaskade's most fully realized and diverse sonic adventure to date.

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