Tiësto, 'Kaleidoscope' (Ultra)

Critical Mass
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by Barry Walters

This hugely successful Dutch DJ-producer is dance music's answer to Nickelback, inspiring adoration and its opposite by proudly waving every last trance cliché like a sacred glowstick. Despite an eye-grabbing marquee of guest vocal talent, his fifth album is relentlessly mundane. Not even the oddness of Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi Birgisson's otherworldly warble can counteract the onslaught of rote piano arpeggios, stock synth jabs, and numbingly predictable chord progressions. This is what happens when formula overtakes any genre: It really does all sound the same.

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