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Above & Beyond ‘Common Ground’ Album Review

No need to go to a hypnotist, Common Ground has been released and will put you in a trance! Above & Beyond, the British trance trio just dropped the newest album boasting thirteen songs, each with its own flair and style. This is their most recent album (aside from Group Therapy) in 2-3 years. Check it out below.

The album transitions between lyrical tracks to strictly instrumental. “The Inconsistency Principle” starts the album with a shift into an out of this world sound. This smoothly streams into “My Own Hymn.” This was released as one of the first (of four) singles off of the album. This song is one that holds true to the original sound that Above & Beyond has–mellow and entrancing. Northern Soul was the second single announced prior to album release. This song is mostly lyrical with piano overtones. Boasting an incredible build-up, this song takes the listener on a journey with a beautiful destination. “Naked” is lyrically soothing, addressing the personal topic of ‘being naked’ and vulnerable. “Sahara Love” is my favorite from the album. It has traces of alternative rock mixed with EDM! Every time I listen to it, it gives me that “driving in the car, with your windows down, the sky changing from sunset to dusk” feeling.

“Happiness Amplified” truly makes you smile. This is a song that provides true bliss and inspiration. “Is It Love (1001)” was actually a song I remember hearing from Above & Beyond’s 2017 Phoenix Lights set. It was one of my favorites of the night, and I could never find out what song it was! “Cold Feet” is a song that lyrically connects and carries a trance feel. The song’s title really resonates with the type of vibe it gives off. “Tightrope” was one of the other singles released prior to Common Ground. It’s so raw in how vulnerable the lyrics are, segueing into how we face the feeling of life’s greatest challenge, being on the edge. “Alright Now,” another song I heard at Phoenix Lights 2017, is a song that takes all of the uncertainties of “Tightrope” and pitches them into a fire. This is one of the most uplifting songs on the album. Lyrically repeating, “I’m gonna be ok, I’m gonna be just fine, I’m gonna be alright now,” throwing anxieties of uncertainty to the dust.

“Bittersweet & Blue” is a song like “Cold Feet” that gives cooler undertones of lyrics and instrumentals. This song relates to “Always” (one of the last on the album), in that they seem like they are the ‘star-crossed lovers’ of the album. The premise of both songs is melancholy and meant to make the listener feel something. “Common Ground,” like “The Inconsistency Principle,” is a song that is solely instrumental, but feels like an end song, not a beginning.

Overall, Common Ground is a beautifully done album by Above & Beyond. In my opinion, it is best listened to in chronological order. Catch Above & Beyond and Spencer Brown performing at Rawhide Event Center in Chandler AZ, on February 27th! Tickets can be purchased here!

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