There was always something off with Chicane
, either in his discreditable use of guest vocalists or the way he adhered to stunningly melodious trance music while edging in and out of abominable new age. And yet, when deciding to compose an Ibizan love letter for an audience that was quickly beginning to eye the lustier vibes of Miami or Ayia Napa, he culled lifelong favorites, put them beside the likes of Aphex Twin and Everything but the Girl, and fashioned a winding path to one of the most steadily successful records he's ever worked on. You can almost see watery beads form on the first disc's teary ambience, thanks mostly to Kama Sutra's "Sugar Steps" and Chicane
's own "Early." And the second disc, though far less consistent, wiggles with more proper dance beats -- the Disco Citizens
-like Bassheads, Rank 1's lip-quivering "Airwave" -- complimenting his genuine empathy and dim-witted weaknesses so well that a part of you is pleased that Chicane
's influences are far better than his actual product.