Life is made of small moments like these. In this case, those small moments are the three and a half months ahead that separate us from the release of the next Above and Beyond album, which will be titled “Common Ground”.
Despite we don’t have lots of information about the next record and we don’t have an official tracklist to look forward to yet, we already know the cover art and at least three tracks that will certainly make it to the final cut.
Right after the magnificent celebration of ABGT 250 in the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington, USA, Above and Beyond has left us shaking, full of emotions and craving for more. Since the beginning of August we have known that there’s an upcoming A&B album ready to be released, but now the rumours and news have turned into a fact.
Looking for that Common Ground
Three years after the release of their exquisite “We’re all we need” album -back in January 2015-, we will finally see the follow up recording. When you think of A&B, you can most probably also associate it with emotive pieces of progressive trance and progressive house. But one of the biggest merits that the British trio must have is that it has managed to create and perfect a sub genre with their name and personal seal on it.
So far we have been delighted by two official tracks taken from ‘Common Ground’: Tightrope and My Own Hymn. Two experiments in the same lab but with very different outcomes.
While Tightrope has a classical Above & Beyond sound, the vocals fall a little short from what Paavo, Tony and Jono have accustomed us to hear. On top of that, I consider myself to be an easy victim to catchy lyrics, and this is not the case. It is not a bad track at all, though to some extent there a glimpse of pop vocals that when performed by Marty Longstaff divert the attention from the beautiful melody.
On the other hand, My Own Hymn is a full-blown masterpiece. For this track A&B has teamed up once more with lovely Zoë Johnston, whose crisp, angelical voice gives goosebumps to any person with a heart. The result is an emotive evocation to self-forgiveness and the joy of being oneself.
In the lyrics, Johnston points interesting things that are absolutely relatable, talking about we hurt ourselves with our own decisions, and we suffer the consequences of hurting other people, often without realizing the pain and suffering involved. She sings: In the remnants of our time / I wake to find you’ve broken me / Used to be free / but in pain I chose to stay / Why did you choose to believe things unkind? / Oh, hallelujah! / Heaven is in your mind.
In a world where most of the people are getting further apart and negative feelings are available at a greater extent than positive emotions, My Own Hymn succeeds as a call to remind us that deep down we’re all good and we should forgive ourselves and care more for us and thanks to that be able to do the best each other, finding that Common Ground that seems so elusive.
During the celebrations of ABGT 250 we could also find out that Richard Bedford is back for this album, as the legendary trio played for the first time a track -apparently- called Northern Soul which most certainly will be included in Common Ground.
Hopefully we’re going to hear at least some more tracks from the new album before its release. In the meanwhile we will have to keep singing our own hymn while walking on a tightrope. Because whether you’re a fan or not, Above & Beyond always delivers that emotional hymn fitted for at least one specific moment of our lives.
Along with the release of the new album, A&B is planning to tour promoting it. With dates in Los Angeles and New York already announced today, I must confess I’m thrilled and hoping to see them soon. Let’s what surprises these guys have in this occasion, even when we will have to wait until January when this -likely- masterpiece is unveiled!