It’s been three and a half years since Group Therapy, the Above & Beyond album that helped solidify the DJs’ status as trance legends. Now, the British trio is back with We Are All We Need, a decidedly more uplifting and celebratory piece of work, and one, that like their last effort, shows us why Paavo, Tony and Jono are still at the top of their game. While it may not be a completely surprising collection of music, the album’s catchy hooks, angelic vocals and club ready anthems make it a welcome addition to the group’s impressive discography.
Featuring tracks with frequent collaborators like Zoë Johnston and Alex Vargas, who made his debut on Above & Beyond’s acoustic album last year and sings on no less than five occasions here, We Are All We Need presents an exciting 16-song mix that is for the most part, completely devoid of any filler.
Fans of the band will instantly be drawn in with emotional tracks like opening song “Quieter is Louder,” a soothing ballad that eases you into We Are All We Need, “Making Plans,” which was on the acoustic album but shows up as a studio cut here, “Little Something,” and “Save Me.”
Meanwhile, more casual EDM listeners will no doubt find comfort in dance oriented songs like the anthemic “Blue Sky Action,” as generic as it may be, the energetic “Peace of Mind,” which sees Johnston’s vocals stretched in a new direction, and “All Over The World,” which was no doubt manufactured with arenas and stadiums in mind and should work itself nicely into the group’s upcoming live sets.
Of course, for those who still prefer to take it back to Above & Beyond’s more trance-y roots, there’s plenty of that here as well, with songs like the dark and moody “Sticky Fingers” (which is unfortunately the radio edit and not the full cut), “Out of Time” and “Hello” easily scratching that itch.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention two more tracks that really stand out on the disc as well. First is “Excuses,” which features Tony’s vocals. Considering that he doesn’t sing on too many of their songs anymore, it’s always a treat when he does. He absolutely nails the vocals here as well, hitting all the right notes and delivering one of We Are All We Need‘s better cuts.
The second song I need to talk about, and probably the album’s highlight, is “We’re All We Need.” With its uplifting hooks and Johnston’s haunting voice bellowing out lyrics about friendship, it’s an undeniably beautiful song and one of Above & Beyond’s best pieces of work in some time.
Ultimately, the question that most people want to know is whether or not We Are All We Need is as iconic and defining as Group Therapy. Unfortunately, I’d have to say no. However, the album is still a euphoric and often transfixing collection of songs from some of the most respected artists in EDM today. Above & Beyond continue to connect with their fans through powerful and emotional music that resonates with a great deal of people, and aside from a few tracks that fall a bit short, We Are All We Need is no exception.
While not as groundbreaking as Group Therapy, We Are All We Need still gives us the Above & Beyond we know and love, and once again reminds us why this British trance trio are amongst the best in the business.