Those pesky Belgians have got a lot to answer for. As if not content with foisting the likes of Ian Van Dahl and Lasgo upon us, along come Milk Inc off the production line, bringing their own brand of Euro-trance pop with them.
If you’re a fan of the ubiquitous sound of the average Euro-trance anthem, then you may well enjoy Milk Inc. It follows the tried and tested formula that has proved so successful recently. Take a female vocalist, give her some lyrics about the “light shining”, “heaven and hell” and “running and hiding”, and then slap a pounding dance beat on the top. It’s all very well for a three minute single, but it makes grim listening for a full album’s worth.
It all starts off innocuously enough, with Walk On Water. It has the obligatory catchy chorus, with vocalist Linda Mertens demonstrating her undeniably strong voice. So far, it’s easy to imagine Milk Inc breaking into the charts and taking up residence in the Top Of The Pops studio. The problems start as the album continues.
Land Of The Living starts up and you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve hit the repeat button on your CD player. The same applies to the next track, Never Again, and so on and so on. Each song sounds exactly the same, and by the time of the final track, Inside Of Me you’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that you’ve just lost 50 minutes of your life that you’ll never have again.
This is soulless, passionless music pieced together by the most cynical of minds. Halfway through the album, it’s near impossible to resist the temptation to clamp your hands over your ears, curl up in a ball and whimper “make them stop” like a small child.
There is one track that doesn’t succumb to the usual predictableness. On any other record, For No Reason would sound like sub-All Saints filler. In its surroundings here, the break from the formula comes as a blessed relief. The effect is rather similar to digging through a mountain of horse manure and finding a �20 note. The feeling doesn’t last though, as the next track Sweet Surrender employs the trancey keyboard sound again, but this time featuring the vocals of Tony Hadley. Yes, Tony Hadley who used to be in Spandau Ballet. Presumably, Tone’s fallen on hard times to be doing cameo appearances on Europop records.
I’m no guitar wielding, dance music hating Luddite. This year alone, DJ Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold and The Chemical Brothers have proved it’s possible to make intelligent, uplifting dance albums. For all but the most hardcore of fans though, Milk Inc’s debut album is one to avoid.