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Published: 2014/10/14
by Bill Murphy

The Juan MacLean
In A Dream

Banging beats and spiky, hyperactive synths have always been an earmark of The Juan MacLean’s dance-floor-ready brand of hard disco—a formula that’s high on energy and low on subtlety, which is usually the whole point. In A Dream takes a slightly different tack, with John MacLean ceding more of the spotlight to singer Nancy Whang, while epics like “A Place Called Space” and the 10-minute closer “The Sun Will Never Set on Our Love” showcase MacLean’s ability to channel Moroder, Eno and everyone in the techno-ambient space between. Whang, meanwhile, lends an early ‘80s Madonna-like flair to the four-on-the-floor shaker “Here I Am” and the punky synth-funk cuts “You Were a Runaway” and “A Simple Design.” She never strains too far beyond her comfortable range, but she has clearly emerged as the central voice in a warmer, fuller and more carefully layered sound.

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