Fresh off his breathtaking ASOT set at Tomorrowland this year, Armin Van Buuren returns for the yearly Balearic slice of trance. In true State Of Trance Ibiza fashion, the album is split across 2 CDs, the first acting as a warm-up, aptly named On The Beach. The second switches things up for a much harder and faster bite of trance, fusing psy, euphoric and hard trance sounds together for the mix called In The Club.
The first CD starts with a 7 minute mix of one of Armin’s newest productions, Our Origin. This progressive future favourite sets the tone of the CD perfectly before rising and falling through a series of chilled and light euphoric tunes. The beautiful tribute to Avicii, Tim, is one of the stand outs here along with Late Night Alumni’s gorgeous vocal hit Hearts & Silence. Sweet Lie and Armin’s EDM friendly Therapy also stand out too but all of this works to build the foundation for a harder and more euphoric second CD as the first bows out with a taste of things to come, Vintage.
Just like the first, the second disk begins with a 7 minute mix of one of Armin’s own productions, this time the psy-trance flavoured United. With an increased tempo, harder beats and much more emphasis on euphoric breakdowns, the CD hits with a flurry of big-room trance including Strike As One, Right Back and The Air I Breathe. There’s a much heavier vibe with this CD, once again depicting the bigger club anthems during this euphoric journey into trance heaven. The CD ends with a slice of hard trance in Shock Therapy before bowing out with Armin’s pop-infused Blah Blah Blah, one of the catchiest tunes this year.
There’s a fair amount of content to dance and chew through here and trance fans are sure to find something they’ll like. There’s a much more mainstream appeal with Armin Van Buuren nowadays and in many ways this 2 CD album showcases that in all its glory. A variety of trance sub-genres are explored but for those not entirely familiar with the intricacies of trance music, suffice to say Ibiza 2018 shouldn’t disappoint if you like your trance. The only people who are likely to be turned away from this are those expecting the narrowed focus on pure euphoric vibes of old which are still here, but not in such abundance like albums of old.
The mixing between tracks is generally tight and harmonic with around 10-15 seconds of beat-matching before slipping into the next song. Those expecting long, drawn out mixes or anything particularly artistic will be left wanting but with the focus on the songs themselves rather than the DJing talent of Armin, it’s easy to look past this.
When it comes to albums like A State Of Trance 2018 Ibiza, the strength of the track listing is solely dependent on the calibre of music out right now. Thankfully, 2018 doesn’t disappoint and the more varied sounds of trance are showcased in all their glory here in this two disk CD. Fans of trance will surely love this selection of songs and Armin once again delivers the goods in an impressive trance compilation.
Verdict - 8.5/10