Review: Oliver Heldens feat. Ida Corr – ‘Good Life’

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An upbeat, motivational, and orchestral release from Heldens to placate loyal fans whilst they wait for his next big hit.

Building on a succession of records released this year on his own Heldeep label (which, incidentally, shares its name with a rather enjoyable syndicated podcast), the world’s most playful Dutch future house producer’s latest offering makes up part of the Watch Dogs 2 video game soundtrack. What makes ‘Good Life’ such a big deal, however, is the vocals, provided by house-singing royalty Ida Corr, who first grabbed our attention in 2007 with ‘Let Me Think About It’ alongside Fedde Le Grand. With this track, Heldens has deviated somewhat from his standard flavour, instead venturing into a world of what I can only describe as harmless and somewhat repetitive strings. It isn’t, however, an entirely outside-the-box creation, with strong references to his signature warm, surrounding, cylindrical synthy tones.

‘Good Life’ is undoubtedly upbeat and makes you feel ready to take on the world – I can easily see it fitting into my early morning playlist as a nice mood brightener for when I’m lacking motivation whilst consuming dangerous amounts of coffee first thing on a weekday – but it’s not without its woes. It lacks a certain punch that we’re accustomed to from Heldens – hits like ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ and ‘Koala (Last All Night)’ have a very audible and clear bassline sound, whereas this feels like it’s constantly waiting for a change in phrase that never comes. This will inevitably mean from a commercial point of view that it will struggle for more than a few token plays on specialist radio shows and DJs grabbing copies from Beatport.

It seems a trend that his releases only seem to gain traction when released on Spinnin’, with those through his own label not really making an impact. Even its video is nothing spectacular unless you’re a fan of DJs waving their arms and pretending to mix on some not-plugged-in CDJs (and if you are keen, I suggest you add him on Snapchat) whilst in some sort of virtual reality – here I’m afraid you’re not going to see any teens walking in on their parents getting busy or physicists descending into madness like we’ve seen before.

‘Good Life’ is out now via Heldeep

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DJ of music, presenter of radio, quota-filler of unintelligent students in Computer Science. @JoeCardenJC on Twitter // @JoeCarden on Soundcloud & Mixcloud

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