<Techno / Deep House / Electronica> Intense is Armin van Buuren’s 5th studio album. It’s been almost three years since his last full length release, Mirage, which was very well received by fans. For me, Van Buuren’s productions sit somewhere between his cohorts, Paul Van Dyk and Tiësto; whilst not as slick and pop sensible as Van Dyk, or quite the genre chameleon Tiësto bring to his music, Van Buuren likes to write big room bangers and Intense delivers several of these. Large woody basslines, plucky synths, vocals layered in reverb and massive melodic pads are his trademark. There are some big radio hits on Intense too, such as Turn This Love Around, Alone, and the lead single This Is What It Feels Like which features Trevor Guthrie. But it’s not all radio driven EDM as tracks like Last Stop Before Heaven, Who’s Afraid Of 138?! and Humming The Lights are all strong reminders that Armin is a big room trance specialist; these three are guaranteed to get those hands in the air and the feet hopping. This leaves us with 9 other productions, a mixture of mainstream and trance, combined with progressive house and other interesting influences all of which show off Van Buuren’s awareness of current trends in dance music.