In 2003, to label Brian Transeau a trance artist would be to do him a disservice. The truth is that over the last decade BT has relied less and less on the genre that he helped pioneer, and now gains obvious pleasure in weaving in and and out of his staple sound with white-suited abandon.
Emotional Technology - BT's fourth studio outing - runs the whole gamut from the soulful pop of The Only Constant Is Change to the big beat fuelled rapping on opener Knowledge Of Self, and even though his art now trancends his initial muse, Transeau is never scared of infusing his songs with the widescreen production values and soaring instrumentation that trademarked his early work.
Along the way BT ropes in Charmed actress Rose McGowan to verbally spar with Girls vs. Boys bloke Scott McCloud on the grungy Superfabulous and 'NSync-er JC Chasez on first single Somnambulist. Both are great tunes, but some of the best tracks here benefit from BT's own vocals, in particular the majestic Circles.
Transeau doesn't get everything his own way: Emotional Technology is a long album, and some of the more extensive tracks - such as the seven minutes plus of Dark Heart Dawning and Animals for example - end up outstaying their welcome. You can get away with this sort of indulgence in trance circles, but if you're creating pop songs - as a lot of these are - you've got to be prepared for a little ruthless editing.
So, practising what I preach: Emotional Technology: Meanders occasionally but well worth your time.
:: Rowan Shaeffer