Released earlier this month, John O’Callaghan’s third artist album has debuted to much fanfare and excitement in the Subculture community. First off, I gotta give props to Ifran Amran who designed the album cover. Normally I don’t like to see the face of a DJ/producer on the front of an album, but this one is done pretty tastefully and it doesn’t make John look like a douchebag. It is also miles better than the first two album covers that John used. Aesthetics aside, how does the music stack up? Compared to his last album, I do hear evolution of the JOC sound which is always positive. Productions are deeper, and you do hear John experimenting with new stuff. He seems to be sticking to the same formula as his previous album, which includes a heavy dose of vocals, a few chill out tunes, and of course several hard hitters. The remix album for this one should be huge, but for now check out some of my favorites from this album below…

John O’Callaghan – Raw Deal

Let’s start things off with a true slapper, which is pretty raw indeed. It has that hard, punchy bassline that we have all come to love from the Irish producer.

John O’Callaghan – Stresstest

This is the side of John O’Callaghan that shines the brightest. The fast, uptempo style of this track fits perfectly with the live sets that JOC puts out.

John O’Callaghan, Timmy & Tommy – Talk to Me

This one’s been on the radio quite often, along with the pretty popular Orjan Nilsen Trance mix. I was expecting a little bit more from a collaboration between these three producers, perhaps a Timmy & Tommy or Joint Operations Centre remix would do this song more justice.

John O’Callaghan – Psychic Sensor
Here we see some versatility coming from John, introduced by some psy-infused which reminds me of some old school tracks.

John O’Callaghan – Smokescreen
I haven’t really heard anything like this from John O’Callaghan before, so this song is a nice surprise to find in this album.  Again it shows some creativity which is a basic element of an artist album.

John O’Callaghan, Audrey Gallagher – Bring Back the Sun
This is a nice attempt as a follow up to their 2007 smash pop hit Big Sky, but John and Audrey come up a little short this time. The song still holds its own as a dreamy vocal production, but let’s just wait for the remixes to see what this song can really do.

John O’Callaghan, Giuseppe Ottaviani – Ride the Wave

Here’s another collaboration on this album where I was expecting something better. I definitely prefer the previous track they produced together, Liquid Fire, found on the Never Fade Away album

John O’Callaghan, Betsie Larkin – Impossible to Live Without You

John has always done great with vocals throughout his career (see Find Yourself, Never Fade Away, Big Sky,  No Inbetween, Hold Onto Me), and this one is set up perfectly for something great.

John O’Callaghan, Betsie Larkin – Save This Moment
Here’s another tune with the great vocal accompaniment of Betsie Larkin. Her voice goes very well with many trance productions including this one, but as the lead track in this album, Save this Moment doesn’t outdo Find Yourself in John’s previous album. I am waiting for the club version of this song, but there is also a nice Gareth Emery remix which has already been released on Armada’s Captivating Sounds label.

Full tracklist:
01 Save This Moment (with Betsie Larkin)
02 Talk To Me (with Timmy and Tommy)
03 Perfection (feat. Cathy Burton)
04 Smokescreen
05 Bring Back The Sun (Ambient Mix) (with Audrey Gallagher)
06 Stargazer (with Thomas Bronzwaer)
07 Stresstest
08 Ride The Wave (with Giuseppe Ottaviani)
09 Impossible To Live Without You (with Betsie Larkin)
10 Mess Of A Machine (with Kathryn Gallagher)
11 Psychic Sensor
12 Centurion
13 Raw Deal
14 Rhea (Chillout Mix) (vs Neptune Project)