What it feels like after a decade! AvB gives VIP treatment to his 2013 classic

What it feels like after a decade! AvB gives VIP treatment to his 2013 classic

83%Overall Score

• Trance and Big Room
• Mighty brass stabs
• Throwback to 2010s

Let’s press rewind for a while. It’s 2013. The so-called EDM era is in full swing— big room, progressive house— you name it. Among several hits that came out the said year, it was Armin van Buuren’s “This Is What It Feels Like” with Trevor Guthrie that etched the year into a special memory for most listeners. Countless remixes followed suit; if we had to choose a favorite from that bunch, it probably would be the W&W one, but that’s our preference among other notable ones.

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Now, ten years have gone by. Could a classic be truly given a modern cut and find a revival? Let’s see if that’s true with the VIP spin that the Armada boss put out, which became available this Friday.

It needs no saying but the original is a damn fine classic, and it has aged like a fine wine. In our opinion, the Dutch veteran effortlessly blurred the lines between his progressive trance style into a more radio-ready format, and together with the Canadian singer-songwriter serenading over the first-rate production, there’s no denying that the record remains a quintessential EDM hit from the 2010s.

Back to the VIP treatment: matching the charm of the original’s sound is obviously not possible, but Armin went with interesting choices here. Bold and striking brass stabs are introduced, with long tails of reverbs filling space alongside the endearing vocals. This portion is clearly meant to hype the festival audience, as an arpeggiated riff emerges during the riser segment. This first drop is a melodic sequence, having a somewhat Future Rave essence.

The main breakdown continues with the arp melody— stacking the tension further with bass stabs. there’s a twist in the story; the second drop is not melodic, but rather a classic Armada Big Room Trance-style affair! A dirty supersaw hovers over short tonal kick drums, a nice way to throw back to the previous decade!

While it does not supersede the decade-old version, Armin knew the stakes and he managed to engineer a commendable re-take on his masterpiece, retaining a catchy margin between melodic trance and old-school big room which he is best known for.

You can listen to “This Is What It Feels Like” here: