Andy Hunter’s fourth album, Collide, bears little resemblance to his last album, Colour, and its more traditional song structures. A return to the epic and ethereal rhythms and beats that were found on his first two records—particularly on his debut Exodus—Collide is a thirty-five-plus minute dance party that is tailor-made for the club scene, and it is one hell of a show.
“Raining Sunshine’s” up-tempo beats, ethereal synths and keys, and extended sections where sounds seem as though they are being blasted out of cannons and whizzing right past your ears, will have you dancing in no time. “On Automatic,” a mildly slower number, grooves in more of a lock-and-pop sort of way, which perfectly complements the computerized voice which repeats the phrase, “I’m static/Erratic/On automatic,” throughout. “Dawn Vision” quick pacing is beautifully augmented by thunderous, echoing keys and otherworldly vocal drive-bys which help creative the most epic, ethereal soundscape on this impressive album; and the closing title track comes at you in a rush of sound and fury, with Hunter providing the album’s only real lyrical meat with the following refrain: “Heaven and earth collide/A beautiful alliance/Together two worlds are tied/A powerful presence.”
Hunter’s return to the driving, pulse-pounding tunes that first brought him attention from the likes of Rolling Stone, as well as various TV shows and films, feels like a return to what is most natural to him. The confidence with which he moves from arcade game-style action sequences (the flourishes present throughout “Annihilate” sound like samples of video games where lively music plays whenever something significant is accomplished or acquired) to those moments when a pause is needed is smooth and assured.
Collide is arguably Hunter’s best yet. It is a blast to listen to and makes for a hell of a way to end 2010.