Parade of the Athletes

Genre: Electronic; Lead Performer: Tiesto; Producer (group): Nettwerk

When Tiesto was chosen (rather surprisingly) by the 2004 Olympic committee to spin at the Athens games it raised the DJ’s visibility and resulted in Parade of the Athletes, a painfully upbeat, Olympic-themed collection of breakneck dance tracks boasting titles like ”Euphoria” and ”Victorious.” With no lyrics, no skits, no pauses between them, and a near-constant four-on-the-floor tempo, the cuts glide harmlessly into one another. Strong segments, rather than individual songs, stand out: the quiet, lullaby moment in ”Heroes,” the sawtooth melancholy of ”Athena.”

But with trance, a variation of techno that — especially in the absence of illicit drugs — hinges on a delicate balance between monotony and tension, even a master like Tiesto drops the torch occasionally (”Olympic Flame,” ”Forever Today”). Ultimately, Parade flags about midway through, limping toward what should be its climax: an audacious, monumentally melodramatic remake of Samuel Barber’s ”Adagio for Strings.” Sappy? Hell, yes. But people will dance to anything.

Originally posted November 12 2004 — 12:00 AM EST

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