Oakenfold A Lively Mind

Back after 2002’s hugely successful artist debut Bunkka with yet another celebrity entourage, Paul Oakenfold returns with more club jams to follow up on hits like "Starry Eyed Surprise.” A Lively Mind is immediately darker, sexier and tougher, a definite contrast to some of the more ambient and soulful works on the previous release. Notable contributions come from Pharrell Williams, the iconic Grandmaster Flash and the surprising source of Brittany Murphy (8 Mile, Sin City) who makes an impressive transition from the silver screen to collaborate on the first single release. The album gradually eases from big beat into trance as Oakenfold reminds us again of his versatility as a producer. Hardly a turning point in dance music and with fewer highlights than Bunkka, A Lively Mind is still a solid body of work from one of the major players and will certainly get significant airplay both on the radio and in clubs. (Maverick)