The dance world way too often privileges the new and not many dance artists write albums as good as ‘In A Dream’, the third full length album by The Juan MacLean, this far into their career. They never feel totally in step with the moment but somehow always feel right and necessary. Put differently: there’s always something exciting to say about the music, regardless of the release date.
Let’s start with Nancy Whang. Nancy’s voice has always been a kind of secret weapon on The Juan MacLean records but this album is her triumph. You get all sides of Nancy on this record, a wide range of expression. These are all love songs but emotions run wild.
Like every Juan record, this one quotes freely from house and techno and disco. Dead drums and vintage synthesizers are abundant. This is a DFA record, after all. The diction is always off in all the right ways. Another distinction is how much fun Juan and Nancy have with the arrangements of their songs. Different parts interact and play off one another in a way that’s remindful of the interplay on classic disco records.