Above & Beyond’s Common Ground album turns 2 years old
There is nothing quite like an Above & Beyond album. It is more than just a collection of tracks. Every track tells a story from deep within, and can bring light to some of the darker times faced in life. The trio of Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamäki released their Common Ground album on this day two years ago, and the following 24 months have seen every track blossom into firm favourites of the Anjunabeats faithful.
Millions of streams later, Common Ground holds a strong place within the sets of Above & Beyond, who still dominate the progressive trance genre with their strong label releases and now-iconic Group Therapy nights. The Common Ground album gained its own tour, with a notable event taking place as part of Creamfields’ Steel Yard in London back in 2018. Many tracks from the album have remained in the trio’s sets over the past two years, reinvented with Club Mixes that take the tracks to the festival level. ‘Happiness Amplified‘, ‘Northern Soul‘, and ‘Is It Love? (1001)‘ have appeared frequently, with the latter released as the vocal follow-up to their track ‘1001‘, featuring their very own Jono Grant as vocalist. ‘Bittersweet & Blue‘ has recently returned to sets in a Club Mix, with McGuinness citing his own father as the inspiration for this track. ‘My Own Hymn‘, ‘Tightrope‘, and ‘Always‘ are often featured and are beloved by the Anjuna family. ‘Naked‘, ‘Sahara Love‘, and ‘Cold Feet‘ travel down the more traditional sounds of Above & Beyond, whilst ‘Alright Now‘ possesses the modern day sound that they are known for amongst the more recently acquired fans.
The album takes on more than just the progressive and trance realm, with title track ‘Common Ground‘ and ‘The Inconsistency Principle‘ possessing an ambient flavour. These tracks are heavily influenced by group member Paavo, who showed his love for ambient music in a BBC Radio 1 Chill Mix last year. This followed Above & Beyond’s most recent album – Flow State – being released, with the track ‘Common Ground‘ included on the album. The title track provides a fitting end to an immense album from Above & Beyond, though credit cannot remain solely with the trio. Vocalists play a monumental part in the success of this album, with the likes of Zoë Johnston, Richard Bedford, and Justine Suissa featuring heavily over recent years. Marty Longstaff brought his powerful vocals on ‘Tightrope‘ too, whilst Andrew Bayer is credited on production and writing for many of the tracks.
This album brings together the Anjuna family, both in the production process and at the Common Ground tour that followed, and continues to deliver the same energy as it did on release 2 years ago today. Listen to the full album below, and let us know your favourite track in the comments!