We’ve been waiting two years, two extremely long years for GRAMMY-nominee ZHU to reveal his latest LP, Dreamland 2021, and the time has finally come! Nothing tests a music lover’s patience more than waiting for their favorite artist’s next album to drop. I wish I could put into words how much my mind, body, and soul craved this next ZHU album. After completely falling in love with Generationwhy back in 2016 and Ringos Desert three years back- I have been on the edge of my seat. 2020 might have been a whirlwind of a year, but my 2021 has already been made now that ZHU has unveiled his latest curation of pure musical bliss.
“DREAMLAND 2021 is about looking forward and creating a version of the future we want to exist in.”– ZHU
Over the years, ZHU has completely reimagined the electronic music genre with his electrifying, jaw-dropping soundscapes that were (let’s be honest) nonexistent before he stepped into the scene. A true visionary, the ambiguous musician redesigns the essence of dance music yet again with Dreamland 2021. Not only is the album completely spellbinding in its entirety, it’s an ode to the radiant future that lies ahead for our beloved dance music scene. It signifies that bright, shimmering light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been longing for. When I think dance music I think freedom. I think unity. I think liveliness. After all these ideals being taken away from us for what’s felt like an eternity, Dreamland 2021 leads us back to where it all began. It’s a reminder that the future of dance music is here and that we won’t feel so disconnected from each other for much longer.
After teasing fans with stunning preludes to the full album like “Only” Ft. Tinashe, “Sky Is Crying” Ft. Arctic Lake and “Yours” with Yuna, I just knew that the rest of the album was going to exceed all my expectations. Second track “Distant Lights” takes the cake in depicting what the album truly represents, particularly after paying close attention to its closing vocals that express “I don’t believe that music, dancing, the freedom of expression will be suppressed for much longer. They can’t—that’s against human nature.” Give the album one thorough listen and it’ll all make sense, I promise.
Dreamland 2021 kicks off on a more subtle, celestial-like note and eventually detonates with ZHU’s edgier sound design capabilities that transport us straight to a night out on the club dance floor. On top of performing his own dazzling vocals on every single track, ZHU manages to intertwine house, techno, disco and R&B sound elements into the mystifying and exhilarating storyline that is Dreamland 2021. A musical masterpiece unlike any other, I can’t wait to see ZHU’s name on the GRAMMY-nominee list next year after snatching fans’ souls (including mine) with Dreamland 2021. If I could give it a 100/10 believe me, I totally would.