Toni-Ville Henrik Virtanen (born July 17, 1975), better known by his stage name Darude, is a Finnish DJ and record producer from Eura, Satakunta. He started making music in 1995 and released the platinum-selling hit single “Sandstorm” in late 1999. His debut studio album, Before the Storm, was released on September 18, 2000, and sold 800,000 copies worldwide, earning Darude three Finnish Grammy Awards. It peaked at number one on Finland’s Official List and number 6 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart in the United States. Darude’s second studio album, Rush, reached number 11 on the Billboard dance chart in 2003 and number 4 on the weekly album chart in Finland. His music is characterized by its progressive/uplifting style. He represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with the song “Look Away” with singer Sebastian Rejman but failed to qualify for the grand final. Here are all of Darude’s albums ranked.
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5. Rush, 2003
“As a whole, Rush is a much better album than Before the Storm, yet it also feels safer and less riskier. Before the Storm strived for a little more variety, resulting in some fairly cringey songs but also a few absolute masterpieces. Rush, for the most part, plays it safe, which makes for an overall good sound, but also ends up with some songs, like the title track, that just seem to go on and on. I’m also personally upset by the lack of Darude’s signature “Sandstorm”-esque synth tones.”
4. Label This!, 2007
“To be honest, when i first heard that Darude was releasing a new album this year and heard the first track, Tell Me, I was a little worried. Tell Me was a good song, but it was very unlike Darude. Darude of course has a unique sound and renowned for good instrumentals or minimal lyrics and yet Tell Me was not like his styles from Rush and Before The Storm. Then a few months and a few listens to Tell Me later, he released the second single off Label This!, My Game. This was also quite similar to Tell Me and also quite good, but I was wondering whether Darude was starting to reinvent himself. However, a few days ago, I finally got Label This! and was surprisingly impressed. After the first two tracks Tell Me and My Game, the rest of the album is very impressive, with a good mix of songs and two great remixes to end the album in typical Darude fashion. Favorites include Stars (Here With Me), In the Darkness, Lost and For Those I Love”
3. Ignition, 1999
“This CD is under-rated. Its a very good trance/ techno album. Sure, maybe you can’t dance to it, but when I listen to it I’m never in the dancing mood. For one, it flows as an album. I can listen to the whole thing in one sitting without skipping tracks.
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2. Moments, 2015
“A huge trendsetter in turn-of-the-century trance, Darude manages some solid tracks but ultimately would be better suited for an EP as many of tracks are lackluster at best and bland at worst.”
1. Before the Storm, 2001
“Started off really good for the first four tracks, and I mean like really good, but it unfortunately never really recovers. “Touch Me Feel Me” disrupts the flow of the tracks, but “Calm Before the Storm” restores it nicely, but it unfortunately goes downhill from there. From what started off as something truly fantastic devolved into just generic dance music. I didn’t bother listening to the remixes.”