17 Songs, 1 Hour

EDITORS’ NOTES

Known for drawing equally—and artfully—from bass, dance, and pop music, Denver DJ/producer Illenium (born Nicholas Miller) presents his third studio album, Ascend. Building off of the dreamy soundscapes established on his first two full-lengths—2016’s Ashes and 2017’s Awake, both heavy doses of billowing vocals, trap breaks, helium synths, and electronic rumbles—Ascend veers toward the mainstream, embracing traditional pop structures and heaps of featured guests (The Chainsmokers, Lennon Stella, X Ambassadors, and others). But the impressive thing about this album isn’t all the glitzy names—it’s Miller’s sophisticated production, which has never sounded more subtle or refined. There’s no competition for your attention here. By letting the melodies breathe and the vocalists shine, Miller helps us appreciate why he chose them in the first place. Listen to alt-pop duo Bahari coo-ooh-ooh over muted drums (“Crashing”), admire Annika Wells’ soprano paired with a strumming guitar (“Sad Songs”), and try not to tear up as the Portland group Echos sing over tinkering piano fit for a lullaby (“Every Piece of Me”).

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

Known for drawing equally—and artfully—from bass, dance, and pop music, Denver DJ/producer Illenium (born Nicholas Miller) presents his third studio album, Ascend. Building off of the dreamy soundscapes established on his first two full-lengths—2016’s Ashes and 2017’s Awake, both heavy doses of billowing vocals, trap breaks, helium synths, and electronic rumbles—Ascend veers toward the mainstream, embracing traditional pop structures and heaps of featured guests (The Chainsmokers, Lennon Stella, X Ambassadors, and others). But the impressive thing about this album isn’t all the glitzy names—it’s Miller’s sophisticated production, which has never sounded more subtle or refined. There’s no competition for your attention here. By letting the melodies breathe and the vocalists shine, Miller helps us appreciate why he chose them in the first place. Listen to alt-pop duo Bahari coo-ooh-ooh over muted drums (“Crashing”), admire Annika Wells’ soprano paired with a strumming guitar (“Sad Songs”), and try not to tear up as the Portland group Echos sing over tinkering piano fit for a lullaby (“Every Piece of Me”).

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

erraticchearts ,

so beautiful

mega sad boy/girl hours here. such a beautiful and emotional album. would write more but i am crying

MandyCamacho ,

Amazing songs with powerful meanings

Thank you Illenium for creating this beautiful masterpiece. Each track has an incredible ability to make me feel emotions regardless of whether I relate to them or not. Only true artists can convey that. Although its all been on repeat since its release, my absolute favorites are Gorgeous and Lonely.

scott swangarang ,

You wrote this for me bro.

I’ve loved your music since day one man. I can’t even begin to explain what I feel listening to this album. Two of my favorite movies of all time being “the breakfast club” and “goodwill hunting.” And you chose the two favorite quotes as an intro and outro with everything that I have been feeling the past 12 months in between with bass and melodies that I love to listen to. And the fact that the lyrics speak to my soul. This is by far my favorite album of all time! Thank you so much for creating this masterpiece. I am listening to it on repeat. Having a hard time in life but I can truly say your music has saved my life in times where I have felt all is lost and this very powerful. I can’t wait to see you live. Thank you for all you do! You saved a life.

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