Mirage was a crucial stepping-stone in Armin van Buuren's journey from EDM superstar to all-conquering force. Trance's high-energy pulses and sleek chord progressions remain his bedrock here, but the vocal-heavy album extends his horizons beyond dance music's limits. "Take a Moment," featuring Winter Kills, is equally uplifting in the stadium and on the car stereo; Nadia Ali helps turn "Feels So Good" into a saucy electro-disco romp; and Sophie Ellis Bextor and Owl City push van Buuren's beats to new emotive heights.

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