In a recent interview with YourEDM, TyDi promised that his new album ReDefined would feature 20 standout tracks and no fillers. Fans who follow him on social media also know that this album is based solely on his personal experiences as a DJ struggling to transition from his life in Australia to international stardom.
“Redefined is an honest capturing of my life, the best and the absolute worst of it, the highest highs and the lowest lows. I wrote close to 300 songs over three years with countless different incredible people, all to find the songs that truly describe who I am as an artist and a person – I can proudly say that this album is my best and most honest work to date…”
The album and story begins with “Somebody For Me,” one of the most upbeat tracks on ReDefined. Though TyDi claims that none of these tracks were written with mainstream radio in mind, “Somebody For Me” has all the makings for consistent airplay: a catchy hook, bright synths, and likeable lyrics. As the album progresses, we start to peel back the layers of the narrative underneath. In both “Forever” and “ReDefined,” vocalists Michael Paynter and Melanie Fontana, respectively, muse about a budding relationship, breathing life into the story’s main characters.
ReDefined features a dynamic range of male and female vocalists on every track. The last time a major studio album from a dance producer featured such a variety of artists was Calvin Harris’ 18 Months from 2013. What also sets TyDi apart from his colleagues is his ability to quickly shift between perspectives. “Die This Way” and “Black Wine” introduces us into his world as a DJ – the tracks transport the listener to the seductive, fast-paced world of a different club every night. But the heart-wrenching ballad “Not That Beautiful” brings the party to a screeching halt, reminding us that this love story involves one side painfully yearning for the other. “Not That Beautiful” is the centerpiece to ReDefined, one of the most emotionally raw, honest tracks of TyDi’s entire career.
The second half of the album showcases his subtle genius as a songwriter. Cameron Forbes cleverly returns for “Until I Met You,” and the story shifts from searching for love to fighting to hang onto it. However, it’s the female vocalists who steal the show in the latter tracks of ReDefined. “Die Without You” is also arguably the best produced track on the album, thick with synths and well-placed harmonies.
Though collaborations with The Ready Set and Dashboard Confessional earlier in the album are testaments to TyDi’s rock upbringing, it’s “Racing Kites” that sounds most like a pop-rock track. The electric guitar intro and infectious hook usher in the final quarter of ReDefined, as listeners start to prepare themselves for the resolution of the album and story. The final song “Goin’ Solar” is a stark contrast to the hopeful opening track “Somebody Out There;” vocalist Carmen Keigans gives us our emotional release, as we come to terms with the fact that our love story unfortunately doesn’t end with a happy-ever-after for the main characters.
ReDefined is not only a complete album of well-produced songs, but is a body of work that substantially changes the art of modern day storytelling. The 20 separate stories merge into one emotionally rich narrative of love, lust, heartache, and hope. This is, without a doubt, TyDi’s best album to date and absolutely one of the most refreshing albums of 2014.
ReDefined is now out on Global Soundsystem Records and can be downloaded via iTunes.