Now in its fifth installment, Tiësto's "In Search Of Sunrise" series turns the focus this time to the sun-drenched skies of Southern California with twenty-eight tracks of club-friendly tracks spanning two discs. The first disc fittingly opens with Conil's "Malibu Beach," complete with samples of breaking waves and keening seagulls. The ambient sounds quickly blend into a continuous mix of breathy female vocals, pounding rhythms and flawless production from the likes of Matthew Dekay, JES and Tom Cloud. Five of the tracks get additional remix treatment, including Mssr Dekay, Gothek D.C., Mark Otten, Steve Forte, and Hammer & Funabashi. That mix and Cass's "Little Bird" step up the energy level over the last two tracks, paving the way for a second disc that mostly eschews the vocals in favor of Tiësto's signature hard driving trance style.
There is another City of the Angels leadoff track to open things up, this time it's Pink Elephant's "LAX," which fortunately doesn't actually use any samples of planes taking off or announcements of gate delays. It does, however, lead to the jackhammer kick of Alex Stealthy's "Something Is Wrong," but this dark and ominous tune soon gives way to Shah & Laruso's production of Global Experience "Zanzibar," which weaves flutes and vocal chanting together over rhythms tinged by kalimba to create a truly hypnotic sound they don't call this stuff trance for nothing. What all that has to do with LA is anyone's guess, perhaps it's some sort of nod to the Griffith Park Zoo. There's not really much that's Lala-land specific to the entire project for that matter, but other notable cuts on this disc include Luke Chable's remix of Petter's "These Days" and both Jonas Steur's remix of Estura's "Tales From The South" and his original, "Second Turn." No new kid on the block, Tiësto wisely saves Guy Ehmetores' remix of the Way Out West track "Don't Forget Me" for last, returning to the vocal emphasis on the first disc while still preserving the deeper bite of part two.
As with any mix disc, ISOS5 rises and falls on the strength of the individual artists and producers Tiësto has chosen to showcase, and while there are a few troughs here and there, the are more than enough peaks here to keep the party moving until it's time again to really ride the waves.