after "eclipse" I expected the band to continue the line of hard trance that was so obvious on that disk with its (unintended?) similarity to binary finary's "1999".
"welcome to earth" will astonish many fans with a total switch of music direction - the sound is now similar to underworld and orbital with the industrial/synth-pop roots almost untraceable. warm soft songs with funky sounds, and warm melodies that are apparently targeted at the widest audience possible. the vocals is present, but it remains merely a background, letting the dancefloor feel dominate.
despite such a big change, I still do like this album quite a lot. with no more hits like "eclipse", it still captures attention with soft almost "happy" techno. very solid compositions with enough variations still sound light years ahead many of the electro/techno projects. I also have to mention a stellar trancy version of metallica's "fade to black" that continues the line of metallica remixes done by the band.
after all, it was obvious that the change was coming and this course will be taking by many other bands that choose to venture into the more beneficial and bigger world of techno while industrial/synth-pop scene continues to erode and decay desperately looking for new influences. I guess I can just hope that this is simply yet another turn of the spiral that will lead back to the roots.