Considering that the first two discs in this series included not only Fatboy Slim, Paul Oakenfold (who teamed up on the first release) and DJ Icey, it's almost strange how much of a difference there is in this release. Granted, one look at the packaging should already give you an idea of that, but the fact that the first two releases focused on at least some partially underground music while this one embraces everything that's mainstream kind of makes one wonder where the series is headed. Certainly, those who enjoyed the first two releases may even find themselves completely turned off by this one.
Just in case you don't know some of the artists involved in this dance mix, let me name off a few names. Not only are mainstream techno artists like Moby, ATB, and Zombie Nation included, but there are high energy remixes of everyone from Cher and the Vengaboys to Paula Cole and Olive represented on the 19 tracks and almost 75 minutes of music on the disc. Even industrial-turned-mainstream group Filter makes an appearence with their cheesed-up version of "Take A Picture." One thing that is decent about the fact that there are so many tracks included is that nothing really has the chance to linger on too long (a slipping stone that tends to hit a lot of mix discs), but unless you like the arm-pumping mainstream, vocal dance tracks, it won't even matter.
One other thing about the mix that doesn't exactly work well is that many of the tracks don't really mix into one another. Instead of beat matching and keeping the beat flowing, much of the time a song will nearly fade completely out before another one starts up. Even with all my bagging, there are some nice tracks included that help boost things a fair amount with their appearance. The aforementioned Zombie Nation slams harder than nearly anything else on the disc with a huge beat and some calculated glitchery before the hand-waving chorus drops, while the Ferry Corsten mix of William Orbits synthy remake of Barbers "Adagio For Strings" builds things to a beautiful crescendo before dropping the bottom out again.
Basically, consider this a top 40 mix CD, as that's about what it is. If you have even one part of you that doesn't like cheesy rave anthems, don't get near this disc. One other thing that I find a little interesting (and a bit funny actually) about the release is that while the title of it is Essential Dance 2000, most of the titles on this release are from 1999 (and early on in that year actually). There is a bit of fun to be had in a couple of the tracks, but if you turn on the radio most places, you can hear most of this anyway.