Tuesday, May 31, 2005
You know a word you don't hear much? Beaker, heh heh, yeah beaker...
Here's a review of the recent Motown release, Motown Remixed. It's either going to be loved or hated. How do I feel...
When the idea of Motown doing a bona fide “remix” album of their classics hit, some people were not amused or even interested. To be certain remixing well-known and or songs from another era is an art form. And not surprisingly the “art” represented on Motown Remixed is as hit or miss as the label’s recent output. The problem isn’t so much the treading on classic ground as much as the tentative nature in which the remixers exhibit their respective skills. But then again sometimes that even works in the case of the album’s best track, the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” Most of the other songs here simply don’t attain that magic or ease but it’s often close.
DJ Jazzy’s Jeff’s and Pete Kuzma’s take on “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” receives a hot, danceable mix and the song is buoyed by the edits and the tinkering with the vocals. That being said even that falls in and out of sync making it sound more manipulated than it ever had to be. It’s nothing compared to one particular track however. The Supremes “My World Is Empty without You” is turned from its danceable, pop minded sound to an anonymous mid 90’s ballad. It’s flat-out eerie. But in a sense at least “all-wrong” is better than the corniness giving to both “Keep on Truckin’” and a particularly cloying “Let’s Get It On.”
Unlike a lot of likeminded sets, Motown Remixed biggest failure is that it doesn’t get the party started. Other compilations like the recent Atlantiquity and especially 1999’s Everybody Dance! cohered like a “real CD.” In comparison Motown Remixed is more scattershot, a little showy and in the end not as courageous as it could have been.
Editor's Note: Ha! Get a load of that. Well, in short the CD wasn't a whole lot of fun for me. A lot of the work sounded manipulated and that means there's too much, well, work being done. Certainly edits, etc are a part of the deal in albums like this, the trick is to make it as seamless and as adventurous as possible. Motown Remixed often didn't do that.
Notes about the Editor: He's a total jackass