Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I'm no aficionado of the remix culture, and really don't see why it's needed at all, but it can be cool.  I do like hearing a song I loved turned on its head, and become something new.  Marley's Legend is up there with Sgt. Pepper and Rumours and The Wall for albums we know by heart, so a new version doesn't seem like a bad idea.

Led by some actual Marley's, Ziggy and Stephen, we have 16 of the great man's best-loved tunes refashioned by those two, and the likes of Roni Size, Thievery Corporation and Jim James.  Remixes can be fun, but they can be pointless and annoying too, and we have some of both here.  Turning No Woman No Cry into a Daft Punk-disco number with a completely different rhythm is a pretty amazing editing job.  But the sludgy version of Get Up Stand Up is annoying, taking a great song and defiling it (IMHO).

There are more good works, including Satisfy My Soul, now almost unrecognizable, with the I Three's backing vocals pushed up to sound like The Andrews Sisters, not dissimilar to the jazzy sounds on the recent The Great Gatsby soundtrack.  But the trouble is that the bag of tricks is limited.  Too many songs are stripped to bass and drums, or there's too much echo, too often they are slowed down.  The big lines get repeated too often, like when we hear "Is This Love" over and over, on top of a new dance beat.  Like all dance music, remixes included, it's good to have variety, and it's better to hear these songs one at a time, rather than all together as an album.

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