Top critical review
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Hit and miss
on August 3, 2010
Of the hundred or so remixes that have been commissioned for Lady Gaga songs over the relatively short span of her career thus far, the 10 tracks presented here are by no means the best of the bunch. In fact, as a general observance which has earned me negative ratings in other reviews I've written, despite being the definitive of good pop music, Gaga's songs seem terribly difficult to remix as 90% of what ends up on her maxi-singles is garbage. But, if you're a fan and, like me, have collected all her domestic singles up to this point and still haven't learned your lesson (lol...just kidding), this album proves to still be an essential part of your collection as over half of the mixes presented here are previously unreleased or otherwise unavailable in the US.
But on the other hand, if you really are that huge of a Gaga fan, then you probably have already paid a little bit more for the European version of "The Remix" which has been out for a few months already, and includes the ten tracks here plus seven more. For that alone the US version loses some credit. Had they chosen better remixes for this compilation, rare or not, I would be a little more forgiving of the short running time. But the fact we're getting something at all on this side of the ocean is acknowledged and appreciated, even if it does feel halfhearted. Once the plusses and minuses are all taken together, I figure it balances out to a middle of the road, three star rating. As the Lady herself would say, "Eh."
Now, normally I hate reviews that offer a track by track breakdown of a CD, but as remix albums are pretty hit or miss I thought I'd give everyone a brief heads up about what exactly they're in for.
1. Just Dance (Richard Vission Remix) - I thought it odd to kick off the CD with a dub mix, but it has Vission written allover it while keeping the basic beat of the original. Previously available on US maxi.
2. Poker Face (LLG vs GLG Radio Mix) - Very, VERY similar to the album version, with a simple, thumping house beat layered over it. Not bad, but not very ambitious either, and too short to be memorable.
3. Lovegame (Chew Fu Ghettohouse Remix feat. Marilyn Manson) - Now here's a great club beat, but it does go a little overboard on the repetitive vocal bits. Seems amateurish. Manson's parts are awesome, I just wish he was featured on more verses.
4. Eh, Eh (FrankMuzik Remix) - A house/industrial reworking of the fluffy original with some interesting vocal effects, I'm glad to see some experimentation with an otherwise underrated song. However for its sole representation on this album, I might have gone with the Pet Shop Boys Mix.
5. Paparazzi (Stuart Price Remix) - Pretty low-key for a Stuart Price remix, but I believe it uses alternate studio vocals that give it a slightly different vibe from the original. Decent, but again, I might have chosen a more energetic interpretation for this compilation, such as the Moto Blanco mix.
6. The Fame (Glam as You Remix) - More or less a sped-up techno version of the original, with a harder, rockstar edge to it. Cute and fun.
7. Bad Romance (Starsmith Remix) - As no remix could ever do justice to the original, with only the Chew Fu H1N1 mix coming remotely close, we'll settle for this awkward part retro, part futuristic reworking of the worldwide smash which in the end is surprisingly unremarkable.
8. Telephone (Passion Pit Remix) - I admit I'm somewhat disappointed this already available mix ended up here. Too many choppy, wacky vocal effects for my taste. And Lady Gaga on helium? In 2010 I think we can do better than that.
9. Alejandro (Sound of Arrows Remix) - Short and simple dance mix for a great song. Certainly better than anything else on the Alejandro remix single, which it is also on, even if it does sound like the backing track to a Mario Brothers video game.
10. Dance in the Dark (Monarchy Stylites Remix) -It's a little more mellow and stripped down than the original, with a simple dance beat in the background. Some verses are cut, but what is here certainly does show that Lady Gaga can sing.