"Money for All" is an EP released by Nine Horses, a collaborative effort between David Sylvian, Steve Jansen and Burnt Friedman. Newcomers to the project are advised to start with the band's album, "Snow Borne Sorrow".
Having dispensed with that, this EP consists of three new songs, two of which receive a remix, and three remixes of pieces from "Snow Borne Sorrow".
As for the material itself, the new pieces find Sylvian hearkening back to a decade ago-- looped beats and instruments and edgy, aggressive, nearly spoken word vocals and dominate both the title track and "Get the Hell Out". It reminds me strongly of the "Little Girls with 99 Lives" material that surfaced on the "I Surrender" single, but like that material, it sounds almost awkward and tentative at times. Admittedly, Sylvian's chorus on "Get the Hell Out" is so fantastic, it's hard not to love it. The third new piece, Birds Sing For Their Lives", is a vocal feature for Stina Nordenstam. I have to be honest, I don't love her voice and given this, it's hard for me to seriously consider the piece-- certainly the backing track has a nice, lurching electronica sound, but Nordenstam's vocal doesn't sit right with me. "Money For All" and "Get the Hell Out" both get remixes-- the former doesn't add much-- adding a few pauses and playing with some of the loops, the latter respins the piece as a churning, violin-driven number, adding a number of overtones and colors.
The remixes of the material from "Snow Borne Sorrow", like the ones for Sylvian's previous effort ("The Good Son vs. the Only Daughter" remix album for "Blemish") are often dramatically different from the previous versions. "The Banality of Evil" gets reinvented completely, restructured and featuring a noisy guitar line, while taking away some of the almost groaning nature of the original. For a piece that keeps the melody of the original, it feels like a totally different song. "Wonderful World" doesn't get quite this level of reinvention, feeling more like a rearrangement, with Friedman's remix emphasizing the separation between the vocals and the instruments moreso than the album mix. "Serotonin" is reinvented as a muted funk workout, and while I have the least to say about it, is probably the best of the three remixes.
Like the rest of the Nine Horses material, I find myself with quite a mixed feeling on this one-- it's not that it's not a worthwhile listen, it's just that it's not superb, and quite honestly, I've come to expect superb from Sylvian, particularly after just how powerful "Blemish" was a few years ago. If it were someone else, I'd rate this higher, but for Sylvian, this one is a bit subpar.