The first thing I will say is that very few, if any, of the songs contained herein actually better their originals. For me as an owner of, and listener to, just about everything these people have committed to record, this collection has provided a welcome new angle to listen to some much-loved favourites.
In this collection of sequenced, pounding melodrama, the boys from the grim north comprehensively reinvent some of their more celebrated pieces from the back catalogue for the late nineties dancefloor, and make you wonder what they were up to all those years. While we celebrated the lush tones of "Touched By The Hand of God" the first time round, we had no idea it could sound like this - lulling you into thinking its going to be a slowed down revisit of the bouncy original until it explodes into what this CD is really all about.
It comes as no surprise that the best adaptations are from more recent fare - World, Ruined in a Day, Regret and Spooky, all from the vastly underrated Republic translate perfectly to their new interpretations, my personal favourite being Regret, which in its original form somehow didn't sound like the love song it so obviously is now having heard its beautiful simplicity, the spacious piano and orchestral synth painting a perfectly sparse backdrop to Sumner's exuberance at having finally found the real thing.
Special mention here for the grand-daddy of them all. Blue Monday gets a superb face-lift with its "hardfloor mix," converting its revolutionary, if rather ponderous sequenced beat, to an absolutely irresistible dance-must. Blue Monday is like a signpost, a flag, and it is still the world's best-selling 12 inch single of all time.
Another classic oldie gets serious update-treatment with the Pump Panel Reconstruction mix of "Confusion" which is now the trance it wanted to be back then.
There are a couple of misfires. I cannot accept that this is the best that can be done with "Bizarre Love Triangle" (although I love the crashing crescendo towards the end where it finally gets going) and the Shep Pettibone remix of "True Faith" does little more than tinker with the (superb) original. However, the joy of hearing a remix CD which is more than just retreads of tired old classics outweighs these minor gripes.
Open up this CD and play it loud, preferably in your car as I do incessantly, and at the first listen, spend the first 8 tracks wondering how on earth they will remix "Age Of Consent" and then as track 9 grinds forward, be glad you visited Amazon.com today.