Top positive review
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No Easy Listening
on 12 October 2011
In typical Radiohead style this album avoids all the usual `remix' clichés & heads off boldly down it's own path.
There are no shrinking violets here as every track is given a big makeover and all are presented loud and proud.
To be honest not everything works but with such a lengthy selection to choose from you are bound to find a few that appeal. I have never been much of a fan of drum & bass and those tracks that are re-worked heavily in a D & B style don't convince me to change my opinion. However there are a generous amount of mixes here that really do show an understanding of the Radiohead style and manage to add a unique approach that surprises the listener.
A sound reminiscent of BOC & Stars of the lid with a Solar Fields vibe is to the fore amongst the first half of the album and makes for a laidback and chilled atmosphere that always seems to have something unexpected lurking to catch you unawares. This is particularly the case if listening on headphones.
Some tracks that stand out to me are the Caribou remix of 'little by little', a looped beat is suddenly completely overrun by beautiful harp track & sampled vocals that drift in & out of the track. 'Morning Mr magpie' Nathan Fake remix remixes the vocals & Thom ends up sounding like Perry Farrell with Stars of the lid like loops.
The Blawan remix of 'Bloom' is potty with a thumping groove & stereo effects buzzing left & right. Not sure if I love it or hate it but it's impossible to ignore & pretty much sums up the whole album.
I have been listening at night on my i-pod with the lights out and the opening half really works as far as I'm concerned with a great showcase for some top notch programming and mixing.
As the album moves into the second half my interest wanes a bit as I think too many tracks begin to sound the same while others are, frankly, a bit of a tuneless mess. Radiohead may be happy enough to aim for the weird but they are never tuneless and I can't help feeling some of the later remix artists have missed this point.
The occasional track has some recording quality issues too.
In the end there are certainly more than enough decent tracks here to make this worthwhile as far as I'm concerned but then I am a fan. For those who are not too sure or who have not listened to anything but Radiohead's singles then I would have to say that this is not the place to start as it won't give you much of an idea what they are about.
For fans this may well be worth a try just be prepared not to like it all. Variety keeps this fresh though and means it should have a lengthy stay on your playlist.
It isn't a substitute for a genuine new album but it'll do while we wait.