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Remixes/dubs lose some of the energy, and most of the feel, of the original. Very mixed bag.
on 24 February 2014
This review is for the 7-track Remixes EP. "Never Enough" is the 3rd single from "Hearts and Knives", and is a great track, certainly in its original form. This is also the only single to get a second remix EP release (the vinyl 12" has yet to surface, but was intended to include the first 5 tracks on the MP3 EP). What was so good about the previous 2 singles was that they included a true extended version, an instrumental and a few remixes. This meant the singles were heads-and-shoulders above recent Depeche singles, for instance, where the remixes were often very patchy and had absolutely nothing to do with the tune of the original (or much of the vocal either, in many cases). Unfortunately this Visage Remix EP is also a mixed blessing, and much as I'd love to, I am struggling to give it more than 3 stars ("ok").
The opening Young Parisians remix is the only new full vocal mix (as Bottin Vocal already released in edit form). It is very good but is 100% electronic, so out go Rob's guitars and in come slightly repetitive synth loops. It is a mix that purists should like, which is less likely with tracks 2-4! Jon Pleased Wimmin mix does have some elements of the original later on, but is really a dub, albeit a cleverly constructed one for the clubs. The following 2 dubs are slow, and whilst the Baarregaard/Coast Dub has an earthy appeal of its own, they remove all of the energy completely, and I can't imagine these being classed as dance-floor mixes! The plodding Bottin Dub is in fact an instrumental, with only very minor differences from the backing track of the Extended Vocal - disappointing.
We then get a glimpse of the original in radio edit form, which is nice to have, and then the 2 MP3 EP extras. The John Bryan Widescreen Instrumental is the other highlight of this EP, as its the closest to an extended instrumental, and you get a better feel for the skill of both the Orchestra and Rob's guitar licks. John has done a great job with this, and the vocal on the CD released Dec 2013.
The Bottin Extended Vocal is ok, if not exciting, and does seem to work better in this extended form.
This release was delayed by around a month, so I was awaiting it with increased expectation. Maybe that's why I am rather disappointed, and definitely won't be hunting out the vinyl 12" on the strength of just the Young Parisians remix.