Various Artists - Verve Remixed 3
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Various Artists
Verve Remixed 3

The third installment in a fairly popular series from the Verve label, Verve Remixed 3 finds a slew of some of the hottest young electronic and dance artists digging into the back catalogue of the label and offering up their interpretation on classic tracks. Like most remix collections that come down the pike, the result is a mixed bag of offerings that will most likely appeal to fans of the artists doing the remixes rather than the fans of the original music (although it might turn a few music fans onto the originals).

While one could argue that the wide array of artists doing the remixes is actually a strength of the album, it's somewhat distracting simply because of the different styles. Postal Service opens the disc by turning Nina Simone's "Little Girl Blue" into one of their typical electro-pop anthems while Max Sedgley and RSL turn in very straightforward (and unfortunately pretty bland) mixes of Sarah Vaughan and Anita O'Day respectively.

On the other side of the coin, the middle of the release sticks out with a couple of inspired remixes. Brazilian Girls take "Just One Of Those Things" by Blossom Dearie and turn it into a rumbling, glitched-out dancefloor burner that absolutely cooks while RJD2 doesn't veer too far off course from his usual sound, but drops a gem remix of Astrud Gilberto's "The Gentle Rain" that veers from banging hip-hop to quiet and seductive. Lyrics Born follows up with a spastic reworking of "Stay Loose" by Jimmy Smith that captures most of the flavor of the original while keeping the gritty organ melodies as a crux of the song.

Elsewhere, the release just drags as Carl Craig stretches "The Boys Doin' It" by Hugh Masekela into a nearly seven-minute track that sucks out the dynamics of the original and The Album Leaf stretches out Nina Simone's "Lilac Wine" into a squiggly trip-hop track that likewise saps a lot of the beauty of original. At well over an hour in running length, there's a lot to be heard on the release, and while there are a couple remixes that really do something to add to (or at least equal) the original, there are other tracks that sound like the phone-in remixes that plague so many other releases. If you're a completist of any of the remixers (which also include The Junior Boys and Danger Mouse), you might want to hunt this down, otherwise you might as well just plop on the originals.

rating: 5.7510
Aaron Coleman 2005-05-19 00:00:00