JACKSON FIVE / “I Want You Back” Z-Trip Remix
I am not a big, big fan of Motown. In fact, the Motown I love best is the un-Motown sounding Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. To my ears, Berry Gordy’s intentional simplifying of the beat so that “young America,” i.e. white teenagers, could clap and dance to the regular and obvious beat, made the music less interesting. Those who loved the Motown sound will find these remixes annoying, but those who wondered what some of the songs would sound like if the beats were more interesting will love what happens on Motown Remixed.
One unexpected outcome of these remixes is that the vocals pop out and sound much, much stronger than they did in the originals. Not everything works, but what does work, really, really works. For example the Jackson 5. For the first time, I find myself enjoying their songs. They are no longer simply a novelty act of precocious youngsters. The Z-Trip remix of “I Want You Back” is some straight up, hard jamming music.
I have no ambivalence whatsoever about Smokey Robinson as either a composer or a performer. Smokey’s status as one of the all-time great composers of pop music has generally over-shadowed his considerable gifts as a vocalist. His “Quiet Storm” recording establish a whole genre of pop that radio stations continue to program in the new millennium. The remix features a great vibes solo by Roy Ayers.
Overall, this is a great example of the art of remixing pre-existing music and coming up with tracks equal to, and in some cases, better than the originals.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
So close, yet so far
Of these Motown remixes, the first one I heard was the Z-Trip remix of "I Want You Back." I got all excited, thinking I was going to get more like that one. Man, was I disappointed. Not only is Z-Trip's remix the best, it's the best by far. The Stevie Wonder and Temptations remixes are OK, nothing great. One of the Smokey Robinson remixes is actually pretty good ("Cruisin'"), the other ("Tears Of A Clown") is terrible. That "Mary Jane" remix is pretty bad too. Oh well. After "I Want You Back," I had high hopes for the Motown Remixed thing, but I guess not. So close, yet so far.
—Mtume ya Salaam
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 27th, 2006 at 2:12 am and is filed under Contemporary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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