Now I have to admit I was in two minds when I heard that Switchfoot was going to be bringing out an album of remixes from their latest full album ‘Vice Verses’. For some reason I was picturing an album that somewhere between U2’s Actung Baby and Discotheque… to be honest I was glad I was wrong.
Vice Verse was easily one of the best albums lyrically and musically that has been produced by any Christian artist in the past couple of years… it was an album that was honest without being cheesy and spiritual without being all ‘mumbo jumbo… plus it just sounded good.
So a remix album?
How will that add to what already was a great album?
The answer is it doesn’t… it seems like it was a great way for the band play with some different sounds and let some of their friends have fun with their sounds at the same time… the plus side of it all was that the fans get to listen to a new side of a group that feels like it’s just finding it’s own sound now, with Hello Hurricane and Vice Verses having what seems to have settled as the ‘Switchfoot sound’.
The remixes are actually REALLY well done… and they really should have been as they were already good songs but the people who remixed them are really good to… Adam Young (Owl City), Darren King (MuteMath), JT Daly (Paper Route)… not to mention the very reliable and often unsung sounds of Drew Shirley and Jerome Fontamillas from Switchfoot themselves.
I really like how the remixes add a new dimension to the songs rather than detracting from them… and there were times I think “wow I hadn’t noticed that in the song before”… and so for me the remixes have been very much a compliment, I don’t think the songs themselves are as good as the original however there are a few that get pretty close.
I really like the honesty that is kept in the songs like ‘Blinding Lights’ and ‘Vice Verses’ as it would have been really easy to take them and add a ‘oonce oonce’… and turn it into a club thrasher that looses the soul and heart of what the song intended to be from the very beginning.
The more banging tracks like ‘Afterlife’ and the ‘Original’ are great bookends to this album and really bring out the fun side of the album.
The track that surprised me the most was ‘War inside’ – this song already had a great groove to it and was really interesting to see how it was going to be worked… and it surprised me and I love it. I would have been easy to lay a phat beat over the top and crunch out a winner… however what Drew and Jerome did was make a song that was a stand out track… and it was the most remixed of the albums… the others were versions of the original… this was a remix…
This album is worth having a listen to… and it works in all settings… It’s a sophisticated remix album, it’s not your usual and that’s good.