You Say Party We Say Die - Remixxxx

by Simon Sandison Rating:5.5 Release Date:2010-11-05

There's more to releasing an album that throwing some songs together and charging people to listen to them. I'm sure most agree that, when done properly, albums chart a journey, through time, yes, but hopefully through emotions too. It doesn't really matter what these emotions are - sadness or excitement, melancholy or enthusiasm - as long as effort has been made to achieve something by the way the songs are pieced together, and if Andrew WK can do it (and he can) then there's really not an excuse for anybody not to.

Think of it like a book. I could collect some of the very best chapters written by the very best authors from history, but it's unlikely that the end result will be a novel of any value. Removed from the narrative structure of their original homes they will inevitably suffer. The same is true with an album - the songs collected should do something greater than they do alone. Face it, it's why everybody gets so snobby about greatest hits collections.

That's not even to denigrate all compilation albums. They probably have a harder time gaining the kind of cohesion that a true album does, but that's not to say its not possible. Some of the Kitsune Maison albums have been excellent in the context of their aims (bringing relatively unknown acts together to make a massive party album), and The Essential Bob Dylan provides plenty of interest because of its chronological running order.

Now, I know remix albums are always going to struggle in this regard, they're trying something entirely different after all, but You Say Party haven't even tried with Remixxxx.

There is more or less no flow as the album lurches from one track to the next with little sense of why one track follows the other. What's more, it isn't even strictly XXXX remixed, it is three songs off the original remixed what end up feeling like a dozen times each. As different as the new mixes may be from the originals and from one another, do you say You Say Party fans really insist on listening to what is essentially the same song over and over again? This ridiculousness is compounded by the album closing with an instrumental (!) of the opener.

It's easy to think of the Silent Alarm remix album here, which more or less was able to stand on its own as an album, thanks in part to following the same track listing as the original, as well as having some killer remixes.

And, to be fair, there are some genuinely good tracks on Remixxxx too. In fact, it's difficult to take exception to any of them, but they should be saved for B-sides or the mixers' own collections. As it stands it's a lazy cobbling together of songs that just don't go together. Even as they are all remixes, the styles do vary, expounding the absolute lack of flow.

Taken apart, I could probably listen to the bubblegum j-pop stylings of the John Agebjorn (maybe europop would be more accurate) mix of 'Laura Palmer's Prom'. It fizzes with energy and really brings the original track to life. The end result is an almost sickly fusion of karaoke beats and twiddly synths that turn the song into a mid 90s 8-bit computer game.

Equally, the Los Campesinos version of the same song works pretty well alone, but it's so thoroughly grumpy that the two sit uneasily alongside each other like the two kids sitting outside the head's office for fighting with each other.

If you're a You Say Party fan, then there's probably enough to keep you happy here, otherwise, cherry pick the tracks you like and discard the rest, such a lazy attempt doesn't really deserve to be listened to in full.

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