Monday, August 8, 2011

The Cure-Mixed Up

Mixed Up is a remix album from the Cure that has the band exploring the acid-house dance music that was going on in the British music scene. Featuring remixes by the likes of Paul Oakenfold, William Orbit, Francois Kevorkian, Mark Sanders, Bryan New, Mark Sanders, Chris Parry, and the Cure’s leader Robert Smith. It’s a collection of material where many of the songs by the Cure from Seventeen Seconds to Disintegration are given new, dance-driven remixes along with a new song by band called Never Enough. The result is a fascinating but often dull remix collection from the Cure.

Opening the collection is an extended mix of Lullaby that features clanging dance beats and warbling synthesizer as it plays over the song’s original mid-tempo presentation. Many of the instrumentation is extended as Robert Smith adds some whispered vocals to the song. The remix of Close to Me dubbed (Closer Mix) by Paul Oakenfold is presented in a slower but soothing presentation with swooning keyboards and throbbing beats. Featuring extended instrumental breaks in the beats, keyboards, and a wailing brass section, it is one of the highlights of the album. The extended mix of Fascination Street features various instruments mixed into different sections of the song with additional, bopping beats and blaring keyboard sounds in another standout cut of the record.

The (Everything Mix) for The Walk is filled with fast-paced pulsating beats and flourishing electronic sequencers along more driving guitars in the mix. Featuring a more direct approach to electronic music with its arrangements, it’s a good track though lacks a bit of imagination as a remix. The extended mix of Lovesong has many of the song’s instrumental passages mixed into different places with extended pieces that includes plucking strings in parts of the song. While the approach is interesting, it’s a mix that doesn’t do a lot to make it differentiate itself from the original song. A remix of A Forest called the (Tree Mix) features more swooning keyboard textures and thriving rhythms to make the track faster while keeping its original in tact. It’s another mix that goes on for too long despite some good ideas in the remix.

The extended mix of Pictures of You is a track with a slower, clap-beat track to accompany many of the original instrumentation in the song is among one of the album’s lowlights due to the lack of imagination and effort into the remix. The extended mix of Hot Hot Hot!!! features a different array of noises thunderstorm crashes, throbbing percussions, and scratches that is in tune with acid-dance music of the time. It is a compelling mix with instruments taken out to add some flair for the song. A bonus track in the cassette and vinyl version of the album is an extended mix of Why Can’t I Be You? that features a lot of tingling guitar flourishes and Smiths’ vocals appear all over the place along with more pulsating beats to maintain its upbeat tone.

The (Flicker Mix) of The Caterpillar is filled with more throbbing yet soft-clanging beats along with more acoustic guitar flourishes for the song. It’s an interesting mix though it lacks punch in comparison to the more vibrant mixes on the album. The (Shiver Mix) of InBetween Days has a more pulsating rhythm with its sputtering beats and warbling synthesizer flourishes. It’s another mix that delves into different styles with some clanging beats as it’s a mix that is a bit all over the place which makes it overwhelming. The closing track is the (Big Mix) for the new song Never Enough that features swanky yet driving guitars, pummeling beats, and heavy bass lines. The additional instrumentation in the mix gives the song a more dance-driven feel as it a fitting closing track for the album.

Released on November 20, 1990, the album drew negative reviews while the album was also a commercial dud. Vocalist/guitarist Robert Smith stated that he intended the album as a way to give fans something different from the melancholia of Disintegration. The record was considered as a stop-gap release with some speculating that the band was breaking up at the time.

Mixed Up is a decent remix album from the Cure that hardcore fans will enjoy for its different mixes as well as the band’s take with the acid-house dance music of the early 1990s. Casual fans will find the record to be dull as it doesn’t really offer anything for them as it’s dull in some parts of the album. In the end, Mixed Up is an OK record from the Cure that is really targeted towards its hardcore fans.

© thevoid99 2011

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