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  NIGHTSPOTS

BPM... dancebeat
by Gregg Shapiro
2003-12-17

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It's old news that some of the best dance remixes start out as ballads. Like Deborah Cox and Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey has reaped the benefits of the transformational touch of dance DJs and club remixers who have a way with remaking and remodeling ballads so that they become dance club anthems. The Remixes ( Columbia ) , the nearly overwhelming double disc twenty-two track Carey compilation might be too much of a good thing. Disc one is disco diva paradise in which Mariah rules as queen of the dance floor on nine songs. Whether it is a dance remix of one of her belter ballads ( the Morales 'My' Club Mix of 'My All,' Hex Hector's beat-soaked Club Mix Edit of 'Through The Rain,' or the C & C Club Version of 'Anytime You Need A Friend' ) or cranked to the roof remixes of rhythmic cuts such as 'Fantasy' or the early career classic 'Emotions,' the presence of each improves on the original. They have something new to say; even with the songs that began as dance tracks. The cluttered and clumsy 'remixes' of disc two simply pale in comparison. The dance remixers respect the fact that it is about the song and not about them and don't feel the need to throw in running commentary by O.D.B., Da Brat, or Busta Rhymes. Only the 'Loverboy' remix, and album tracks such as 'Sweetheart' and 'Miss You' come closest to capturing the energy and the spirit of disc one. As filtered and French as anything you might expect from the M.I.A. Daft Punk, the loping and loopy songs So I Begin ( Radikal ) by Galleon cry out for club play and dancing with abandon. Catchy as a cold, if a bit redundant, opening tracks 'So I Begin,' 'Shining Light,' and 'One Sign,' blend like the finest ingredients in the hands of the most capable DJ and promote a healthy dose of dancing. Galleon ( a duo fronted by the model handsome Gilles Luka ) also dabbles in new wave-touched electroclash on 'The Best World,' the rock growl and fierce organ playing of the appropriately titled 'Da Rock,' the slick Europop slide of 'The Way,' the hip-shaking Eurodisco of 'My Name,' vintage Giorgio Moroder keyboards on 'Ghost Ship,' and even a nod to commercialism on 'Freedom To Move ( Levi's Theme ) ,' which is said to be from an expensive European Levi's advertisement. In addition to including the bumping song 'I Believe,' the disc also features the video to the track, for a complete audio/visual experience.

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