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The Submarines

Honeysuckle Remixes

(Nettwerk; US: 10 Mar 2009; UK: Import)

Last year’s sophomore effort from the Submarines might have spawned another reason to hate Apple’s ads – yes, you “You Me & The Bourgeoisie” – but anyone who actually listened to the album realized just how fun and fantastic Honeysuckle Weeks is. It’s just not about a repetitive piano line and floaty vocals. It’s bouncy, free-flowing pop with substance and touches of a somber attitude. So, perhaps to capitalize on all that, Nettwerk issued two remix EPs featuring AmpLive, Ra Ra Riot, and Free the Robots. And like many remix projects, it falls just short of living up to the source material and too infrequently offers anything truly original. Well, that’s not entirely the case. Three of the remixes are both imaginative and worthy of the repeat button. AmpLive, who rebuilt Radiohead’s In Rainbows with stellar results, puts his Bay-area foot in “1940” to churn out a synth-laden, boom-bap headnodder. And Morgan Page and Free the Robots do something truly special when they tackle “Brightest Hour” on their own terms. But there is little else to get overly excited about. Sure, Tonetiger’s scattered flip of “You Me & The Bourgeoisie” is admirable. Like the others, though, it just isn’t enough. It’s also particularly frustrating that a majority of the remixes end up as corny “techno” jams. Hardcore fans of the Submarines might have a reason to play this more than once, but you would be better off purchasing the aforementioned single tracks and avoiding the rest.

Rating:

Weekly newspaper reporter by day, music reviewer by night (OK, and by day, too). When he's not writing for PopMatters, Andrew spends most of his time at online magazine Prefix and hip-hop site Potholes In My Blog.


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