When it comes to the enigmatic Blue Man Group, the music they create often takes a backseat to the international spectacle they put on (and let us not forget their hilarious appearances on the TV show Arrested Development). Their first album, 1999’s Audio, was an instrumental affair where their homemade percussion instruments dominated the bill, and—ultimately—it sounded like an album made of homemade percussion instruments all lassoed up into pop song structures. With 2003’s The Complex, the group began bringing in vocalists to help add more character to their efforts, and (surprisingly) it worked. Yet the group’s latest offering, the Latin-flavored “Canta Conmigo”, feels bland and short-sighted. This is largely due to the painfully generic club vibe that dominates the song, coming off like a poor Basement Jaxx B-side. Having eight (!) additional remixes doesn’t help matters much either: Funky Junction’s Spanish take on the number feels tired and drawn-out, as does Nickodemus’ Afrohouse Mix. Yet when Onion Swirv throws in a barrage of keyboards and Nickodemus thunders back with a far-better Dub Funk take, just the right amount of spice is added to make things feel interesting. In the long run, however, we are ultimately treated to a series of remixes of a song that wasn’t even that great to begin with. Better luck next time, guys.
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// Notes from the Road
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