Motown Remixed Volume 2 proves that Motown + Reggaeton = disaster. On paper, substituting the funk of the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” or “I Can’t Get Next to You” by The Temptations with Latin-tinged arrangements might have looked like a novel (and lucrative) idea, given the considerable market share of Latin music and hybrid genres like reggaeton. Yet, even with the heft of renowned DJ’s like Andres Levin (Yerba Buena), Los Amigos Invisibles, and Cliff Cristofaro (Si*Se), the results fall embarrassingly flat. The original work of producers Holland Dozier Holland, Ashford & Simpson, and Norman Whitfield is disrespected and tarnished by everything from shamelessly synthetic horns to percussion that’s about as soulful as popcorn. The nadir is the pseudo-accordion “melody” added to “The Boss” by Diana Ross, remixed to cringe-inducing effect by Chosen Few. Or maybe it’s the Club-Med treatment accorded “(Love Is) Like a Heatwave” by Martha & the Vandellas. Or maybe it’s the super-charged house beat that saps the soul from Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”. Or maybe…you get the idea. This release unequivocally illustrates how the concept of remixing soul classics has hit a new low.
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