Mirah Joyride: Remixes

[K; 2006]

Styles: singer-songwriter, indie-rock
Others: Phil Elverum, Emily Kingan, Calvin Johnson

Remix albums (please stop me if you've heard this one before) are slippery endeavors, even when the best possible circumstances surround them. In other words, quality original material and sympathetic remixers don't always produce compelling results. So when an attempt even comes close to working well, it's a minor cause for rejoice. In this spirit, I offer a hearty congratulations to Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn on putting together Joyride: Remixes, as it offers a good number of thoughtful remixes that highlight the beauty of her greatest attribute ”” an unfathomably lovely voice.

With such a great, raw recording element as a starting point, the remixes that work best are the ones that understate their own presence and instead shine the spotlight on the frequently disarming vocal melodies that are the defining trait of Mirah's sound. This helps maintain a consistency that more adventurous remix albums lack, while still avoiding a sense of redundancy that could've been equally detrimental. And there are plenty of bright spots. Tops among them come from YACHT. His stabs at "Jerusalem" and "Make It Hot" see some of the most overt manipulation of the original vocals without losing hold of their sublimity. Guy Sigsworth's "La Familia" plays it safer but with very pleasing results, an understated sophistication that suits Mirah perfectly.

But for these moments of excellence, there are some less compelling ones intermingled. Though it never gets bad at any point, there are stretches that seem too long between truly captivating moments. It likely speaks to Mirah's inclusive, generous nature that a little more editing wasn't done to bring this into a tight single disc compilation. But maybe this project is more interested in the current cultural moment than it is some past sense of album cohesiveness. In this era of behind-the-scenes documentaries and director's commentary, I think Mirah (and K) are probably right on erring toward too much, and that consumers now demand full expanded deluxe editions of every album that comes their way. Maybe I'll come around eventually, but until then, I'll just be using the skip button more frequently.

Disc 1:
1. The Light (the Lyte Myx) remixed by Hooliganship
2. La Familia remixed by Guy Sigsworth
3. Monument remixed by Anna Oxygen
4. Nobody Has to Stay (Nervous & Blandow C. Remix) remixed by Shawn Parke
5. Don't Die in Me (Nighttime in the Delta Mix) remixed by Bryce Panic
6. Apples in the Trees (You Don't Have to Rave Mix) remixed by Pash
7. Sweepstakes Prize remixed by Ben Adorable
8. Make It Hot remixed by Tender Forever
9. Advisory Committee (Advised by Shok Mix) remixed by Shok
10. Dogs of Ba remixed by Krts
11. Jerusalem (Chopped and Screwed) remixed by YACHT
Disc 2:

1. The Fruits of Your Garden remixed by Khaela Maricich
2. Don't Die In Me remixed by Mt. Eerie
3. Mt. St. Helens (Nervous Redux) remixed by Shawn Parke
4. Make It Hot (All Over Remix) remixed by YACHT
5. Pollen (pee pollen mix) remixed by Lucky Dragons
6. Cold Cold Water remixed by Electrosexual & Abberline
7. Advisory Committee (earl st. ives mix) remixed by Emily Kingan
8. La Familia (Handsome remix) remixed by Chris Baker
9. We're Both So Sorry (screamclub remix featuring Gina Young) remixed by screamclub
10. The Light remixed by Dj Beyonda
11. Apples in the Trees (Balvanera House Party Mix) Bryce Panic