Falling Up has always had their own way of looking at music, and with their newest album, Exit Lights, a remix album seems to be just the thing that the boys would be cooking up. Most remix albums leave you wanting more of the original recording than the new remix, so is this new release just like the rest, or is it worth your hard-earned money?
First off, Falling Up starts the album with the only new track on the disc, "Islander." The new song incorporates a distinct rock flavor that is reminiscent of their debut album, but also includes the mellowness of their newer release, Dawn Escapes. The piano driven track has the signature Falling Up sound, and is a great addition to the album. The rest of the record is full of hits that have been remixed by various producers, such as Solomon Olds (Family Force 5), tobyMac, Tedd T., and Trevor McNevan (TFK, FM Static). One thing that disappointed me with this album, was that there were three tracks on it which looked to be brand new songs, yet when I listened to them, all they revealed to be were one new track and two instrumental tracks. Don't get me wrong, the band shows their creativity on the instrumental tracks, but it might have been good to include a couple new full songs as an appetizer for fans who can't wait til next year for more music.
Some of the songs were given a harder rock edge ("Exit Calyspan"), while others got a more stripped down feel, like the haunting keyboards and beats in "Broken Heart." Still others get an almost techno track to work with, such as "Bittersweet," where they really showcase how much time and effort went into making the music sound the way it does. Possibly the best track on the album is the remix for Falling Up's latest single, "Moonlit." The track gets a funky rock beat to go with it, and includes guest vocalist Solomon Olds (Family Force 5). Olds really brings the FF5 feel wherever he goes, and in whatever he produces. Another highlight is the "Searchlights" remix, which is a flooded mix of rock and synth to make for a great track.
One of my only complaints comes on a track I had higher expectations for. "Fearless" (from Dawn Escapes) was remixed by Trevor McNevan. The major problem with the song is that none of the original song is included in the remix, and the rock edge is replaced with a continuous piano that is only drowned out in the final minute of the song. This is the only track that includes completely new lyrics, except for when it uses part of "Exit Calyspan." The track includes a new artist, Troma, and also includes a guest segment from McNevan. Trevor really shows his talent as an artist in this segement, including singing and rapping, but its seems to end prematurely just as he's getting into the rap. It seems to me the track could have been done a lot better, and feels as if it could have been just thrown together at the last second.
Overall, this is a decent remix album for the guys of Falling Up, and it shows they have a heart for the instrumental element of music. Exit Lights is a must for diehard fans, but a possible skip for new fans of the band.- Review date: 9/14/06, written by Justin Mabee
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