Remix albums seem to be becoming a popular trend in Christian music as of recently. With full-length remix projects from Newsboys to Rachael Lampa, it's no surprise to see this year's first project Mixdown hittin' the streets. Produced by established producer Mooki, Mixdown offers new funky takes on old and new favorites.
The record opens with Tait's "Alibi," originally a rock track, now turned into a pop tune driven by fast dance beats and claps similar to that of recent dc Talk remixes. The mix doesn't really fit considering the original instrumentation of the song, but it's far from being a bad mix. A remix of the 10 year old favorite, "Big House" from Audio Adrenaline seems like an odd choice given its age, but revived by synths, distortion, and a thumping bass-soaked beat makes this a highlight on the project. Stacie Orrico's new rendition of "Ride" works especially well as a remix while The Benjamin Gate's "The Calling" is okay but tends to feel a little more clumsy than powerful. Rebecca St. James' "Lean On" almost has an 80's dance mix intro while it also works very well as a funk-tinged pounding remix.
Switchfoot seems an interesting addition to the mix as their normally straight-up rock n' roll of 1999's "New Way to Be Human" has been giving the all-around electronic treatment. This track gets the full-blown redundant dance track take which actually works surprisingly well and accomplishes what it was intended to do for the most part. Out of Eden and Grits receive worthy treatments of their tunes while tobyMac's "Somebody's Watching Me" doesn't seem to change all that much. Brent Jones' "Get Up" takes on the mainstream hip-hop radio market while Jennifer Knapp's "Undo Me" feels a little awkward getting the electronic makeover. Smokey Norful's "All About You" is a fitting track while the project comes to a close with a party-rousing rendition of the dc Talk classic, "Socially Acceptable." While it's not nearly as memorable as the original, it's a strong mix and fun track overall.
Mixdown is one of the better projects to feature remixes to come out of the ForeFront ranch (does anyone remember 1999's embarrassing Power Jams?) but it doesn't always measure up to its greatest potential. If another Mixdown is in the works, I'd like to see some more mix-friendly songs given jaw-dropping renditions. While Mooki has made a name for himself as a producer and does good work as one, a project like this may see stronger results from someone like DJ Andy Hunter or the underrated emcee Playdough. In the meantime, we have Mixdown.- Review date: 1/19/03, written by J.D.
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