The Good: The two unmolested tracks are good
The Bad: The two remixes are just horrible
The Basics: Not even worth it for the die hard Sophie fan. A Huge disappointment!
If you start with a good song like "Right Beside You," one might hope that any tweaking done to it improves the song. That might be tough in this case; "Right Beside You" is a good song. I, personally, could stand to hear an acoustic version of it. I'd probably like that because it would be different and in a positive direction. In fact, having heard Sophie B. Hawkins perform the song live at concerts, I know that hearing the song live does have a different feel to it and I find myself wishing that I had a recording of one of those performances.
Unfortunately, the four-track maxi single "Right Beside You" graces the listener with nothing remotely so enjoyable. It's a shame, too, because Sophie B. Hawkins has talent, both lyrically and vocally. Neglecting the album tracks "Right Beside You" and "The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty" which are both fine and both available in identical form on Whaler we're left with two remixes of "Right Beside You."
The "Classic Club Mix" is a drum-heavy, synthed up version of the single that cuts out the whole section of the original song that is a quasi-rap (". . . we'll arrive on time just a little bit late . . ."). Interestingly enough, the "extended brain remix" opens with a few lazy chords - like the end of the original "Right Beside You" and then breaks into almost the identical sound. While this dance-beat version restores the cut middle, it in turn sacrifices the whole beginning. Basically, it's cut and paste lyrics for those who made the remixes and they are so largely unlistenable that it's a shame they were ever released.
The key to making a good remix is to add something to the song, to tweak it in such a way as to give it a whole added dimension or interpretation. These remixes aren't re-interpretations, they are very poor butcheries that severely detract from the appreciation of what is otherwise a good song.
The only redeeming features are the single's cover art and the fact that the original "Right Beside You" was included so you knew that it wasn't always a bad song!
For other works by strong female vocalists, please check out my reviews of:
The Bird And The Bee - Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall & John Oates
Dar Williams - The Honesty Room
Sarah McLachlan - Laws Of Illusion
For other music reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2010, 2001 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.