Monday, April 21, 2008

Booming Back at You

Song: Booming Back at You
Artist: Junkie XL
Album: Booming Back at You

This is a little aggro for a Monday, but I’ve been really digging this album, and specifically the title track. “Booming Back at You” is a solid collection of Big Beat floor fillers from a true King of the remix, Junkie XL. Junkie XL is Dutch producer and remixer whom got his start in a number of bands, some multi-instrumental, and another industrial rock. His career really exploded after his remix of Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation” for a Nike commercial. The single took off, and JXL (what he refers to himself as when “junkie” is deemed offensive) found himself with a number one hit in more than twenty countries.

Since then he has made a name for himself as one of the most sought-after remixers of the day, having officially done the club remixes for a wide variety of artists including Fischerpooner, Rammstein, Sarah McLachlan, Coldplay, Scissor Sisters, and most recently, Madonna. (I really love his two Scissor Sisters remixes for “Mary” and “Land of a Thousand Words,” taking the soaring ballads to the dancefloor.)

“Booming Back at You,” the title track, is all stomping aggression and heady breakdowns. This one is built for the treadmill, when you just don’t think you can push on. I’ve been putting it on in the AM as I walk to work… it just GETS me there. The rest of the album bounces along on some admittedly dated beats, but they work. The vocals are unspectacular, but his cover of Siouxie & the Banshees’ 1985 single “Cities In Dust” hits all the right notes (errr… beats.) Actually, the vocals are so unremarkable it makes me wish he just remixed Siouxie’s version. Or got her to re-record the vocals. The third track, “You Make Me Feel So Good” is a sexy trance number that seems made for those on ecstasy.

I must note that while I have been enjoying this record, it really just reminds me of Fatboy Slim’s better work. Junkie XL knows where the beats need to hit to make that killer stomper, but there is a repetitiveness to his work that can’t really elevate it. At its backbone Fatboy Slim’s music has always had his love of soul that grounded his manic beats into something more. I think if Junkie finds this (or something else) for himself his music could go to a whole new level.



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