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Long-View - Subversions


Review: Jack Foley

LONG-VIEW had something of a quiet year in 2004, given the hype that had started to build around them following the release of 2003's Mercury.

The good news, however, is that they appear to be back with a vengeance at the start of 2005, with a double-A side single, Coming Down and When You Sleep, and a remix album, in the form of Subversions.

It's tribute to Rob McVey's strengths as both a songwriter and singer that a remix album can generate as many big names as this one, with Jack Knife Lee, Mogwai and Elbow all lending their considerable talents to this outstanding effort.

Typically, it's as intelligent as we have come to expect from Long-View, and not merely an attempt to prolong the shelf-life of Mercury.

The tracks featured include Further, I Would, Will You Wait Here and Can't Explain - all of which left a lasting impression in original form, and which are given a memorable makeover on Subversions.

The shimmering beauty of Can't Explain, with its heartfelt lyrics and pensive, brooding style, is leant an almost dream-like quality by Ulrich Schnauss' epic remix, while the more lively Will You Wait Here is given a similarly stylish treatment by the same remixer, bringing out the expansive nature of Doug Morch's wailing guitars, while making McVey's vocals seem all the more haunting and aching.

Elbow stamp their intellectual class all over Further, without detracting from the Long-View sound, while Jack Knife Lee lend the same track a more livelier vibe to get the album rolling.

Only really the completely offbeat I Would (by Andy Votel) threatens to strike the wrong note, coming across as a little too disjointed for comfort, but it does grow with each listen, and offers a quirky time-out from some of the stronger material.

The instrumentals merely serve to strip the remixed tracks of McVey's vocals, thereby providing a real showcase for the rest of the band's talents, but occasionally reducing certain tracks to mere dancefloor fillers.

Expect the likes of John Kennedy to pick up such material for his Remix nights, however, given that these still knock the socks off most remix fare.

Subversions is, as you might expect, an excellent reminder of why Long-View are so highly-rated and could well serve as an appropriate springboard for any new material coming our way for the rest of 2005.

Track listing:
1. Further – Jack Knife Lee
2. Can’t Explain – Ulrich Schnauss
3. In A Dream – Mogwai
4. Further – Elbow
5. Will You Wait Here - Ulrich Schnauss
6. I Would – Andy Votel
7. Further - Jack Knife Lee instrumental
8. Can’t Explain – Ulrich Schnauss instrumental
9. Will You Wait Here - Ulrich Schnauss instrumental

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