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Madonna - Remixed and Revisited


Review: Jack Foley

MADONNA seeks to gain more mileage out of her American Life album by releasing this mixed up EP, with equally varied results.

Lead track, and the main reason for buying it, is surely the Jason Nevins' remix of Nothing Fails, which speeds things up and adds some beats to brilliant effect.

Nothing Fails was already one of the best tracks on the long-player, and while the gospel element which makes it such a stand-out has been dropped, the replacement beats and added guitars lend it a grittier, more contemporary feel, and confirm Nevins' reputation as one of the best mixers in the business at present.

It deserves recognition as a single in its own right.

The Headcleaner Rock remix of Love Profusion does exactly what it says on the label - rocks things up considerably, so that the track enters nu-metal territory.

And while the mere thought of this might be enough to put some off, it actually works very well.

As does their rock remix of American Life - although Madonna's decision to make the ill-received rap the focal point of the vocals may appear to many as an act of defiance, rather than intelligence.

Even with a heavy guitar backdrop, the rap sounds uncomfortable, and threatens, once again, to undermine a good track.

But the chance to hear the pop queen given a rock makeover is too good to miss, and both Love Profusion and American Life are worth having in any fans' collection.

The extra electronica given to Nobody Knows Me works, too, courtesy of the Mount Sims Old School makeover, and actually lends it a harder, funkier feel than the album version.

The EP only really begins to come unstuck during the live version of Like A Virgin: Hollywood Medley, featuring Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Missy Elliot, which was featured at the MTV Music Awards earlier this year.

It's good fun for fans, and particularly for anyone who saw it live, but it's far too poppy and gimmicky to really fit into this remix CD.

Into The Hollywood Groove fares little better, despite the best efforts of Missy Elliott to give it some streetwise credibility - although, it does present quite a decent retro trip for early Madge fans, and the chance to possess Missy Elliott's GAP rap.

The final track, Your Honesty, an unreleased offering from the Bedtime Stories sessions, is one of those B-side efforts which is merely average - but listenable all the same.

True to form, Madonna has flirted with new genres in a bid to keep herself at the cutting edge of the mainstream, and just about gets away with it.

And while there is probably enough in her back catalogue to make a whole album of remixes and revisits a viable possibility, this will certainly do for now.

For that Nevins makeover alone, this is worth getting hold of...

Track listing:
1. Nothing Fails (Nevins mix)
2. Love Profusion (Headcleaner Rock mix)
3. Nobody Knows Me (Mount Sims Old School mix)
4. American Life (Headcleaner Rock mix)
5. Like A Virgin: Hollywood Medley (featuring Christina Aguilera/Britney Spears/Missy Elliot)
6. Into The Hollywood Groove (The Passengerz mix, featuring Missy Elliot)
7. Your Honesty (previously unreleased)

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