(The Remixes) Mary J. Blige (Geffen Records) The first time I heard this song, I was at a drag performance of Toronto's legendary Michelle Ross. I recognized Mary's voice and hoped that there were some remixes. Well, I got my wish. I found two remixes. Erek McQueen & Nick Harvey both gave the song a make-over. The one that got my attention was the Nick Harvey Private Club Mix. He gave it energy without making her sound like some sped up chipmunk with cheesy Hi-NRG production. ****
"Hard" (The Remixes) Rihanna (Def Jam / Universal Records) I have listened to Rihanna's album a few times and it still hasn't grabbed me. Of course the pay-ola machine that radio and MTV have become are playing this track and "Russian Roulette" like it's going out of style. But the version that they should be featuring is the Jody Den Broeder Club Mix. I also like the Chew Fu Club Fix and the Benja Styles Remix. All have given the track a better production. Be on the look out for her next single "Rude Boy". ****
"R.I.F. (Reading Is Fundamental)" (Vjuan Allure Remix) Jade Elektra (Unsigned) Normally I try not to review my alter-ego's tracks, but since I have been getting such positive feedback about it (along with e-mails asking for copies of it) I decided to toot my own horn. I originally got the idea when I was DJ-ing at the Monster in the West Village back in 2007.
There were a group of kids who would show up and really appreciated finally hearing some musical selections that really represented the clientele. But knowing how the owner and management felt about people of color growing in numbers, I tried to warn them that their carrying on the dancefloor was attracting the wrong attention.
One of the group who unsuccessfully had previously tried to pick me up, seemed very agitated that I said anything about it. He then proceeded to taunt me and bad mouth me for the rest of my employment there. Not realizing that my warning was not only for them but also for my job. After my contract was not renewed with the owner and I was asked to leave after 6 months, this jerk laughed at me on my last night. I decided that I would have my revenge in a bitch track.
I thought of all the things I wanted to say to him and recorded them. But finding the right producer who could bring out the Cunty attitude that was needed would prove a tough job. Then finally, I told Vjuan Allure about my idea and he said he would give it a try. And boy did he put the punctuation on my sentiments. There are other remixes in the works and talks have begun to get it signed soon, but I have been servin' the kids with this little gem. ****
"For Your Entertainment" (The Remixes) Adam Lambert (19 / RCA Records) So, when everyone had a heart attack over his performance at the American Music Awards I was like - "What did they think he was gonna do?" They were all acting like they never figured out that he was gay or had a wild streak. I actually applauded him for playing the American Idol game well. He didn't need to win that competition. All he needed was to show up and let them hear his voice. Pure talent cannot be denied. It may get looked over sometimes, but they weren't going to silence him after wowing TV audiences for months. And of course his album is very Rock heavy, but that's nothing that Bimbo Jones, DJ Escape & Johnny Vicious couldn't take care of with some club mixes. The standout for me was the DJ Escape & Johnny Vicious Tribal Mix. Hot stuff! And I heard Adam really enjoyed himself over in the East Village with my Formika at The F-word party on February 12th. Let the good times roll, Mr. Lambert! ****
"Tik Tok" (The Remixes) Kesha (RCA Records) Okay....I play commercial crap all the time. I mean, you can't work in a gay bar without having to delve into some Madonna, Britney, Janet, Rihanna, Beyonce and the new Billboard saviour to Dance Music, Lady GaGa. But I hate to hear non-singing bitches spewing juvenile lyrics over bad productions. If this girl could sing like the late Brittany Murphy, it would be a different story. I mean, that girl actually had some chops on her and it's a shame that she didn't get to record more records. She could have given Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan a run for their money. But this girl is just sad on vocals. This song was totally made for the same teen-aged girls that went up for "Party In The U.S.A." by Miley Syrus. And as far as the remixes, Dave Edwards, Tom Nevilles, Veleno and L.U.K. really couldn't turn this track into something that I could stomach. But part of being a good DJ is playing what your audience wants, not playing for yourself. Finding a true balance is the real art form.
"Window Seat" Erykah Badu (Universal / Motown Records) Erykah has been one of my favorite R&B Neo-Soul vocalist since I discovered her live album back in the late 90's. And although I don't think she will ever top that album, I love to hear her new stuff. And the video to "Honey" will probably be in my top ten favorite videos of all time for its homage to all the 70's album covers. Her latest single is a smooth groove made for an after midnight radio show. She delivers her silky sweet vocals over a contemporary track that is sure to allow you to sit back and enjoy it. ****
"Soldier Of Love" (The Remixes) Sade (Epic Records) And finally we come to the long awaited comeback of Sade. I am so glad to hear from her again. After reports that she was wanted in a couple of places for smoking and transporting pot in other countries, I began to worry that our girl was locked up or in rehab. And what a return it is. "Soldier Of Love" is a great song. And thank God she got over her thing about remixes of her material. The original lends its self to Hip Hop very easily. And with cameos by Maino, Big Krit, Buck 3000 and Mae Day this release has plenty of street creds. But the standout remixes are Casamena's Basement Edit and the Konrad Remix. Casamena gave it a great downtempo House mix. While Konrad gave it a real Club make-over. All note worthy. ****