Fan Mixes FTW! (Review: “Vice Re-Verses”)

When Amazon MP3 offered its most recent free music credit, I jumped on it and finally got around to purchasing Vice Re-Verses, Switchfoot’s remix album of songs from last fall’s Vice Verses. Between the drive to work on Thursday and some downtime on Friday, I finally managed to listen to it. Nevertheless, I declare that my Switchfoot passion remains strong.

Here’s my track-by-track review:

  1. “The Original” (JT Daly Remix): I love “The Original,” but I found myself annoyed by this remix. It was too high-pitched and tinny. Switchfoot’s music has grown more bass-driven and layered over time. This stripped too much of that away, so it totally lost the original sound.
  2. “Selling the News” (Photek Remix): I didn’t like the techno driving this remix. When you don’t like the bass line, it’s hard to get into a song. (Contrast this with “My Sharona,” by The Knack, which has possibly the best bass line ever.)
  3. “Blinding Light” (Adam Young of Owl City Remix): I can handle Owl City. I love Switchfoot. Trying to make Switchfoot sound like Owl City is not a good idea. The subject matter is too intense to sound right with such a lighthearted background. If I didn’t know, I might think this was Jon singing for Owl City, and that sounds like an awkward combination at best.
  4. “Darkest Horses” (JT Daly of Paper Route Remix): Now this is what I look for in a remix. One of the things I love most about Switchfoot is the lyrics, so I love remixes that leave good solid chunks of the lyrics intact. I also liked that the title was changed just enough so that you can tell it’s a remix without needing to read inside the parentheses. Second-best song of the album.
  5. “Vice Verses” (Darren King Remix): I liked Darren King’s remix of “Yet” from Hello Hurricane okay, but I think “Vice Verses” works best in its original form. It needs to be acoustic.
  6. “The War Inside” (DnJ Remix): Sorry, Drew and Jerome, but I’m not feeling it. I liked that the acoustic line reminded me of “Boys of Summer” at the very beginning, but that’s the only part I liked. Maybe I just love the chorus too much to ever really enjoy a version that doesn’t use it enough.
  7. “Afterlife” (Neon Feather Remix): The beginning was startling after the soft and smooth ending of the previous track, but I found myself jolted into awesomeness. I was half-napping while I listened to the last four tracks, but I started basically dancing while lying down when I heard this one. I couldn’t tap my toes from my position lying there, but I certainly tried. I loved that an entire verse was played intact. I have a soft spot for techno dance music. It sounded as though Daft Punk had decided to feature Jon Foreman’s vocals, and it was fantastic! I’m so glad this won the remix contest, and I can absolutely see why it won. They saved the best for last and didn’t even know it.

Remixes can be tough. It’s tricky to balance references to the original while making something that is justifiably new. This was a good step in that direction, though. I can’t wait to see what Switchfoot has in store next.

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