Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Remix Collection)
It’s easy to understand why other artists would want to get their hands on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and why Phoenix fans might be clamoring for more: It’s a frontrunner for album of the year, filled with the kind of infectious songs that have toes in several genres, but don’t fit squarely in any. Are they dance-floor negotiators or indie-rockers? Is that a guitar or a keyboard? Does any of that matter? For Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix: The Remix Collection—available as a download or a bonus disc on import versions of Wolfgang—a whole bunch of bands and remixers take a stab at Phoenix, and while some of the tracks are good, they all prove that nobody does Phoenix better than Phoenix.
The dabbling ranges from dance-inclined remixes (decent takes on “Lisztomania” by Alex Metric and “Fences” by 25 Hours A Day) to straight-up cover versions (The Soft Pack’s horrendous “Fences,” plus Chairlift’s somnambulant version). Five stabs at “Fences” get included here, none terribly necessary. When bigger personalities show up, things get more interesting: Devendra Banhart inserts himself into “Rome,” while Animal Collective gets a little futuristic with “Love Like A Sunset,” transforming its pings into melodic sonar. But these are the exceptions: The rest of Remix Collection varies from ambitious but misguided (Friendly Fires’ “Fences”) to glitchy and useless (Young Fathers’ “Girlfriend”) to simply halfway decent. The one bright side: It makes the source material seem even better.