Lady Gaga’s The Remix is an obvious cash-in, but it isn’t exactly a redundancy. After all, even though she often seems like the invention of a media in desperate need of pop stars like they used to make when MTV still played music videos, Lady Gaga’s roots (or at least her lyrics) are based in club culture, where the remix is common currency. But while it isn’t necessary for a remix to better the original in order to be worthwhile, nothing on The Remix measures up to the versions that, by this point, everybody knows by heart.
Most of the time, The Remix settles for simply putting Gaga’s slim catalog to faster and more blaring use. Richard “Humpty” Vission sets the tone with a by-the-numbers rework of “Just Dance” that alternates between trance-like whoosh and here-come-the-lasers synth blare, a formula that Starsmith repeats for “Bad Romance,” while LLG VS GLG’s reworking of “Poker Face” sounds like it’s angling for a spot on the next Jersey Shore soundtrack. Gaga is only occasionally reimagined with any degree of wit or playfulness. The clear winner in that department is frequent Madonna collaborator Stuart Price, who adds some twinkling vocal processing to “Paparazzi.” It’s nothing new, but along with the Latin-tinged piano and percussion, Price manages to add a touch of surprise to a chorus that in two short years has grown dog-eared with familiarity.