Wed. September 16, 2009 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez
As you are all probably aware, Whitney Houston is in the midst of a comeback with her new album new album I Look To You . So far there have been two singles, both of which are quite strong in my opinion and that have been remixed impressively so. The first single "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" gives me goose bumps as it is obviously so personal for Whitney but also has a universal message that will find resonance with many. Of the dance remixes Peter Rauhofer's effort perfectly in synch with where Whitney is at the moment with her voice and career. He avoids an over-produced, over-the-top trip down dance music memory lane and delivers a groove-infused electroish treatment that expertly compliments Houston's vocal performance. As for the Daddy Groove mix, it gets an even bigger "Wow!" from me with its dubbish loops, simmering proggy percussion and dramatic builds. A bit more ethereal and bog roomish than Rauhofer's, they too have stuck with the here and now on their version, creating a monstrous remix that should succeed "When Love Takes Over" as the next global dance floor anthem. I can't really pick a favorite, but prefer to listen to Rauhofer's while the Daddy Groove mix is what I want to dance to,
Other Playlist Goodies
Shakira is back with a new single called "She Wolf" and while I'm not a big fan of the video, the track is quite appealing with a catchy hook and infectious energy. On the remix front, the Calvin Harris treatment keeps closest to the original in style and pace while the Moto Blanco Vocal Mix ups the beats per minute and is perfect for the early evening Halsted Street dance floors. … I wrote about the new Maxwell album BLACKsummers'night a few weeks ago and briefly mentioned the first single, "Pretty Wings." Well, I should have given more words of praise to this track as it is just a beautiful piece of music. No dance remixes or anything for "Pretty Wings," just a pretty song that deserves heavy rotation status on everyone's playlist.
To be honest, I'm rather astounded that one of the most anticipated albums of the late summer was actually from a dance artist: David Guetta. A long-time force within the global dance music scene, Guetta made a huge impact on the broader pop music category this past summer with "When Love Takes Over," his collaboration with Kelly Rowland. Dubbed by some as dance's Timbaland, Guetta's brand new artist album, One Love , is a 12-track album that includes "When Love Takes Over" as well as songs featuring Akon, Kid Cudi, Will.i.am, and Estelle. In addition there is his FIMF Remix Edit of "I Gotta A Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas. I'm usually leery of artist albums by dance producers, but One Love has some very interesting moments and the track "Choose" featuring Ne-Yo and Rowland has electro and acidic touches that should have favorable resonance to both old-school and nu-school Chicago house heads.
He's No Clunker
A new release on my radar is Under The Covers by Colton Ford and to be perfectly honest, I'm a bit shocked at how good it is. Ford is a former porn star who has had some success in recent years with dance hits such as the remake of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours.)" I always suspected that his success was more a result from marketing, his good looks, and the stardom and popularity from his former career. Well, I was wrong. Ford does indeed have a nice voice and shows real artistry on this new album that is a collection of covers of previous hits, including "Losing My Religion," "Music Sound Better With You," and "No One." Helping craft the album and taking it to an impressive level with remix and production work were house and dance music heavyweights Quentin Harris, Craig C., Lost Daze, and Matthias "Matty" Heilbronn. I'll never underestimate Ford again, and after listening to this album you too will gain new appreciation for him.
Singles Life of the Divas
"Sweet Dreams" is the next single from Beyoncé that you've probably been hearing lots of lately. Not as catchy as "Single Ladies" – really, what song is? – it's a decent affair with highlight versions being the housey, well-produced Medicin Mix and the DJ Escape and Tony Coluccio Remix, which brings welcomed instrumentation to a big room treatment. … Mariah Carey may have found the second best remixer of her work (David Morales is undisputably the best). It's Craig C., who hit a home run with "Touch My Body" and has now scored another success with "I'm Not That Chick." … I'm really liking the Paul Oakenfold mixes of Madonna's new "Celebration" and the edgier Benny Benassi remix ain't bad either.