Okay, to start off I have to tell you that I had kind of forgiven
Snoop Dogg for his past trespasses when he made the Starsky
And Hutch remake somewhat bearable
but after hearing him
butcher "I Walk The Line" on the new Johnny Cash Remixed
record, all I want to do is kick him square in the balls. Sorry if
that offends you. He's just so darn bad. I'll give him some props
for helping to produce this otherwise fairly decent record, but honestly
leave yourself out if you're that bad.
That out of the way, it is nice to say that otherwise the Johnny
Cash Remixed record is by and large a nice tribute to the music
of the legendary man in black. There are tracks more in the vein of
mash-ups, like the version of "Big River", or all out techno-house
assaults with sampled vocals, as on the gorgeous "Get Rhythm."
On this great Johnny song you'll find yourself unable to turn
the radio off, or take your foot off the gas pedal, as you lie in
the throes of the heavily groovy beats and Norman Cook-esque
production. "Doin' My Time" is re-worked in a kind of Crystal
Method style, with edgy distorted vocals singing the song while
the original Johnny Cash vocal lines play as background singers. Very
clever. In this same vein is the Alabama 3 version of "Leave
That Junk Alone," where the band writes its own song and integrates
the vocals of Johnny as a sort of common-sense preacher or conscience.
(As a side note, be sure to check out Alabama 3's excellent song "Hello,
I'm Johnny Cash," also available on their latest greatest hits
The album hits some other highlights, including a cool off-beat breakdown
of "Folsom Prison Blues" featuring Luther Perkins'
great guitar work and a brilliant heavy-grooved version of "Rock
Island Line." Probably the most notable track for me is the cool
broken-beat remix of "Straight A's In Love" that makes use
of one of the least heard Cash songs, but creates a beautiful and
startlingly cool electronic palette to really make the track shine.
One of Cash's darkest songs, "Belshazzar," gets a down-beat
and edgy re-working that makes it really stand out. The record ends
with a trancy and airy version of "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle
Blow" that recalls the glory of Johnny's appearance on the U2
Older fans of Cash's work may not find much to like here in the untraditional
and somewhat - let's face it - weird tracks presented on Johnny
Cash Remixed. But for the younger crowd, there is a ton of excellent
music here for the picking, perhaps some young rounder will finally
be introduced to the man in black's music and discover a whole new
perhaps we'll finally get the chance to hear some
Cash in dance clubs
or maybe it's enough to know that John himself
probably would have appreciated this tribute more than anyone
except the Snoop Dogg track. That's just garbage.
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