Various Artists

Plastic Compilation, Vol. 5

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These Plastic Compilation remix albums have a been a great idea right from the start -- take a bunch of songs by artists from various labels and various pop music subgenres, hand them over to a variety of remix artists, and watch what happens. As often as not, what's happened has been inspirational. In particular, the Sarah McLachlan remixes always seem to stand out -- partly because her breathy, earnest voice and post-folky songs just cry out for an aggro-dance treatment, and partly because that earnest, breathy voice is just so darn pretty that its juxtaposition with techno beats is just counterintuitive enough to make listeners smile all over. She's here on the fifth volume in the series, her "Sweet Surrender" given a bracing house treatment at the hands of DJ Tiesto. Fatboy Slim is here, too, for no apparent reason (can't the man do his own remixes?), as well as some lesser lights: Jan Johnston (in another DJ Tiesto house mix) and Maurice, for example. This ends up being a nice entry in the series, though perhaps not essential; so far, the nod still goes to the brilliant Plastic Compilation, Vol. 2.

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