My Brightest Diamond

Tear It Down

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Since Shara Worden released a remix EP with her previous project, Awry, it only seems fitting that My Brightest Diamond should get the remix treatment, too. Tear It Down turns over Bring Me the Workhorse's tracks to a bevy of sonic manipulators, most of whom go with a subtle, stripped-down approach that focuses on Worden's glorious voice and string arrangements, augmented by a few abstract beats. Even within this fairly restrained palette, there's quite a bit of variety, especially on Tear It Down's best tracks. Alias' serene reworking of "Golden Star" is a standout, as is Lusine's remix of "Workhorse," which sets Worden's voice afloat on intertwining keyboard melodies. Siamese Sisters turn "The Good Guy and the Bad Guy" into pretty post-rock, while the Strings of Consciousness' "Gone Away" is actually more of a collaboration than a straight remix; the group contributed crunchy beats and twangy guitars that sound like a more deconstructed version of Portishead's "Sour Times," and Worden sang a new vocal melody. A few remixes are a little too quiet for their own good, such as Alfred Brown's "Magic Rabbit" and Haruki's "We Were Sparkling"; the fact that several of these quieter tracks appear back to back on the album makes Tear It Down come dangerously close to numbing instead of hypnotic. Fortunately, Gold Chains and DJ Kenny Mitchell chip in a couple of lively, but very different, dance mixes of Bring Me the Workhorse's fiercest track, "Freak Out." Gold Chains' "Freak Out (Panique Mix)" buzzes with electro-inspired energy, while Mitchell's "Freak Out (Rewind 93 Remix)" has a glowstick-friendly retro feel. Like most remix albums, Tear It Down is a little uneven, but it's more solidly entertaining than many similar projects -- and at the very least, it offers My Brightest Diamond fans a fresh way to enjoy Worden's work.

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