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Deconstructed Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

It's easy to say that Bush released the electronica remix album Deconstructed in late 1997 because they wanted to diversify, since their trademark grunge-by-numbers was losing steam. It's also probably accurate. Bush have never shown an inclination toward dance or electronic music -- if anything, they were the most traditionalist and conservative band in grunge, keeping their music hard, simple, and loud, lacking even Stone Temple Pilots' psychedelic flair. They also lambasted any guitar band that wanted to stretch beyond what a traditional guitar-bass-drums lineup could do, so it's easy for the jaded observer to be cynical about Bush's leap into the world of drum'n'bass and trip-hop. And there certainly are an abundance of awkward moments on Deconstructed, but the surprising thing is, there's actually a handful of tracks that work. Of course, that's due to the remixers -- Tricky and Goldie turn their contributions into dark, menacing, unpredictable exercises in paranoia that Bush's original versions never suggested. Ironically, that's exactly the reason why many Bush fans will hate not only those particular tracks, but Deconstructed in general -- it's not the Bush they know and love. Furthermore, dance/electronica fans will find too much of this album unimaginative, so the band winds up satisfying neither audience. Only the dedicated will need to travel this road and they probably won't like where it leads.

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