Various Artists

Motown Remixed, Vol. 2

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Cynicism upon glancing at the second Motown Remixed compilation doesn't necessarily require a purist mindset. Could Martha Reeves & the Vandellas' "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave," the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," or the Jackson 5's "Dancing Machine" use some freshening up -- whether it entails a jutting reggaeton beat, piles of programmed and organic percussion, or drastic treatments of the original vocals and instrumentation? No, of course not, and just about anyone familiar with the source material will wonder whether or not the remixes are necessary in any way. While it's not indicated on the packaging, the theme of this volume is Latin music, with an assortment of groups, producers, and session vets (including Los Amigos Invisibles, Fun Machine, David Elizondo, and Randy Cantor) contributing remixes that tend to make for pleasant listening, provided you block out your love for the originals. The Fun Machine house remix of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" seems inoffensive enough, but once the trivialization of most of the song's elements soaks in, it begins to sound almost as appropriate as Hennessy's Marvin Gaye ad campaign looked. A knockout compilation could be made from previously released Motown covers by Latin artists -- Sergio Mendes' "Superstition" (Stevie Wonder), Joe Bataan's "More Love" (Smokey Robinson), Mongo Santamaria's "Cloud Nine" (the Temptations), and Los Lobos' "What's Going On" (Marvin Gaye) are a few that come to mind.

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