David Holmes

The Dogs Are Parading: The Very Best of David Holmes

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It's not surprising that a major label-issued retrospective by producer and composer David Holmes is characterized by his more famous, post-millennial bachelor pad funk and hip-hop-influenced work and largely ignores the edgier, less categorizable vanguard approach of his electronica-infused, though often unfocused, imaginary soundtracks of the late '90s. Given the track selection, it does come as a bit of a shock, however, that Holmes chose the material himself for The Dogs Are Parading. Disc one of this double set collects 15 tracks, one of which, "The Girlfriend Experience," is new and nothing to write home about at all. Disc two is comprised mainly of remixes and includes 13 cuts, three of which are unreleased. The '90s are represented by four selections on the first platter: a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's "Don't Die Just Yet," "My Mate Paul," and "Rodney Yates"; all three appeared on 1997's Let's Get Killed. His debut offering, 1995's This Film's Crap, Let's Slash the Seats, is represented only by a radio edit of "Gone." There are four cuts from the stellar Bow Down to the Exit Sign, including "69 Police," "Living Room," "Hey Lisa," and "Jackson Johnson." All but the pumped-up futuristic jazz-blues "Living Room" are of the more dreamy, atmospherically shimmering variety, and easily fit here. Other tracks are chosen from his Free Association recordings including "Sugarman" and "(I Wish I Had) A Wooden Heart," as well different treatments of the title cut from 2008's The Holy Pictures and "Theme/IMC." Disc two's remixes contain some really solid moments, such as Arab Strap's "Don't Die Just Yet," and Fridge's drum'n'bass push on "Head Rush on Lafayette." That said, Kevin Shields remix of "Living Room" is simply dreadful and should have remained unreleased. The other unissued material here, from the moody, violin-drenched treatment of "The Ballad of Sarah and Jack" by Geese to "You're On Fire (Too Fat)," and "The Lower Orders" are a mixed bag, making this entire proceeding feel far too safe, bloated in many ways, and utterly self-indulgent. Perhaps Holmes should have chosen someone else for the job of compiling a best-of. The problem is, that other than what we already know, and a surprise cut or two, this one is for completists only.

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