Tomorrow's Re-Taken

Ian McGlynn

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Tomorrow's Re-Taken Review

by William Ruhlmann

Tomorrow's Taken, Ian McGlynn's first studio album in 2004 (following his live debut recording, 2002's Lemon) was an ambitious musical effort that recalled the early era of progressive rock as purveyed by the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and Chicago, all in the service of introspective songs sung in his vulnerable tenor. Three years later, he takes the unusual step of presenting a remix album of that material, unusual because remix collections usually follow well-known popular discs, not self-released independent productions only heard by a small audience, and unusual because, this long after the initial release, one might have expected a whole new album instead. Still, Tomorrow's Re-Taken is more or less what might have been expected of a remix album of Tomorrow's Taken, if one had expected a remix album at all. Typically, the word "remix" is a misnomer, since the remixers haven't simply taken the initial tracks and remixed them by any means. Rather, they have taken the original versions as a starting point and brought in their own musical elements, especially including percussion tracks, while editing, manipulating, and often nearly eliminating the original song along the way. Occasionally, there is a gloss on McGlynn's original intentions, such as the guitar part on the "I've Been Going Remix" of "Morning Prayer," which recalls "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," emphasizing the Beatles' influence, even if there is also a trip-hop percussion track as well and the track is actually an instrumental. McGlynn's vocals come and go throughout, sometimes more prominent in the remixes than in the originals, sometimes echoing ghosts of what came before. One criticism of Tomorrow's Taken, as opposed to the relatively unadorned Lemon, was that McGlynn's songs took a back seat to his elaborate arrangements. Of course, Tomorrow's Re-Taken only extends that tendency, to the point that the artist and his compositions are only nominal elements in the heavily treated recordings.

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