Like the other Verve Remixed compilations, as well as similar projects such as Motown Remixed and Mayfield: Remixed, Verve Remixed: The First Ladies is bound to provoke a negative reaction -- or rejection on principle -- from purists. As with those earlier releases, this is more about the remixers than it is the original artists. There's so little of the latter that the tracks are more like new productions that merely sample them. Even if it's approached as an everyday compilation from this motley assortment of EDM, dubstep, house, left-field hip-hop, and indie electronic producers, there's little reason to give it much attention. Earlier Remixed releases featured at least a handful of artists, such as Masters at Work and DJ Spinna, who are part of the lineage being honored, but here, there's little connection to the past. Far too many of the vocals are misplaced to a comical (or infuriating) extent, stripped of context and emotion, hastily slapped over rote (if functional) dancefloor rhythms. It gets no worse than Zeds Dead's version of Nina Simone's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and Flume's "Jackin' House Mix" of Marlena Shaw's "Woman of the Ghetto," neither of which seems to have been treated with any care or thought. Apart from the few atmospheric and graceful inclusions -- namely Ella Fitzgerald's "Blue Skies [Maya Jane Coles Remix]" and Stan Getz and João Gilberto's "Corcovado [TOKiMONSTA Remix]" -- nothing is worth hearing more than once.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman