Release Date: August 14th 2012
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
Remix albums have been a bit of a mixed bag for me. An artist can completely reinvent songs, and an album can be enhanced or the sentimental value completely destroyed, depending on the mixes, and the tempo of the ‘new and improved’ tracks. This is why over the years I have been a bit indifferent to remix albums, with only Newsboys Remixed (2002), Avalon’s O2 Remixed (2002), Zoegirl’s Mix Of Life (2002), and Newsboys’ Go Remixed (2007) standing out from 2001-2011. This year however, remix albums are quite good with Switchfoot, David Thulin, TobyMac, The Letter Black, Peter Furler, Group 1 Crew and Abandon all throwing their hat in the ring, and all of them quite good efforts too! Now, on August 14th, Mandisa offered up a short but sweet 5 song EP, titled Remixed: Get Movin’ featuring her greatest hits (upbeat, of course!), from each of her 3 studio albums, including the current single “Good Morning”. What has resulted is a groovy, danceable, unique and fun playlist that doesn’t obstruct the musical integrity and lyrical genius of the original tracks, yet also breathes new life into these top songs! Another reason to listen to Mandisa’s powerful and beautiful vocals before her new album next year? Yes please!
4 out of the 5 tracks are just on 3 minutes or under, and while these tracks are shortened, each brings with it a new meaning. In “Stronger”, Mandisa’s voice is quickened and over-laid on a backdrop of Super Nintendo and Gameboy sounds; and is a wonderful remix that lifts me off my feet and dance! With many electronic effects inclusive of distortion in the vocals; the “Movin’ Remix” of this track is very ingenious, and the uplifting message of troubles in this world making us stronger is still intact. “Only The World”, Mandisa’s first single from the 2007’s True Beauty; is given the quick treatment as well, and with pounding drum beats, hand claps and the sound of a cheering crowd in the bridge, and added backing vocals (from Mandisa?) in this improved version; “Switch Mix” is a step up from the near flawless original. The message of life on Earth being temporary and heaven being our permanent home is also all the more powerful. “Shackles”, written by gospel duo Mary Mary, is an odd choice for a remix, and feels a tad out of place in the midst of original material, considering there were plenty of other upbeat tracks to choose from, inclusive of “Dance, Dance, Dance”, “What If We Were Real”, “Temporary Fills” and “Free”. Nevertheless, “Shackles” is a fun track to bring out on a dance party; with the vertical worship themed track being all the more so as shown in the added bridge where Mandisa sings out ‘…I’m gonna praise You…’ a few times. It may not fit on this album as well as the other 4, however after a few listens, this version has grown considerably on me. “My Deliverer” has been given a Latin/Caribbean/regae/R&B twist, and this now piano heavy track has enhanced what is a favourite single on Mandisa’s 2009 album, Freedom. Usually, a great remix should make one not think about whether it is a remix or not, and just praise God for who He is, and “My Deliverer” does that to perfection! I can certainly cry out ‘…my Deliverer, You rescued me, from all that held me captive…’
Current single “Good Morning”, which features TobyMac, is given the biggest makeover, with layers of synth and reverb on the vocals present on this track, and distortion on the music. “Capital Kings Remix” is a slow paced dance track, and this one reminds me of the longer remix tracks in Newsboys’ 2002 album, with the makeup of the verses and the chorus turned on its head and given a redefinition. Mandisa, when deciding on how the remixes would be chosen for this album, made a bold move on this opener, and the ‘no fear’ vibe is very commendable. A great EP all round!
As a remix EP, this is a great effort. The only problem I can pick out on Remixed: Get Movin’ is that it is too short! Why not a full remix album, and why no slower ballads like “He Is With You”, “The Truth About Me”, “Not Guilty”, “Broken Hallalujah” or “Just Cry”? Mandisa has a stellar and gorgeous voice, and if anyone deserves a remix album full of songs that highlight her vocal ability, it is her. But, these 5 tracks are a taster, and hopefully if a full remix album is in the future, the Season 5 American Idol finalist will record that one like how she has with this 16 minute dance experience. Well done, Mandisa, I look forward to your next full studio album in the new year!
- Good Morning (Capital Kings Remix)
- Stronger (Movin’ Remix)
- Only The World (Switch Remix)
- Shackles (Switch Remix)
- My Deliverer (RawlsCO Latin Remix)