By Scott Hefflon
As you might guess, a couple tracks here are far beyond terrible, like so disrespectful and horrid that you wonder how those involved haven’t been tracked down and beaten beyond recognition. Some tunes actually make my stomach turn. No exaggeration needed. Other songs, while unnecessary (like any of these songs need “fixing up” by the likes of these folks?), are pretty fun. The best are when the remixer lets Johnny sing and simply adds beats and electronic flourishes to COMPLIMENT the song, not try to bring something new to what were pure and stark and perfect to begin with.
Snoop Dogg‘s slaughter of “I Walk the Line” is terrible, unforgivable. Remixes that’re cool, simply because they’re left alone, just beats and flourishes added: Count De Money‘s take on “Big River,” Philip Steir‘s take on “Get Rhythm” (evidently, he’s the only guy allowed to remix Reprise’s Sinatra collection), Sonny J‘s take on “Country Boy” (which I really like), Pete Rock‘s take on “Folsom Prison Blues” (pretty straight-forward, but oddly clunky), and Wolf‘s take on “Rock Island Line.”
Songs that’re messed up because either the beats change the flow of the song, or, more likely, Johnny’s rich voice is an afterthought to some vocalist who should know their place: The Heavy‘s take on “Doin’ My Time,” Alabama 3‘s take on “Leave That Junk Alone” (I don’t give a shit if you did The Sopranos theme song, your Tone Loc vocals still pale to The Man in Black), and Kennedy‘s sing-along take on “Sugartime” (ok, the song was always kinda cheesy, so some pretty boy pimpin’ it out like a now-mature Kid Rock might is actually kinda cool, and does, it fact, fit the song).
There are a couple other remixes, but they didn’t really leave an impression. So yeah, a few real fun remixes here, but nothing you can’t live a full and meaningful life without.