Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Heads Will Roll (Passion Pit Remix)”
The anatomy of a great remix is difficult to explain. In fact, the requirements are probably most completely (yet vaguely) summed up in Justice Potter Stewart’s statement from the Supreme Court decision in Jacobellis v. Ohio: “I know it when I see it.” Now Justice Stewart was talking about obscenity, but the same idea applies to remixes. All I can tell you is that a remix needs to depart just far enough from its source material to be substantively and stylistically different, but not so far as to deface the original’s inherent greatness. I know it when I see it.
Today’s Song of the Day is not a great remix. To be sure, it is a very good remix made by a great band of another great band’s excellent source material, but it is not, in and of itself, great. It is certainly better than the Pussycat Doll’s re-imagining of the Oscar-winning “Jai Ho,” although I concede that is partially because nothing could possibly be worse than that horrendous bastardization. It is also more proficient than Animal Collective’s recent ill-advised remix of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Zero.” But it is not quite great. However, Boston-based electropoppers Passion Pit (whose debut album, Manners, is excellent in its own right) are quite successful at hacking up the Yeahs’ disco-stomper “Heads Will Roll” with exorbitant amounts of Casio keyboards and an operable dance beat. After all, it was good enough to be named Song of the Day, so that has to count for something.
Take a moment and listen to Passion Pit’s remix and let us know your verdict on its inherent greatness (or lack thereof.) I’m sure you’ll know it when you see it.
Trackback from your site.