Metronomy - The English Riviera Unreleased RemixesWhen Metronomy's third album was released approximately this time last year, it was received with glee by critics and the public alike. While its so-called "Englishness" and songcraft were celebrated, no one seemed to mention—let alone notice—how unilateral it sounded. In other words, it felt ripe for a remix package. While you'd expect indie dance to be well represented on The English Riviera Unreleased Remixes, it turns out that the guest producers are varied and, most of all, well aware of what to do with what's being handed to them. With the focus being on "unreleased" material this means you won't get, for example, Erol Alkan's much-loved extended rework of "The Bay" or Ewan Pearson's gloriously ecstatic vocal take on "Everything Goes My Way" (the dub version is included here instead). But Clock Opera's version of the former and Jesse Rose and Duke Dumont's dubby re-rub of the latter are so efficient in their own right they make you forget about their more immediately famous counterparts.
The original album's closing track "Love Underlined" is absent from this compilation, probably because it was its most frenetic moment anyway and didn't need improvement. But you do get four versions of "Corrine" that go from chiming synthetic pop (Benoit & Sergio) and fidget-y electro (Night Angles) to quivering Italo (Leodoris) and languid deep house (Mario Basanov) without anyone ever tempering the original's bittersweet sense of loss and regret. Camo & Krooked might add dubstep-tinged rhythmic patterns and jungle-lite loops to "The Look" later on, and Soul Clap can offer a flirtatious nu-disco take on "Loving Arms," but these stylistic divergences never affect the overall coherence of the 13-track collection.
The English Riviera Unreleased Remixes ooze with genuine creativity and inject a rejuvenating sense of purpose to songs that weren't even asking for/needing it in the first place. The move may be akin to the one mainstream pop stars (Gaga, Ke$ha, Katy Perry) pull when they release the same album twice with new artwork, a few exclusives and a tweaked title, but the apropos material on display here fully legitimizes this often awkward format.