Talk about AUDÉ Lang Syne...in a new music release, singer/songwriter Steve Grand has just released a remix of his song "We Are the Night" as remixed by Dave Audé. Yes, you read that right (And not just the bad pun based off of Auld Lang Syne); Steve Grand now joins the ranks of Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Madonna and other mega-stars to have a song of theirs get a remix by Dave Audé.
AND IN RECENT DEVELOPMENT THERE ARE 3 REMIXES; Full, Radio and Video edits. I will review all 3.
For the purposes of this review I must say these things in no particular order and no particular semblance:
- I will be listening to the remixes as they are on Spotify [too poor and Android for iTunes]. If like me, you're resorting to Spotify, please take to social media outlets [Twitter, Tumblr, etc.] and shamelessly plug the song as to draw support for him.
- If you happen to have iTunes and need to add a Steve Grand song or a Dave Audé remix, please head to iTunes and buy the track and encourage/pimp the hell out of it to draw support for him.
With that out of the way, here's how the song review will work for the remixes; obvious factors like instrumental/production choices and vocal preservation will be combined with the overall vibe detected. From the preview of his Behind the Scene shaker video, it sounds like the remix respected the natural projection Grand has in his singing*
[*Here's what I mean by that; for posterity, the AllMusic review of the 2013 Donna Summer remix album Love to Love You Donna chastised the production work at large for over-processing the vocals and relying too much on big names to reintroduce Summer's work to the EDM/Electro crowd*]
VIDEO: Length of time clocks in at 4:26. That vocal preservation I hinted at looks to be realized as Grand's natural skill isn't fucked with too much on the song. Instrumental wise here, the Audé touch doesn't really kick in until the 1:40 mark [or before the second verse]. Once on the verse, the remix sound is sort of hard to get used to at first.
Again a Steve Grand song isn't the type that SCREAMS "I need a remix"; it's the same thing I personally see with Lady Gaga songs. KDrew barely got a good reworking of "G.U.Y." and not for nothing, Grand and Gaga are the types to get their songs right more or less on the first try.
Another area of the song being remixed I had only considered mentally was the spoken part where Grand shows support for the trans community. Mixed in with a bit of the instrumental is actually more serviceable than I thought it would get. In reality, the remix further proves this song was Grand's version of "Born This Way".
RADIO: This is the shortest edit at 3:56. So here's my thing about the remix with this version; the video edit is slightly better as the radio instrumental skips the transition in between verses. It happens throughout this version of the song and I find it quite problematic. The remix itself isn't that Hi-NRG to where it can afford the sudden switch to verses and no instrumental until the tail end.
The tempo of the remix is actually really complimentary here and on the video edit, but cutting the transitions in between the first and second verses was a bad call.
FULL: Clocking in at 5:56, this is the longest version of the song available at least on Spotify. The beginning of this version with the "ight" version of the song title made me worried that perhaps vocal preservation was only respected in the video and radio edits. However, once the song kicks in, that worry was put to bed. As expected, the full version is the most club-friendly as even the intro was given a specialized treatment.
It should be noted that across all 3 versions, the second rendition of the chorus is replaced with the spoken shout-out to the trans community after the 2nd verse. I'll consider this minor gripe just me being spoiled with the studio/album version. The outro to this version is proof that Audé knew exactly what he was doing on what I can consider one of his tougher songs to remix.
FINAL GRADES: The full edit gets a B++/A-. It's the best treatment of the song just based on audio experience alone [even with my spoiled ass having a minor gripe with a pretty common vocal/production choice with remix artists]. Get this version if you can handle a near 6 minute song (To practice, become a fan of Lana Del Rey. That will build up a tolerance of long songs that you will not believe.)
The video edit gets a B+/A-. It's giving off such promise for the video and if you need an audio experience but can't make it to almost 6 minutes, this is the version for you.
The radio edit? That gets a C-. Not including the groovy instrumentals in between verses, waiting until the end and being barely shorter than the video edit? BAD. CALL. The tempo wasn't all Hi-NRG here to afford such jarring transitions from verse to verse.
Use your judgment in case you may or probably will disagree with me, but use this as a basic (Not the Starbucks and Uggs "basic") primer as to what to expect from each remix.
Again, if you're iTunes able, buy the version of the song he pimps.
If on Spotify, get thee to social media and share the hell out of this my personal gripes be damned. He deserves the support.
Stay tuned for the video review of "We Are the Night".