Starting off with a bang is Gwen Stefani with the first single off of her new solo album. The song is a definite crowd-pleaser in its original form with its mixture of synthesizers and guitars, bouncy bassline, and the phrase of the year "Take a chance you stupid ho!."
To keep the momentum going on the dancefloor, Gwen's and company have commissioned Jacques LuCont, Felix Da Housecat, and Armand Van Helden to restructure the song. Jacques LuCont's TWD Mx is more laid back than any of the other versions, relying mostly on a guitar riff to carry the song along with some xylophone chimes to break up the otherwise monotonous remix. The mix is moody and a bit hypnotic which makes it best suited for early-evening sets. Felix Da Housecat's mix is a bit more rugged with its bass-heavy, minimal keyboard sounds, and sporatic use of "space-alien weaponry" sounds. All of the vocals are used, however, he only uses the background vocalists segments in the final verse. This mix is best suited for the Alternative clubs.
Armand Van Helden's Mix is the best of the bunch. Armand uses an almost Sharp Boys-styled bassline topped with razor-sharp synthesizers, mild explosions, and some electric guitar. The mix has enough breaks and builds to keep your audience's interest but still could be a let down as it only contains about ¾'s of the vocals which is typical of most Armand mixes. Armand's Dub is very similar sound-wise, except for the fact it uses even less of the vocals. I really wish Armand would stop trying to be "trendy" and start using all of vocals in mixes where it would make sense. While he crafted some classics with his idea of using select vocals in such songs as Tori Amos' "Professional Widow," CJ Bolland's "Sugar Is Sweeter," and Ashanti's "Rock With You," the formula is getting quite tired especially when a mix is not labeled as a dub.
While Armand's Mix could use a few more vocals, it is the best of the remixes, so once your crowd is sick of the original version, give this one a spin to keep the fire going.
Rating: Original Version - 5 out of 5
Jacques Lu Cont TWD Mix - 2 out of 5
Felix Da Housecat's Mix - 2 out of 5
Armand Van Helden Mix - 3 out of 5
Armand Van Helden Dub - 2 out of 5