Every now and then, a song from a completely different genre of music manages to cross over to the dance charts and make a big splash. The genre I'm speaking of is the Broadway musical. Over the years "I Am What I Am," "Somewhere," & "Seasons Of Love" have all been remixed and have all become big hits on dance floors. The latest addition to this list is "Defying Gravity." Culled from the Tony award-winning show "Wicked," Idina Menzel is the singer who brings this song to life. She was the original performer of this track in the Broadway show and it is the first single from her upcoming CD. The remixes have been floating around for a month or so now, but an official CD single has been released with reconstructions by Tracy Young, Eddie Baez, Josh Harris, Hani, & Funky Junction. It makes for an overall flawless package with a little something for everyone.
Tracy Young's Flying Monkey Club Mix is featured first. She has had a bit of experience remixing Idina before ("Take Me Or Leave Me" from "Rent" featured vocals by Idina & Tracey Thoms). This time she creates a mix that is purely magical. The beats are hot, but not overpowering, and Idina's vocals are upfront and majestic. You have all the requisite staples of a great mix: thumping drums, pounding bass, and a dramatic breakdown and build up. The difference is that it's presented here in a muted form, which is perfect for showcasing Idina. Eddie Baez also provides all these elements on his Club Mix. The drums are harder and the extra synths add a tribal feel to this, which actually works the majority of the time. The violins are a nice touch as well. Again, Idina's vocals are complete and untouched. This is a good mix for later in the night. Next up is the Hani Flying So High Club Mix. This mix has an electro vibe to it, stripping away the drums and adding more synths and vocals manipulations. It doesn't include all of the vocals, lending itself to feeling more like a dub. It's not a bad mix and is very typical of Hani's mixes of late, but I do prefer to hear all of the vocals on this track.
The Josh Harris Vocal Club Mix is a filtered house excursion with some electro elements mixed up inside. It sounds just like every Josh Harris mix has in recent months, which means it's a pretty decent version. The chugging bass line underneath the vocals is nice and gives the track a very light and bouncy feel. The shortest of all the mixes is provided by Funky Junction & Anthony Reale. Their Club Mix is pretty basic, with some tweaking of Idina's voice and guitars added for an extra punch. The drums aren't booming and the keyboards are upbeat and percolating. This would have been nice with an extra minute or two, but I guess sometimes you don't need to overextend yourself. The original mix produced by Glen Ballard is also included for those who like to hear what the mixes were originally based on.
Idina Menzel has a powerful voice and the remixers commissioned here do a stellar job of surrounding it with hot beats that never overpower or undermine. All of the mixes are great and there is not a dud in the bunch. The best thing is that these versions are accessible to everyone, not only online but as an actual CD single! Respect goes out to Warner Brothers for listening to the people and making music available to all who want it! Let's keep our fingers crossed that they will not only keep putting out quality product, but also putting out more remixes of Idina!