One of dance music's long-lasting divas, Taylor Dayne makes a welcome return to the club scene with "Beautiful," the leading single from her full-length album "Satisfied" available in stores and online now. Of the three remixers chosen to tackle the song, Hex Hector proves to be the winner, in this reviewer's opinion. A fantastic two-minute build crescendos towards the inevitable drop-out and subsequent vocal ad-libbing from Ms. Dayne, while the synth work and basslines sound pleasantly reminiscent of his work with Mac Quayle years ago. Going for more of a circuit sound, Scotty K takes the song in a lighter direction, complete with synth, piano, and even Hammond B3-esque strings in the verses.
Newcomers Speakerbox take their remix in more of a dubby direction, for both the Club Mix and their Deep Club Mix. Neither mix includes full vocals; both feature the chorus looped a few times (almost as an afterthought) over the beats; ditto the radio edit. Definitely not a peak-hour anthem, I would've found Speakerbox's remixes much more enjoyable with full vocals.
The second batch of "Beautiful" remixes unfortunately proves to be an exercise in homogeneity, as a blend of samesy tribal mixes assaults listeners' ears once again with their emphasis on beats at the expense of actual musical elements. Jeff Barringer's mix holds the dubious honor of being the most distinct of these: an electro journey which would've been much better off with a house beat and some nice sustained synth lines. Mike Cruz's mix probably would work on a big-room sound system in a club at 3am, but listening to it on your computer or headphones just doesn't bring much excitement to the mix. The RJ Club Mix proceeds along those same lines, while the random dissonant chords of Eddie's Anthem Mix waver uncertainly between keys, never quite finding the F-minor goal that is the song.
As of press time, the full remix package for "Beautiful" is scheduled for commercial release on February 26, 2008. Taylor's new album "Satisfied" seems poised to potentially spawn at least one more single with club remixes for dance music fans. This reviewer hopes she teams up once again with one of her long time staples Love To Infinity, who've remixed not only "Say A Prayer" but also "Tell It To My Heart" in 2 different versions: the 1995 US-only remixes, and the UK-exclusive MASH mix, released in 2002 on DMC.
For more news on Taylor Dayne, www.taylordayne.com is one of the best artist sites I've seen in recent memory. The News section in particular is a wealth of information, with interviews, Billboard statistics, video links, exclusive photos, radio shows, magazine scans, and personal messages from the artist. Plus no annoying Flash graphics or needless bells & whistles to freeze computers and obstruct users – just functional solid information on Taylor Dayne that fans should find quite interesting. Every music website should be this user-friendly.