Review by Shannon Shumaker
Enter Shikari’s The Mindsweep is already a very diverse album, packed full with a wide variety of different sounds and themes, ranging from aggressive political tracks to slower love songs. So naturally, it is no surprise that the band’s remix album, The Mindsweep: Hospitalized simply expands upon those sounds and moods. After giving listeners nearly a year to digest the original release, Enter Shikari have tapped a different artist from London-based Hospital Records for each song on The Mindsweep: Hospitalized, and the result is a beautiful reimagining of an album.
Building anticipation right away is “The Appeal & The Mindsweep I,” remixed by Metrik. This version builds energy much like the original, but it builds slower, and instead of exploding into the big, hard hitting line, “I am a mindsweeper,” it goes into some eerie and echoey electronic parts. From that point, the track diverts quite a bit from the original song, which is an interesting take, but when the vocals come back it, they seem to bring it all back together.
A surprising standout track on The Mindsweep: Hospitalized is the second song, “The One True Colour,” remixed by Keeno. Originally a track that I normally find myself overlooking on the original release, the remix of “The One True Colour” is bright and beautiful and really stands out from the pack. The quiet moments are accented well by incredible choices in the electronic parts, and the slowed down vocals and harmonies sound amazing. The buildup toward the end of the song is also a high point, and the way it eventually explodes once more into the chorus is flawless. Contrasting well with the new sound on “The One True Colour” is a darker version of “Anaesthetist,” remixed by Reso. This song doesn’t hold quite as much of a structure as the first two songs on the album, and focuses quite a bit more on the remix than staying true to the original sound. However, the dark mood and theme of the song make for a perfect retelling.
The difference in sound between “The One True Colour” and “Anaesthetist” is a great example of the amplified diversity on The Mindsweep: Hospitalized, and the wide variety of sound only becomes more predominant as it moves onward. Etherwood’s remix of “Never Let Go Of The Microscope,” for instance, feels very echoey and empty alongside the high fast paced remix of “The Last Garrison.” This song is originally very uptempo, but the remix slows things down, and being able to see a different side to the song is amazing, as it suits it very well. “Never Let Go Of The Microscope” is easily one of the best executed and more songs on the album. “Myopia” is also an interesting listen because of the eerie intro. Contrasting from “Never Let Go Of The Microscope,” Bop does a great job of staying true to the original version while adding a lot more tension and anticipation in the instrumentals.
There are a couple of tracks on The Mindsweep: Hospitalized that didn’t seem to hold the same energy or meaning as their original counterparts, but these weak points are few and far between. S.P.Y.’s remix of “The Last Garrison,” for instance just doesn’t seem to stay true to the big, meaningful quality of the chorus until you hear, “Can you hear the war cry,” shine through the instrumentals. Lynx’s “The Bank Of England,” diverts quite a bit from the original, without much structure until about halfway through.
However, there are some very strong moments throughout the album, as well. Hugh Hardie’s remix of “Torn Apart” for instance holds the same strong energy as the original version, simply upping the energy with a faster and more energetic drumbeat and adding plenty of very interesting instrumentals. The album’s interlude, remixed by The Erised, is phenomenal. One wouldn’t imagine that an instrumental interlude would make for an interesting remix, but with a more hip-hop influenced sound and gorgeous added vocals, it proves to be one of the best songs on the album. London Elektricity speeds things up with “Dear Future Historians,” but this beautiful love song doesn’t lose any of its emotion in the remix. The build and explosion of this song are absolutely stunning, and it stays very true to the original while giving listeners something new to chew on.
It goes without saying that anyone who plans on listening to The Mindsweep: Hospitalized needs to be not only familiar with its original counterpart, but also needs to have an understanding of the themes and sounds on the album as well. The Mindsweep: Hospitalized is simply an amplified version of the original, as each artist has obviously taken care to accent each song’s strong points while putting a new spin on it. The diversity and variety between songs is multiplied on this album, giving die-hard fans of Enter Shikari something new to listen to while they eagerly await more music.
Listen to "The One True Colour" or "Never Let Go Of The Microscope"
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