If you look at our code of honor, folks- one of the things we have on our “to educate about” list is “Anti-EDM.” Puccini’s Chronicles is very wary of electronic dance music; with its emphasis on inauthentic vocals and synthesized sounds in place of real instruments, we suspect it may be the downfall of, you know- real music. Now I’m not saying EDM doesn’t have its place. But that’s just it; it has its place.
This ain’t it.
I’m all for fresh takes on the classics, and the idea of remixing Disney music into club-friendly numbers is a pretty clever one, and it had a lot of potential. Look at the names on this album- Daft Punk, Avicii, Armin van Buuren, etc. And look at the track listing- “Circle of Life,” “Once Upon a Dream,” “Let It Go,” and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” among others. I even LOVE the album art, shown above. With everything it had going for it, how did Dconstructed (by several folks’ standards) fail artistically as it did?
When remixing a classic, it’s important to make sure that the essence of the original work is still very present. Unfortunately, the new versions of Dconstructed‘s songs are shells of their former selves. Many of them are wholly unrecognizable until the mixer decided to throw in the title of the song to remind you which one it is. This is especially apparent on “Let It Go,” which although sounds interesting during its few included vocals- that’s just it, the vocals are pretty much excised. The rest of the song sounds like any generic EDM blast; there’s nothing special there. It also makes me laugh that this album even messed up a tune that was ALREADY electronic dance music- “Roar,” written for the frat party scene in Monsters University. It doesn’t even have the same beat as the film rendition. Songs such as “Derezzed” and “Fall” from TRON: Legacy are also flirting with EDM in their original state, but remixing them didn’t add anything new. So it would appear that the music of Dconstructed failed to find a happy medium in its work; that is, most of the tracks either deviated too much from the classics or didn’t improve upon the originals at all.
As I said earlier, EDM has its place- in nightclubs and DJ hangouts and even some trippy music videos. And the artistic intention of combining that atmosphere with Disney was a great one. Alas, the execution just didn’t measure up. I don’t care if you are Daft Punk and you won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year; you’re still manipulating some of the best music ever written for film and you’ve got large shoes to fill. You NEED to bring something worthwhile to the table for these songs. The Now That’s Music franchise has now spawned three Disney hit compilations- so if Dconstructed too gets a followup album, let’s hope those involved learn from this record’s mistakes.
What do you think of EDM in general? Is it worth remixing classic songs in this fashion?