m.o.v.e. - 10th Anniversary MEGA BEST

review - 05.05.2008 22:00

A review of the release celebrating 10 years of m.o.v.e. hits.

m.o.v.e.’s 10th Anniversary MEGA BEST album is a best-of, latest hits and remix album all rolled into one. It includes two discs, the first of which contains ten fan-selected favorites plus the trio’s four latest singles and one new song. The second disc is made up entirely of remixes, and a credit to t-kimura: each of the twenty tracks boasts a different type of remix. For example: reggaeton, Bangladesh Mid East, hardcore, Italo House, Trance, Psychedelic, the list goes on.

Starting off with the fan favorites are two powerful hits that were featured in the Initial D anime, Gamble Rumble and DOGFIGHT. With inspiring melodies from yuri, the best of motsu’s attitude-infused rap vocals and energizing musical accompaniment to match, it’s no wonder they were chosen to open the fans' selection. These are followed by two almost ballad-like songs, ANGEL EYES and Romancing Train. Still upbeat and pop-like, these two lighter tracks balance the aggressive couple that precede it.

The next two, DISCO TIME and Blazin' Beat, with their celebratory, fun loving styles, have assuredly put many a gloomy listener into a sunny mood. Track seven, Painless PAIN, stands out among m.o.v.e.'s repertoire, due to a chorus that is uncharacteristically not carried by yuri but by motsu's rap-singing. These are followed by Initial D mega hits Blast My Desire and around the world. SUPER SONIC DANCE, track 10, encompasses the best of m.o.v.e.; with a feel good melody and high energy beat, the group displays their talent for creating interesting compositions with a plethora of musical elements and electronic sounds.

Next come the four latest singles plus the new song. Track 11, SYSTEMATIC FANTASY, is one of the best songs on the album, even in comparison to the old fan favorites. The song showcases m.o.v.e's impressive power to draw the listener into their synthesized world of zany electronic sounds and, with its distinctly disco beat, it conveys a mode that’s simultaneously retro and futuristic.

In contrast, the next track has an almost heavy rock feel to it, due to the drums and the rock type guitar throughout. Next is another newer release that easily measures up to the fan faves: SPEED MASTER. Featuring vocals from 8-BALL, wind instruments, an enthusiastic 70's rock guitar solo and a very catchy chorus, the whole package is an "addictive sound," as the chorus intimates. Key Ring, the new song on the album, is a mélange of jazz influences, orchestra-scale dramatic phrases and pop-ballad stylings.

The disc ends with a very disconcerting reggae track, sugar sugar rain. Because m.ov.e.’s songs, whatever their style, are typically fast-paced, this very relaxed track as the disc finale might knock you out of your chair. Thankfully, after about a minute and a half of disoriented confusion, the listener is reintroduced to a faster pace and the reassuring rap-vocals of motsu. This section is genuinely a treat. However, when yuri’s vocals return, so does the lazy Jamaican island pace. They should probably stick to the high speed styles and avoid this kind of yo-yo format, but that notwithstanding, the song should certainly be commended for its consistent island atmosphere throughout.

Disc Two presents twenty songs, each with its own remix type. Most of these tracks can be understood by their descriptive title. For instance, the Rave REMIX, track 3, sounds like a rave song, only it’s Noisy Tribe. For the most part, the trio did justice to their own music and to the various genres they borrowed from, though none of the mixes actually improved on the originals.

Perhaps most notable is the 2nd track, Raimei -out of kontrol- Reaggaeton REMIX. It aptly demonstrates the group’s ability to capture the essence of reggaeton and apply that to a re-imagining of their own song. The resulting product is cohesive and completely Latino while still maintaining its identity as a m.o.v.e. song.

In contrast, the eighth track, come together, conveys a much more subtle ethnic influence, in this case Middle Eastern. Excluding some Mid-Eastern violin and, one assumes, Bangladeshi vocals in the bridge and at the end (which are to be commended), the track is simply a dance song. But even if its ethnic aspect is minimal, the song’s urgent throbbing beat and the powerful heat infused throughout make it a hit.

The remix types of tracks four through six - Jungle, Glitch, and Mashup respectively - are not as self-evident. How could m.o.v.e. make a jungle-like version of a song? What do they mean by “Glitch” and “Mashup”? With respect to the first of the ambiguous trio - no, m.ov.e. did not add tropical bird sounds or monkey screeches to their pop ballad How to see you again. What changed was mostly the beat, which is noticeably more complicated and jazzed up throughout but especially in the refrain.

As for the Glitch remix of Burning Dance, a swarm of electronic sounds have been edited in, which gives the song an added level of complexity, but mostly just distracts from the vocals, which become buried under a mountain of static and computerized bass. The Mashup remix of BREAK IN2 the NITE doesn’t fare any better. Similarly assaulted by electronic noises, the original is undoubtedly better, though yuri’s computerized vocals in this song are actually a plus.

Tracks eleven and twelve, GHETTO BLASTER and over drive, are two hits in their original formats and remain hits in their later manifestations as well. The hip and urban attitude of GHETTO BLASTER is emphasized in the more electronic and segmented remix. overdrive’s electro mix is completely transformed, largely due to Yuri’s entirely electronic voice and the similarly altered beat.

Track nine, the hardcore remix of I WAKE YOUR LOVE!, may be misleading. This song isn't full of heavy guitar riffs. In fact, it isn't metal or rock-like at all. Mostly it's a club dance song with a fast but heavy beat that will have the air around it pulsing to its tune. In contrast, WORLD'S' END (Old School remix) has a very light beat that skitters across the floor almost unnoticed as the vocals dominate.

Another ambiguous area may be the House remixes. Tracks thirteen, fourteen, and sixteen are described as Dream House, Hard House, and Italo House, respectively. words of the mind ~brand new journey~, which is very light in the verses, takes on a distinctly techno feel that’s complimented by the simple but moving piano motif. Next is the Hard House remix of Disinfected Generation. A balanced hodgepodge of club dance music, wind instruments and strong vocals complimented by the heavy beat, this is one of the most cohesive of the remixes.

Rage your dream’s Dance Pop remix similarly allows the beauty of the original song to shine through without being overpowered by new elements. The music accompaniment, with a cheerful and modern tint, is actually fairly simple in this track. Next is the Italo House Remix of sweet vibration. yuri’s voice is edited in some interesting ways and as in the previous track, the alterations in the music don’t overpower the song. With an emphasis on the keyboard and some wind instruments, the simple dance beat and tone overall is reminiscent of early 90’s American dance music.

Overall, this thirty-five track album is a great product. It gives fans a chance to hear their longtime favorites, a few newer releases and well-known hits transformed and recreated. The two disc release is also sure to draw unsuspecting new listeners into the synthesized, futuristic world of m.o.v.e.
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