(Beat the World Records)
Six years ago, the Dandy Warhols got their ’80s on with
co-producer Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran on Welcome
to the Monkey House. But that’s the album as the label wanted you to hear
it, having shelved the mix the Warhols liked by soul man Russell Elavedo, whose
greatest hits include D’Angelo’s Brown
Sugar, The Roots Come Alive and
Common’s Like Water for Chocolate.
Now that they’ve launched their own label, the Warhols have welcomed you back
to the Monkey House to hear those great lost Elavedo mixes.
And it sounds more like Duran Duran than Common, that’s for
sure. It also sounds a lot like Welcome
to the Monkey House, a fairly unavoidable result of releasing the same
album twice. But there are certain fundamental differences, starting with
“Burned,” an atmospheric seven-minute epic that closed the other album but
eases you into this one in a far more nuanced space-rock mix. “Plan A” exposes
the original “Plan A” as the “Plan B” it always was while other tracks, like
“Scientist,” stay truer to the other mix. But even there, the less-is-more
approach to mixing makes it feel less like an art-rocker gunning for airplay on
Modern Rock radio. And that can only be a good thing. As to whether anybody
really needs a slightly better version of a Dandy Warhols album (with one truly
inessential “new track), you could more than likely trade the slightly weaker
version in at any of your better indie record store.
Standout tracks: “Burned,” “Plan A” A. WATT