SONG OF THE DAY: Olly Murs – “Heart Skips a Beat (Smash Mode Remix)”
Here’s a nice trend – US remixes being better than UK remixes… The career of Olly Murs launched from X-Factor in the UK and he has gone on to top the UK pop charts several times. “Heart Skips a Beat,” a ska-based ode to bittersweet love with reggae beats, was his fifth UK single and is now his debut single in the US. The UK mixes by MNEK and P okerface were okay, but neither was as strong as the original version – never a good sign for a remix. In the hands of US commercial remixers Smash Mode, the song is truly elevated to a new level. A subdued progressive pop groove draws you in as it drops down to a dramatic, eerie breakdown reminiscent of a Faithless classic. The beat slams back in with a tastefully glitchy electro beat. The vocals are perfectly stretched, and the Smash Mode remix actually sounds like an original production rather than an afterthought or paint-by-number formulaic retread. Of special note is the dramatic pause before the last chorus in the extended mix – similar to the dramatic silence of “Cant Stop Me” by Afrojack and Shermanology – it elevates the song to a new level, making it stick out (in a good way) on the dance floor. Look for the version the eliminates the rap by Chiddy Bang; no offense, but the song is about Olly Murs’ performance and Smash Mode’s production rather than the featured rap tossed in seemingly as an afterthought (either Chiddy in US version or Rizzle Kicks in the UK version). Here’s hoping Smash Mode or another gifted US remixer gets their hand on Olly’s hopefully-next US single “Dance With Me Tonight.”
Image courtesy of Epic.