My Brightest Diamond
The big winner is bleeding-edge composer Son Lux, who handily flips the second installment upside down largely by placing digital drums and chirps alongside perversely overeager pseudoclassical instrumentation, vaguely in the template of Björk's remarkable unhinged-camp Sinatra-shrieker "It's Oh So Quiet." (He reportedly didn't actually listen to the full songs he was remixing until he had finished his new versions, which seems to have worked out surprisingly well.) Bringing up the rear is Roberto Carlos Lange of Brooklyn tropic-rockers Helado Negro, who peaks with a glistening take on "If I Were A Queen" (itself nonetheless outdone in solitary snowstorm misery by entries from Alfred Brown and DM Stith), and somehow manages to bungle his "Manzanas" even though its source material, "Apples," was easily the most jigsaw-friendly piece on the original record.
But the songs were all pretty cooperative in that regard, which is probably why in the end this is worth sifting through, if not quite listening to wholesale. Thirty-three shark's teeth down, 967 to go; just, come on, show a little restraint, guys—the solution isn't always getting a bigger boat. In any case, the only person I want driving this one is Shara. Everyone else please get the hell out the way.