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Essential Mix CD cover

Boy George – Essential Mix

Posted by Jeffrey Rooks on February 20, 2001
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Category: Music Reviews (CDs/DVDs)
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Essential Mix CD cover

Over the last several months, I’ve only heard great things about Boy George’s Essential Mix. And since I live in a city where electronica has a small hold on the market, it took nearly six months for it to land on the shelves.

As soon as I got it, I dropped it in my player and started to listen. At first I thought it was a joke, someone switched the CDs and I got a copy of some elevator music. But I listened on and sure enough there was a beat – a beat to “Girl From Ipanema.”

I took that as a sign from Boy George; some sort of a curve ball to really shake the listener up before really getting into the mix. Again, I’d heard only good reviews about Boy George and this CD, so I assumed that the worst was over and I eagerly awaited the next track.

The disc progressed and I just still wasn’t really getting into it. The feel was, well there just wasn’t a feel. I’ve been to crappy frat parties with two bit DJs that could hold down a mood better. George’s transitions just kept breaking what little flow he built up.

After finishing the disc for the first time, I put it back in its case and tossed it in my bag. There it sat for nearly a week. When I pulled it out, I started to listen to it again, this time trying to listen with an open mind. The tracks flowed over me much better this time. The beats on this disc are what kept me interested.

In fact, while most of the tracks aren’t really what I normally listen to, they are all solid tracks. “Call It Fate” by Richie Dan, “Future Sound of Retro” by Lee Coombs, and “Some Say She’s Retro” by Dark Globe really carried this disc along for me.

Like a lot of releases, this one grew on me the more I heard it: it’s still growing on me. However, I’m positive that it’s the tracks, not the DJ. There is absolutely nothing noteworthy about his transitions and the tracks span such a large number of genres, skipping from disco and vocal house to darker trance and acid, that it’s hard to feel any sort of groove.

If you love going to clubs and dancing, then this disc is going to suit your needs. If you go to clubs to hear DJs spin, there is no way in hell you will want to make this a part of your collection.

It’s not that it’s bad – it just isn’t what I expected to hear. Whether Boy George tried too hard to make it a mix with something for everyone, or it had to do with the record label, or maybe this is just how he spins, something about this mix really turned me off.

It isn’t something that I’d recommend to anyone that has taste. But, if you really want to know what this disc is all about, buy it for yourself. I’ll even sell you my copy…cheap.

Essential Mix

Rating by Jeffrey Rooks: 1.5 stars
*1/2

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