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"Call and Response" is a remix album from Maroon 5, released in 2008. It has them use material from their first two records, "Songs About Jane" and "It Won't Be Soon Before Long", and get both Hip Hop and Electronica producers and vocal performers to do what they can with the material, and interpret in the way which their genre sees fit. The Alternative Rock band, led by Adam Levine, give complete control to the guests.
1. "If I Never See Your Face Again" (feat. Cross and Swizz Beatz)
To get things going, you get a banger of a cut as Cross (who I hadn't heard of) does a rap, before Swizzy drops a classic cut (used in Missy Elliot's "Work It", Run-D.M.C.'s "Peter Piper" and World Class Wreckin' Cru's "Cabbage Patch", it is my favourite break of all time, and worked very well with the track which they used. Swizzy does more work that simply place a new beat over the original recording as he shows off his DJ skills in the choruses.
2. "Wake Up Call" (feat. Mary J. Blige and Mark Ronson)
Mark Ronson comes with his signature style for this one, and implements some honras to this hit single from the group, and manges to take it to another level. he input of MJB, who covers the second verse is a nice addition, and not one which I would have neccessarily expected.
3. "Sunday Morning" (feat. ?uestlove)
As soon as I heard the heavy drumming from the founding member of the Philadelpia Hip Hop crew, The Roots, I knew I was going to enjoy this one, and although it doesn't change much about it, aside from the omission of the funky guitar riffs as it basically does the normal track, but with a more stable backing.
4. "Makes Me Wonder" (feat. Just Blaze)
Blaze completely transforms this song in a completely unpredicted manner as it a track which I liked by them as it had them take on elements of Funk rock, but by slowing it down, and putting it on Metal guitar riff, as well as hard Hip Hop drumming takes it in a differnt direction which I thoughroughly enjoyed.
5. "This Love" (feat. Tricky Stewart)
This track was the one which got Maroon 5 up in the music world, and to celebrate this, the man known to work with The-Dream frequently, ricky Stewert, comes with a track whihc takes on lots of Electronic techniques, whislt manintaing the main structure of the song. I wasn't too fond of the excessive amount of sound effects added to the cut, but its still alright as a track.
6. "She Will Be Loved" (feat. Pharrell Williams)
I was really disappointed by this one. It has Pharrelll (and not him as part of the duo, The Neptunes, doing the production to the remix of one of their most well-known tracks. Pharrell does nothing but bring it down with the type of beats which he gave Madonna for "Hard Candy", contrasting from the emotive lyrics in the song.
7. "Shiver" (feat. DJ Quik)
The California producer, DJ Quik jumps on this one, and shows his influences from the world of Funk by kicking things back on this Maroon 5 song, and putting some Old School Geroge Clinton vibes onto it. You can't help but enjoy the way it fits in with the melodic lyrics from Adam Levine.
8. "Wake Up Call" (feat. David Banner)
I have to say that I didn't really expect things one, however it perfectly fis in with the experimental qualities which Banner possess. he doesn't try to get inoto the Alternative Rock style, though, he keeps it to the typical Dirty South way, and adds relavent raps of his own to it. This is one of the best remakes on the piece.
9. "Harder To Breathe" (feat. The Cool Kids)
When I read that my current favourite Hip Hop duo, The Cool kids, were getting on my favourite Maroon 5 cut, you can tell that I was going to be excited. The end result of the collaboration was amazingly strong too, living up to the expectation which having the top Hipster rap group and one of Maroon 5's most powerful cut should have. Although Chuck Inglish's distinctive sound is slightly weakened, he enforces it with heavy drumming on the cut.
10. "Little of Your Time" (feat. Bloodshy & Avant)
Bloodshy & Avant are a Swedish production team, who suprising bring a strong compostion to the Maroon 5 cut as they opt for a piece of production, which manages to appeal to the genreal Euro-Pop crowd, but also give it the power to reach out to those who can appreciate the Hip hop which is foudn within it. I don't expect amny to like it, but I thought it was a nice alternative one.
11. "Little of Your Time" (feat. of Montreal)
Juxastposing two tracks based aroun the same original Marron 5 one, you get the US, Indie group, of Montreal having a go at the track, and somhow they mange to ruin it by goign for some experimental volume and soudn effect trials, whihc simply don't work. You can hardly hear the original "Little Of Your Time" within it, so I can't see what it had to do with it really.
12. "Goodnight Goodnight" (feat. Deerhoof)
Another Indie group get a go at some Maroon 5 material here, and for this one, they actually sem to be within their tyipcal limitations which their genre allows for. I have to say that it worked quite well, but Indie Rock is the opposite end of the spectrum to what I enjoy about Maroon 5, so I couldn't really get into it.
13. "Not Falling Apart" (feat. Tiesto)
I can't say that I've heard of Tiesto, so I had no expectations when coming into this track. However it immediately became apparent why I hadn't heard of them as they come with that typical Electronic dance version of what was a nice song from the group.
14. "Better That We Break" (feat. Ali Shaheed Muhammad)
Ex-Tribe Called Quest producer, Ali Shaheed Muhammad gets on this one, and he offers a nice litel composition which gets him goign for the type of beats that are expected of a typical R&B tune of this time. It is a soft one which seems to work well with the material which he was given to work with.
15. "Secret" (feat. DJ Premier)
Out off all the Hip Hop prodcers out there, I wouldn't have expected a pre Hip Hopper like DJ Primo to jump on this one, however when you hear it, you can tell that he knows what he's doing to make it work for his target audience, so whilst obviously sticking in his trademak scratches, he adds some hardcore bass to it.
16. "Woman" (feat. Sam Farrar)
I wasn't familiar with Sam Farrar prior to this, however once I heard the soulful beat whihc he came up with, I couldn't help but want to find out more about him. He plays bas sguitar for Phatom Planet (a US alt. rock band), and it certainly gives off this vibe, one which fits in perfectly with the mood of things here.
17. "This Love" (feat. Cut Copy)
Similar to Tiesto, I simply couldn't stand to listen to this one. The opening of it alone told me this was going to be one of those plain, thumping dance tracks which all sound the same. I couldn't get through one listening, with its monotonous, predictable production.
18. "If I Never See Your Face Again" (feat. Paul Oakenfold)
To end things off, you get pretty much as you heard in the track which came before it, the only difference being that a different track was used to base it all around. I didn't like it at all, and thought that it was the worst way that thigns could have ended.
This album is bound to divide listeners as I know that if the Hip Hop crowd are open-minded enough to like Maroon 5 in the first place (as I do), then they will really like what Swizz Beats, Just Blaze and DJ Premier do with it, but there's no way that they will get into the Electronica, whihc occupies half of the album. I expect that the same will be correct Electronica crowd, so if you are willing to sacrifise not liking half of the album, then get it. For Maroon 5 fans, I'm not really sure how they would feel towards it all, however I believe that The Roots, The Cool Kids and Sam Farrar work all sits as something which they will get into as if it was the work of Maroon 5 themselves.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 If I Never See Your Face Again - Maroon 5, Cross
2 Wake Up Call
3 Sunday Morning
4 Makes Me Wonder
5 This Love
6 She Will Be Loved
8 Wake Up Call - Maroon 5, David Banner
9 Harder To Breathe - Maroon 5, Cool Kids
10 Little Of Your Time
11 Little Of Your Time
12 Goodnight Goodnight
13 Not Falling Apart
14 Better That We Break
17 This Love
18 If I Never See Your Face Again - Maroon 5, Rihanna