Cortney Tidwell, remixed by Ewan Pearson: Don't Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up

The title track from Nashville export Cortney Tidwell's debut album Don't Let The Stars Keep Us Tangled Up receives multiple treatments on this fabulous four-track release. Not only do we get Tidwell's remarkable original but, even better, we get Ewan Pearson's anthemic twelve-minute makeover, plus instrumental and radio edit versions.

The seven-minute original is itself great, a swooning mix of haunting singing, strings, and arresting melodies. The song alternates between string-kissed passages of paradisiacal dreaminess filled with silken harmonies and darker moments of serpentine drama where Tidwell's distorted vocal style recalls Björk. As the song nears its close, it ascends to an even more heavenly sphere before cresting out on a wave of shuddering dissonance. Still, as strong as the original is, Pearson's aptly-titled ‘Objects In Space Remix' elevates the song with a dance-based propulsiveness without losing any of the original's dreaminess in the process (apparently Pearson, already busy working on new albums by Tracey Thorn and The Rapture, offered to remix the song within hours of its first hearing). The original's core remains in place but Pearson boosts the song with handclaps, synths, and an urgent syncopated forward motion that grows ever more euphoric and dizzying as the track moves towards its rapturous climax. Interestingly, a breakdown occurs at the seven-minute mark, the track collapsing into an electro-swirl of synth loops before picking itself up and stomping towards the finish line accompanied by a serenading chorus.

Of course, the instrumental and radio edit treatments are the least essential of the four but don't dismiss the former too quickly. With Tidwell's lead vocal removed, Pearson's instrumental version shifts the focus to the hypnotic arrangement and the results remain compelling. Yes, the song loses some of its intimate character yet its cinematic aura and epic character come forth potently in the process.

April 2007