(Park The Van, 2007)
A limited (is it really?) release that was sold on a 2007 tour and in a handful of retail shops, this Dr. Dog single pairs a remix by Beck with a remake of an Architecture In Helsinki song for seven star-studded inches of blog-wuss wetdream. And sure, yeah, it’s worth the spilling of at least a little seed, I suppose, particularly when it comes to the A side. The original version of “The Girl” on We All Belong is loping psych-pop whose fuzzy recording can’t disguise the Steely Dan professionalism behind some very savvy, accessible songwriting. Beck, true to his recent form, strips the track to its melodic core, emphasizes and enhances the rhythmic backing, and speeds the whole thing up. This isn’t necessarily better than the original, but it’s certainly catchy, lightweight fun that would have improved the similar-sounding Guero or The Information had it somehow been included on one of those records. Less noteworthy is the cover of “Heart it Races” on the other side, which thankfully jettisons the unfortunate world-music-meets-Animal-Collective head-slapisms of Architecture In Helsinki, going instead for a more basic “now”-style indie-bland that flirts with verywhiteboy funk in the low-end. It’s not all that exciting. But it’s not embarrassing, either. It just kinda… exists. A perfect song for the jukebox at your local young-person bar, you know?
And hey, speaking of “exciting” and “young people,” can you guess where I was last night? A boat!