Amy Grant: In Motion – The Remixes

Posted August 31, 2014 by in Electronica



2/ 5


Genre: ,
Label: ,
Genre: CCM, gospel, eletronica
Producer: Various
Label: Sparrow, Capitol
Format: Digital download, compact disc
Time: 45:00
Release Date: 19 August 2014
Spin This: "You're Not Alone," "Better Than a Hallelujah"


Nice to hear soulful house on "Better Than a Hallelujah;" Donna Summer dance pop absorbs much of the set


Most of the tunes take away the substance that made the songs appealing; template is highly repetitive and Grant's voice is too thin for dance music

Christian pop singer’s dance record makes you dance like David, but still misses the mark

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Christian pop singer’s dance record makes you dance like David, but still misses the mark

Christian singer Amy Grant made her mark on pop music at the most perfect time, when crossover gospel and adult contemporary pop could have been identical twins. Put a David Foster-produced Chicago record, then play a Keith Thomas-produced records by BeBe & CeCe Winans and you could easily hear the best of both worlds. Grant’s timing to jump into pop worked in her favor; she had beauty, charm and a pristine come-hither voice as ear bait. After landing a No. 1 hit with the Peter Cetera duet “Next Time I Fall in Love,” Grant continued her move into the rest of civilization by making a transition into pop stardom. Although her more recent records haven’t reached the multi-platinum statuses of her biggest albums, she continues to remain relevant with her devout fans and contemporary gospel following.

Now Grant is embarking on yet another marketing ploy to push further into the stratosphere of mainstream on In Motion: The Remixes, a disc that combs through her most lucrative era. She’s not the only misfit raveling down this EDM journey; country star LeAnn Rimes recently released a remix compilation of her hits. Whether it’s smart business or a desperate need for attention, Grant – who has already wallowed through the waters of controversy by jumping from Jesus love to safe Madonna pop – is in a much different situation. Her content is still relatively safe for the Vegas and gay dance floors. Not just lyrically, but the original arrangements as well. The 1991 original “Baby Baby” is still one of the finest examples of childlike innocence to ever hit number one pop. Can that same squeaky-clean pop transition to the dance floor with the right DJs onboard?

The eight-track disc In Motion The Remixes, which takes a cue from one of the memorable lyrics in “Baby Baby,” borrows heavily from her high-gloss best-seller Heart In Motion by pulling four tracks from that iconic set. But not everything in this excavation comes up roses. Dave Aude’ tries to spin “Baby Baby” into a rave party starter, but somehow the rushing tempo muddles down the impact of the lyrics. It’s possibly the biggest letdown on the disc.

For the most part, In Motion The Remixes does what it’s supposed to do. It might not be an improvement over the originals, but it takes them out of their pop context and tosses it into a dance environment. The Motown-like pop of “Every Heartbeat” is exchanged for a summery Katy Perry gloss.  “You’re Not Alone,” penned by “I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)” songwriters Simon Climie/Dennis Morgan, is given a synthpop makeover by Guy Schieman, which literally means the Journey rock element is sadly aborted. “That’s What Love Is For” and the Ralphi Rosario-mix of “Love Will Find a Way” (which borrows a melodic segment from Rihanna’s “We Found Love”) sounds like modern-day Donna Summer tracks, except for the generous use of Auto-tune buried into the mix. And then there’s the relieving house-bent mix of “Better Than a Hallelujah,” which happens to the most soulful thing on the project. Whipped up with gospel choir backgrounds and a Masters at Work-like combustion, the Mark Picchiotti mix of this more-recent track spares the disc from being your typical EDM carve out.

But what eats away at Grant’s mission is her own AC-executed vocals, which is clear but too dry for these high-tempo exhibitions. At times, the Rihanna-esque mixes tends to overshadow anything she could possibly work up. And that is saying a lot, especially since Grant sounds like an acolyte of Britney Spears in this realm of music. If it wasn’t too hard to ask, “You’re Not Alone” deserved a Philly-styled, retro Daft Punk-like disco beat and it may have converted more ears to Grant’s latest evangelical trek. But even that kind of addition would have suffered from Grant’s straight deliveries. What makes dance music pop the most is a first-rate powerhouse diva; something Grant lacks on this exercise.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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