(CREDIT: to the genius who smashed a VHS tape with a hammer on his kitchen floor. XD)
My Rank: 3.5 out of 5 <- what a relief
Please excuse my fowl mouth for a moment, but this remix album scared the living shit out of me. Ever since heartagram.com made an announcement about this in November, the whole HIM fanbase went batshit insane. People spent time making conspiracy theories about the cover image, complaining that HIM is - heaven forbid -releasing A THIRD remix compilation, blaming Warner for the failure of Screamworks, and detoxing from the very short tour the band had this era. Once the bonfire spread, I forced myself off Valo Daily and other HIM sites until the maelstrom died down. Even now, I'm still unwilling to go back for the time being.
IT'S JUST A REMIX ALBUM. WHAT'S WITH THE DRAMA, FOLKS?!
Well, in my world, at least it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
When I first heard the sample on the "splash" page that the banner here lead to, I couldn't help but laugh at the hilarity of the "In Venere Veritas" remix. It wasn't in a bad way, since it happens every time I listen to a new HIM record; there is one track that makes me giggle, like laughing at a friend just being himself. The remix was just... HIM in their own way. But it didn't take from the fact that the track lowered my expectations of SWRMXS from "OMG!!!!!" to "eh". I don't listen to many remixes (the Dope Stars Inc.'s mix of Emilie Autumn's "Dead Is the New Alive" is the only one I can recall enjoying) and hearing "In Venere Veritas (Huoratron Remix)" made me have doubts about how the others would sound... Thankfully, most of them were much better.
When you listen to music, do you create a world within your mind to complement it? It's like reading a book and imagining the scenes so the words on the page become something more real and understandable. In a similar fashion, I already had an "established" imagination for each song and the remixes expanded them and added another dimension. It is especially true for "In the Arms of Rain (SALEM Remix)," "Ode to Solitude (Gavin Russom Remix),"and "Love, The Hardest Way (Tiësto Remix)," which are some of the best off SWRMXS.
And as excited as I was for "Heartkiller (The Mercy Fvcks Remix)"... I wasn't expecting it to be so hilariously, and crazily fun. XD (Man, when will The Mercy Fvcks make music already?!)
But of course, there are good bit of downsides to this. Some of the remixes are too long, while the original songs are too short; SWRMXS is nearly twenty minutes longer than Sreamworks. This made me a bit curious... Some remixes made their counterparts look really lame ("Love, the Hardest Way",) others did no improvement ("Shatter Me with Hope",) and some remixes are just embarrassing ("Like St. Valentine/Acoustic Funeral/Katherine Wheel.")
To give this a 3 is unfair, but a 4 is too much, so this rests in the middle. SWRMXS was a great effort Ville made while the other boys work on their side projects, and I'm thankful he did this. Who knows, maybe in two weeks I'll love this more, or I'll downright loathe it. But for now, it's all I'm listening to every night.
Hey, the bright side is that if I end up hating this remix album, at least I got a free t-shirt from pre-ordering. XD