We've almost finished this endurance-testing a1 special--today will be the last day, and the focus will be on B-sides. I got tired of waiting for some singles to arrive, so I can't give you the Almighty mix of "Same Old Brand New You" or "High & Dry," which features the "classic" lyrics "we either get high or go dry." Still, today's songs are worth a listen; I really recommend getting the albums, though, because, as good as the B-sides are, the albums are generally better.
Caught In The Middle (Almighty Mix)--it's an Almighty mix--isn't that reason enough to listen to it? I'd heard a lot of good things about this remix before I got it--it's really highly praised--so I had really high expectations. I'm not sure that it totally met them (I might just have been expecting something different), but it is good. Don't let the first "caught in the middle" throw you--though it reappears, the entire song isn't as strained as that sounds. It's neither a chillout mix nor a dancefloor anthem, just sort of cool (not in the "hip" sense) and almost hypnotizing.
Make It Good (Johan S Vocal Mix) (link fixed!)--the song starts out with the beat; then, distorted vocals come in, gradually becoming clearer and eventually revealing themsleves to be the original song's middle 8 (which is great, so its prominence here is a pleasant surprise; the frequent use of the "when you're weary" bit is also welcome). It's not exactly a call to the dancefloor either, but it is more danceable than the original. The mild distortion of the vocals during the chorus is really nice--it gives it more power, as well as helping to electronic-ify the song.
Miracle--a B-side from the Here We Come era, but you could probably have guessed that 10 seconds in--it definitely has that sound of sheer exuberance (some might say cheesiness) that characterizes their first album. Just a happy, feel-good song--from beginning to end, "Miracle" makes it clear that that's all it wants to be, and sometimes that's all you want. The little ad-libs over the chorus at the end are fun.
You're Not In Love--a ballad sung with what sounds like heartfelt delivery. It's a B-side to "Caught In The Middle" and, though not putting it on the Make It Good album was probably a good decision (there are much better ballads on the album), it's pretty good.
To buy the "Make It Good" single (which has the first two songs), go here (physical); to buy the "Be The First To Believe" single (which has "Miracle), go here (physical); to buy the "Caught In The Middle" single (which has "You're Not In Love), go here (physical).
Next up: two disappointing albums for the price of one!