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Disney’s “Dconstructed” (Various Artists) – Album Review

Walt Disney Records (2014)

The family-friendly world of Walt Disney wouldn’t appear to be a logical fit for the hedonism and debauchery of the EDM scene. But just 18 months after dubstep wizard Skrillex provided the score for Wreck-It-Ralph, Disney’s record company offshoot has recruited a who’s-who of superstar DJs to transform a whole host of Disney tunes past and present for remix album, Dconstructed.

The concept is undoubtedly intriguing, but sadly the execution is more straight-to-DVD cash-in than genre-defining box-office smash. Indeed, considering the wealth of iconic songs to choose from, it’s disappointing to hear that several of its fourteen tracks are unlikely to be familiar to anyone but Disney aficionados.

Even with Daft Punk’s resurgence, it’s difficult to fathom why not just one but two of their contributions to the TRON: Legacy soundtrack are given the Dconstructed treatment here – first with Avicii’s vocal take on the pulsing robotic electro of “Derezzed,” and secondly with Japanese Popstars’ industrial ambient remix of “Fall.” And given a gurgling bass-led reworking by Yogi, few would consider Sebastian Ingrosso & Axwell’s Monsters University offering, “Roar,” to be a beloved Disney classic.

The results are no more inspiring when the source material is more familiar. Idina Menzel’s recent Oscar winner, “Let It Go,” is turned into a formulaic slab of trance-pop by Dutchman Armin Van Buuren. The inherent charm of The Muppets’ theme tune is swamped by Shy Kidx’s bombastic brostep retooling, while Sleeping Beauty favorite “Once Upon A Dream” is also ruined by a similarly brainless blend of bleeps and bass-lines that have come straight out of the EDM for Beginners Handbook.

There are a few moments which prove that Dconstructed could have worked wonders in the right hands. Kaskade’s ethereal remix of Dumbo lullaby “Baby Mine” impressively retains the gentleness of the original with its echo-laden guitars and muted beats. Stonebridge’s “Hey Pluto” – one of three entirely original compositions inspired by the Disney name – is a brilliant playful love letter to the early Mickey Mouse shorts which combines samples of the old rodent himself with bursts of cartoonish big band jazz.

But for the most part, Dconstructed is a half-hearted experiment which both fails to do justice to the Disney brand and could also possibly taint your childhood memories forever.

2 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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