Second Perspective: Mahogany Jones “Morphed in Redd”
Published on March 21, 2009
Uh oh. The certifiable Simon Cowell of Illspot.net/HolyCulture has been requested to review the remix to Mahogany Jones’s “Morphed” album conveniently called “Morphed in Redd.” I liked the switch up of the name and the corresponding cover to match and the producer, Redd Lettaz. It was a simple minor thing, but I couldn’t help but think of the iconic underground figure, Qwel of Typical Cats, who is well known for doing full album collaborations with a single producer and call it so-and-so and Qwel or Qwel and so-and-so. I was both excited and worried about the idea of Mahogany Jones taking on this premise, especially as a remix album. What we actually have in Redd Lettaz is a kind of techno/house remix album. It’s kinda quirky, fun, odd, different, cool and off all at the same time.
Instead of a proper collaboration in doing a whole album, Mahogany Jones simply sent Redd Lettaz the acappellas and the rest was on Redd. This is a cool thing to do for a single track or two when working with a dj, but the idea of creating a whole new official album under that concept was not wise and it shows. One of the big falter points within the original Morphed album was the monotony of sounds/beats. Many sounded very similar. Another was the lack of harmony between the artist and the beats. By only giving the acappellas to Redd, there was no real attempt to fix some of the same issues. Portions of the original vocal recordings are part of the problem. Furthermore, Redd has a tendency to use many of the same electronic elements, sounds and combinations. Ultimately, much of the same monotony and disunity re-arose, just under a different color of light.
On the upside there are a few standout tracks which received the proper vigor they so needed in the first place. Both “Musik” and “Keep On” are animated with live drum elements that really energize the tracks the way they were meant to be. They are still far from perfect, but both are memorable and much better. If you give the vocals a fresh re-record and touch up a couple of other things and these are solid bangers. In fact, “Musik” has managed to stay stuck in my head for days in an enjoyable fashion, which is always a good sign of a real quality track as well as a notable single. The current single, “Loose Control,” also received a nice touch up and is a better track than before and a worthy remix.
Overall, there is still much work that needs to be done with all of these tracks before they are “album” quality material, in my opinion. Each and every track on the album needs a few touch ups. Yet, if Redd and Mo make the right revisions to some of these tracks and add them as a re-release of the original Morphed album as additional mixes and/or even replacements to certain original tracks, it will make the original a far better album that will truly have Morphed. Furthermore, it would be truer to Mahogany Jones’ intent of sonically infusing many of the different kinds of music she loves together into something fresh and different but still familiar.