Bertie Blackman is a fascinating character. Quirky and enigmatic, she is a creative force masked beneath a darling exterior. Her B-Sides: Secrets and Lies Remixed album is a new take on the well-received Secrets and Lies released last May. A remix album may sound like an interesting idea, but sadly Bertie’s characteristic touch is lost in it, drowned in a sea of rapid beats and cheesy effects.
Although Secrets and Lies integrated electro elements to complete the sound, the Remixed version increases the beats and throws them ham-fistedly on top. It may seem obvious to say this about a ‘remix’ album, but Secrets and Lies Remixed is pretty much a dancier re-imagining of what was an expressive and eccentric record. It really depends on what you’re after; you might enjoy fast-paced dancey pop music. But if you prefer the remixed album to Bertie’s original, I don’t think you’re getting what her music’s all about.
Don’t get me wrong, Secrets and Lies Remixed has its high points. I did like its version of ‘Thump’, which was smooth, original and something you’d enjoy chilling to. There were tracks with a house music sound, like ‘Town of Sorrow’, which were passable. Unfortunately, the high points were few and far between on the thirteen tracks.
The tragedy of the Remix album is too many of Bertie’s outstanding songs like ‘Black Cats’ and ‘Byrds of Prey’ were ravaged, turned into versions that sounded like songs off Dance Dance Revolution (for those familiar with the Asian dance-platform game). It’s definitely fun and cute, but so is Justin Bieber. Okay, it doesn’t sink that low, but still – in my humble opinion, Secrets and Lies is better left untouched.