I’ve listened to “Aftermath” remix a few (many) times. As I said yesterday, I’m not really fond of dance remixes, and that includes ones for other Adam songs. The beat and speed bother me and it hides the melody and the vocals. Which means I was waiting for this remix with trepidation. Oh, I was going to buy it, and donate to The Trevor Project, too, but that doesn’t mean I’d be thrilled to own it.
I was wrong. I was very wrong. While I think I prefer the tour acoustic version, this is far better than the album one, and I’ve always liked the album one.
Story about the album version. It was Thanksgiving 2009, and I was cutting onions for the stuffing and listening to FYE, just ripped to my mp3 player. “Aftermath” came on in its turn, and at that moment, with all that had happened that week, it felt very much like a message FROM Adam TO Adam, telling him that it was all going to be fine. So I have a very warm feeling towards that song.
The beat is present, but it’s not so fast that my heart speeds up – it is fast enough I can see working out or dancing to it. More importantly, neither the beat nor the enhancements overwhelm the vocals. In fact, Adam’s warm, lower-register voice is front and center, sitting on top of the music instead of being buried inside of it. The consensus I’ve seen about those vocals is that Billboard chose a different track – not the one used as the lead vocal on the album cut, but one meant to be a back-up. So it wasn’t a new recording, just a different one.
But that’s what wins the remix for me – that his voice IS front and center, delivering his message and sounding gorgeous. To me, this bodes well for the next album, where he promises much the same thing. It doesn’t matter which genre he’s singing (although I’m very happy he’s going for more of a rock edge. That’s not just because I DO love rocker!Adam. It’s also because Adam has a good ear for trends, and if he’s making a rock-edged pop album, it tells me that all pop might be going in that direction, which for me is a very good thing.)
And that leads me to something else. Musical taste. I’m middle-aged. My musical taste fossilized in the 80s (when I was in college) and I prefer listening to active rock stations than anything else – unless Adam has a single out, and then I’ll listen to pop. I know my tastes are pretty common among the older branch of Adam fandom, and I know a number are disappointed that the best rock voice, maybe EVER, (according to the boys at DDD, who rank him first on the list technically) has chosen to do dance and pop and electronica.
But he’s not forced to do it. Yes, he’s pragmatic about the music industry and he knows he needs to write commercial songs but he LOVES current artists and music – you can see it in his recommendations and who he fanboys. His tastes are NOT mine, nor would I expect a 29 year old man from California to have the same tastes as a 47 year old woman from New York. As he said on his Group night – the Stones are his MOTHER’S favorite group.
I don’t care, either. So long as I can hear actually him sing, so long as his voice is not buried under instruments and effects, even if those effects are there, I have feeling I’d enjoy it. Since he’s talking about a rock edge – well, that’s just gravy.