Caroline: Murmurs Mixes
Temporary Residence

On Murmurs Mixes (an iTunes exclusive), chanteuse Caroline Lufkin's entrancing dream-pop get the makeover treatment courtesy of Lullatone, Logreybeam, and eight others. Some of the material will already be familiar to those who picked up her Where's My Love and Sunrise singles but there's a generous share of new material to supplement it.

Two non-album tracks frame the collection: her enchanting voice soars gently through “Time Swells” and “Wonderlust,” languorous and melancholy ballads that are as lovely as anything on Murmurs. Not surprisingly, the remix versions that perpetuate her dreamy spirit feel more natural and hence more successful. Andreas Bjørck's “Magical” mix of “Where's My Love” lives up to its billing when harp plucks, Caroline's fragmented voice, and gleaming synth melodies waft over a lusciously funky hip-hop pulse. Kai Kurosawa's enchanting treatment likewise stays true to the innocent yearning of “I'll Leave My Heart Behind.” Brightest Feathers' ups the dreamy ante in a “Sunset” mix of “ Sunrise ” that rises in a heavenly cloud of strings and vocals. Wake's mix feels like a less successful pairing of electro-pop elements and her vocal melodies though, in its defense, there'd be little point in having multiple interpretations of a song be identical in character (Logreybeam's, in fact, dispenses with vocals altogether). The Lullatone mix of “Bicycle” initially sounds like two separate songs disjointedly stitched together with a drum machine pattern and Lufkin 's voice unnatural partners but the gradual addition of keyboard patterns becomes the glue that binds the song together. Repose buries her voice under aggressive beats in the densely layered “Winter” mix and DJ Poignant gives “Everylittlething” an equally radical makeover. Though not all of the mixes are equally satisfying, Murmurs Mixes—undeniably a stop-gap until the next set of Caroline originals appearshas its share of delectable moments.

February 2008