"Virtual Booty Machine"

(Juicy JuJu Records 2005)Lovewhip - Virtual Booty Machine

On their fourth release, Lovewhip try to work you into a wild frenzy with their electronic meets reggae dance tracks. Straight to the point, Lovewhip's "Virtual Booty Machine" contains three original songs and a cover of reggae prince Dennis Brown's "Sitting and Watching." The remaining seven tracks on the album are remixes of the first four.

The album's title track is where things all fall into place. The rhythmic "Virtual Booty Machine" is catchy and inviting. The cover of Brown's "Sitting and Watching" uses light and bouncy reggae rhythms to show off singer Erin Harpe's vocals and Lovewhip's softer side. Steven Hawking-like voices add background vocals to a subdued "Get it on Down." Shaking things up, "Bombay Booty Machine," a remix of the title track by MicL PTVN, samples an instructive speech a la Dr. Ruth for an energetic result that is much more appealing than today's hits by comparable bands like the Black Eyed Peas. A sample of the jangling guitar of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walking" stands out on "Boots Booty," remixed by Monkone while Mark E. Moon's remix, "Rebooty," gives Lovewhip some rock attitude as the remix of "Virtual Booty Machine" is edgy and rough.

With nearly two-thirds of the release merely remixes of the first part of the album, Lovewhip take somewhat of a chance. For this format to work, the original songs have to be tight, strong tracks; it is never a good sign when the remix is more interesting than the original. Lovewhip walk that fine line and come out on top, with a smart balance between the remixes and the originals.


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