CD Cover Bush
Interscope / Universal

Review by Dorothy Parvaz

45-second excerpt from "Synapse (Philip Steir/My Ghost in the Bush of Life Mix)" (various formats)

God help me, I like this CD.

In my defense, I should add that Deconstruction doesn't sound like Bush's usual grunge rock. In fact, the album's only very Bush moment comes during "Mouth" -- probably because Bush vocalist/guitarist/centerfold Gavin Rossdale and guitarist Nigel Pulsford had a hand in remixing the song -- and "Mouth" is the closest thing on Deconstruction to rock. The rest is dance music, remixes of Bush tunes by the likes of Goldie, Mekon and Lunatic Calm. If house music took a sharp turn towards rock 'n roll (and away from disco), this is what is would sound like.

This is a moody album. It effortlessly slithers its way from depressing to spooky from loop to loop, and, business-wise, was the smartest thing the band could've done. Now Bush is pretty much guaranteed club play in those establishments that don't cater to hard-core techonphiles, but which play that radio-friendly brand of electronic music (read: not too esoteric) to appease their weekend regulars.

"Synapse" is a strange little number, if only because it seems to include sample from the movie The Elephant Man (sadly, a list of the samples used on the album wasn't available, so we'll just say that it sounds an awful lot like a sample from The Elephant Man) -- a strange, and perhaps somewhat insensitive choice, given the nature of John Merrick's tragic story, but effective nonetheless.

Saving the best for last, there's a cover of New Order's "In a Lonely Place" (written, but not recorded during the band's Joy Division days), remixed by none other than the ever freaky Tricky. True, Rossdale is no Ian Curtis, but the song is suitably creepy and depressing... low, rumbling drums, slow, spooky vocals... they've done the song justice.

So what if Bush are labeled as Nirvana wannabes (even by Dave Grohl himself)? Give the disc a chance. Try and forget that most of Bush's music, prior to remixing, isn't all that exciting and that the band is fronted by repellently photogenic pretty-boy Rossdale. Go on, give Deconstruction a shot.

Just be sure and hide the damn thing when your friends come over.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on February 28, 1998

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