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July 12, 2024

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Richard X Presents His X-Factor Volume One (Virgin Records)

By: Cam Lindsay

With bootlegs invading dance clubs all of last year, thanks to the talents of Erol Alkan and 2 Many DJs, it's become an international phenomenon to steal in order to create. Richard X is a perfect example of borrowing something old to bring something new to the masses. After facing lawsuits helping out punkers Girls On Top, he scored a UK #1 single producing Sugababes' "Freak Like Me". Mixing together Gary Numan and Adina Howard tracks, the young threesome's career took off thanks to X and his twisted vision. Earlier this year, X struck (gold) again with Popstars rejects Liberty X. Using Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody" and The Human League's "Being Boiled" he formed a masterful pop song that made a manufactured vocal group actually quite interesting. Richard X Presents His X-Factor Volume One (featuring his collaborations with both Sugababes and Liberty X) is an entire album of X having his way with a slew of songs. Featuring fresh talent such as newcomer and another Popstars flop Javine, Deborah Evans-Strickland and the lovably exotic Kelis, X has his work cut out for him. "Finest Dreams", featuring Kelis, is a hypnotic, low-brow slice of disco funk that is almost too ahead of its time for those who bought his earlier collaborations. A cold, monotonous rendition of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic, "Walk On By", sees Evans-Strickland giving a Chicks On Speed-worthy vocal performance to a song known for its passion. Straight from his cover version of Nelly's "Hot In Herre", Tiga joins in for some fun on "You (Better Let Me Love You x4)", creating a hip-shaking wonderland for 80s revivalists everywhere. The only moment where X goes a little awry is the Jarvis Cocker collaboration "Into You". Sampling the beloved "Fade Into You", it's does no justice to the Mazzy Star original, and instead, ends up portraying Cocker as a piss-poor karoake singer. Aside from that one moment of weakness, Richard X has compiled a mix album that is both achingly hip and devilishly enjoyable whether you feel the guilt or not.
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