Fruit of collaboration between film music composer David Arnold and artists as diverse as Iggy Pop, Propellerheads and Aimee Mann, Shaken and Stirred revisits 11 James Bond classics redone in modern styles.
The album opens with "Diamonds Are Forever" a version close to the original if it weren't for a new "diva",David McAlmont, who replaces Shirley Bassey with a refreshing pinch of kitsch. Though Aimee Mann takes "Nobody Likes It Better" a little too religiously, Leftfield offers the first diamond of the collection with a techno version of "Space March"; a hypnotic instrumental from Moonraker perfectly lends itself to this exercise. Pulp murmurs on "All Time High" while Sharon Nelson does the contrary on "Moonraker". LTJ Bukem makes the celebrated "James Bond Theme" techno. Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders) succeeds the impossible by rendering Paul McCartney's exasperating "Live and Let Die" bearable. Martin Fry (ABC) and class blend together on "Thunderball". The rendition of "From Russia With Love" by Natasha Atlas has a bewitching Russian warmth. "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is the most efficient piece, the Propellerheads propelling this pre-techno instrumental into unstoppable electronic spheres. Lastly, who better than Iggy Pop could match Louis Armstrong's husky voice in "We Have All The Time In The World"?
The only ones missing are Moby and his remake of the famous secret agent's theme as well as Brian Ferry, who would have sounded good here.
By never wandering too far from the original version when making a respectful homage, Shaken And Stirred took the risk of getting stuck as a pale copy. That would have been the case had it not been for the judicious choice of interpreters that made this project a successful enterprise.