""Life in Mono" is perhaps the most enchanting song in Mono's "Formica Blues." It's a pretty, trippy little trip-hop song with a revolving keyboard melody, and wistful lyrics. Sadly, few of the remixes are up to the standards of the original. More often than not, they merely make you wish for the simplicity of Mono's uncluttered sound.
The original album version is the first presented, followed by "Life In Mono - Propellerheads Alice Band Mix," which is has more percussion and bass, and less keyboard magic. "Life In Mono - Propellerheads Sweat Band Mix" is less appealing -- it's funereal and cluttered with sound, losing the actual song somewhere in the heavy production. As a rock song, it's excellent, but not quite a good remix.
"Life In Mono - Lightfoot "Hope" Mix" is a bit better, getting both heavier and spacier; "Life In Mono - Bushmaster Mix" completely loses the melody under a thick carpet of muddy sounds, except for a few wavery moments. And finally there is an instrumental version of "Life in Mono," which is basically the pretty, rippling melody without the vocals.
The UK trip-hop band Mono only produced one album, sadly. But at least it was an excellent one. And "Life in Mono" is an enchanting song, even if it loses some of its magic under the thick layers of bass and percussion here, along with some heavy electronic work. The Propellerhead remixes are probably the most even work in the single, maintaining their sound smoothly to the end.
There are some duds in the "Life in Mono" single, and few of the remixes sound anything like the original. But it's certainly worth looking at."
Life in mono
Erica Anderson | Minneapolis, MN | 02/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first remember hearing "Life in Mono" in a commercial for that godawful POS called "Great Expectations" with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke on television several years ago. I was immediately smitten with the intricate melodies and fragile vocals. I bought the full-length cd shortly after first hearing the song and finding out that Mono sings the song however I was disappointed in the cd. I found out that the only song I liked on it was "Life in Mono". Everything else was...well, garbage immediately comes to mind. So I sold the full-length cd and later found a copy of just the single "Life in Mono" with its remixes. My one issue with the single is that the album version is like only around three and a half minutes long contrary to what it says on the back of the cd. The remixes were very interesting to say the very least. My personal favorite of the four mixes was the Alice Band mix which was remixed by the guys in Propellerheads. It had a very laid back, bass-driven feel to the song. The Sweat Band Mix was a more rock orientated mix along with techno beats. For some odd reason, the Sweat Band mix reminded me of Underworld's "Dark and Long". I don't know why but it just had that same dark feel to the song. I didn't care much for the remix because it lacked any vocals. The "Hope" mix was cool because it was remixed as a drum and bass track. I'm not a big fan of drum and bass music in general but I thought "Life in Mono" did sound good as a d&b song. The Bushmaster mix was good too. Maybe slightly better than the "Hope" mix. Of course I loved the instrumental. With or without vocals, I just love hearing intricate melodies of the harpsichord on this particular song. Overall, solid remixes."
Erica Anderson | 07/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"one of those just purly great songs.her voice is of an angel and the melody is from heaven.you can appreciate the song better if you have seen great expectations."
Soothing and mysterious
Ilker Yucel (email@example.com) | 12/03/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Life in Mono" is an excellent song, and all the incarnations on this single are listenable and all contain their own identity. What more is there to say? Good song, good single, get it!"
A perfect mix of electronic rhythm, harmony and hum !
Erica Anderson | 06/13/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the tradition of soft french melodies, Mono produces a hypnotic lingering tune. A familar melody line taken a step further by catchy electronics and soothing harmonies."