Some critics have made the assertion that electronic music isn’t capable of delivering the same tonality that a standard pop song can, but I would point anyone who might be inclined to agree with them in the direction of Brooke Josephson’s “Mr. Fix It (Rocky G Remix).” The Los Angeles, California-based Josephson’s music typically falls under indie pop categorization, but with the supervision of producer Rocky G her sound is channeled through a melodic electronic grid that filters out any of the stock elements in her profile and leaves only the most beautiful gems that she has to offer. Her fans needn’t fear; Rocky G’s version of “Mr. Fix It” isn’t a total departure from the stylish sway of Josephson’s original; in fact, I think it’s a fitting tribute to her versatility.
“The click of the door / And your killer cologne / Are my cue to stop / And break out the pompoms” Josephson croons as synthesizers bite at her every syllable. The beat won’t leave her alone; it boxes her into a corner and lets the harmony between her voice and the bassline pressurize until it’s as angry as the drums are. Percussion isn’t an afterthought in this song – it’s at ground zero of all the excitement, carefully avoiding the explosions going off in the bassline and fitting into the clean patch of sound situated above Josephson’s echoing vocal. The multifaceted mix challenges us to play with our volume knobs and find where the sweet spot is, but thankfully it doesn’t tire us with its explorative nature.
When it comes to style, Brooke Josephson has a very unique approach to recording. Her lyrics are always patient in their design, but they don’t drag out a climax as long as the synth parts in this song do. With Rocky G to guide the ship, we careen off of the beaten path and into a pastoral countryside of ambient grooves that aren’t tailored around the singing but also don’t try and take away from their spacey transmissions. The lack of a plastic vernacular in Josephson’s prose also stands at a sharp contrast to what many critics anticipate in an electronic remix of a pop song. I’d like to say that I too was surprised by the means in which she and Rocky G attacked this project, but as anyone who has heard Brooke Josephson’s last EP Sexy N’ Domesticated knows, this performer does everything but blend into crowd.
The closing thirty seconds of “Mr. Fix It (Rocky G Remix)” might be the most intense portion of the entire single, and they seem to feature a slightly augmented mix compared to the intro to the song. It could be the sonic brutality that we’ve just experienced in the previous three and a half minutes finally coming to a head, but it could also be a spike in middle that serves to modulate the evenness of the instrumentation and make the ending feel as bludgeoning as the climactic chorus is. Whatever it is, this track ends even stronger than it starts and leaves an intrepid imprint on anyone who lives for anthemic club rockers in the style of late 90’s house music. Woven from the fabric of a true classic in Josephson’s growing discography, “Mr. Fix It (Rocky G Remix)” is full of startling but pleasing surprises that will make you excited about an emerging artist who appears to be capable doing of anything she sets her mind to.