The sound above my hair is typically made by airplanes.
Back again with a third single from their 2009 album, Under The Radar Over The Top, the trio known as Scooter have become rather relentless in tossing new material our way. Within a three-month period, they have given us the full-length album, plus three singles altogether. Based on Scooter's past history, this is the first time that they've ever packed in the musical ammunition and fired it off so quickly. Was it a wise promotional tool, or was it too much for the listening public to handle? Whichever answer you choose, I have to admit that they are putting out some pretty decent stuff within that period, and "The Sound Above My Hair" is no exception. As my album review indicated, I gave that version of this tune a definite nod. But now they've retooled the single somewhat... so is it just as good?
Really, that depends on your taste. Looking at just the Radio Edit as an example, gone completely are the hardstyle elements from the album version. Granted, this aspect didn't make or break the track, but it still provided a bit of neat atmosphere. Instead, this edition steps right into the trance part, coated by a ghostly "ooooOOOOoooo" sound (my best description, I swear) with H.P.'s auto-tuned singing vocals -- at least they maintained my favourite part. Based off a melody from "Wonderful Life" by Black (a band I had never heard of, and I don't believe they are still together), we are soon subject to a pretty damn massive anthem. But they can't do this the whole way through, so how will they substitute in for what they removed? By adding a simple bagpipe melody over some hardstyle bass and beats, of course! It's quite a throwback to the days of olde when they used bagpipes in tracks such as "I'm Raving" (1996) and "I'm Your Pusher" (2000). Someone in Scooter Central seems to like that. And it feels as comfortable here as it did back then. So all in all, it's a pretty competent mix, and I am quite happy with how the song turned out, although admittedly I was skeptical about the bagpipes those first couple of listens... but I like them now.
Then someone decided to make an Electro Mix of this song, resulting in the definite oddball of the bunch. Many effects have been removed from H.P.'s voice, making it sound much rougher than I'd prefer, and they chopped him up quite unusually over minimal poppy electro beats. Is this for everyone? No. Is this for anyone? ...Well, I don't know. However, I think this space could have been more effectively used for a remix from someone else. Or a second B-side. But the slammin' Extended Mix makes us all rise up and gain that momentum to boogie once again. The introduction and conclusion to this mix are both pretty powerful. In the middle, it's pretty much what you got in the Radio Edit. Then there's the obligatory B-side, Lucullus, which is very much a strong hardstyle offering as well with neat chopped vocal samples and a happy little melody plunked in the middle like a decadent Oreo. Alongside "Scarborough Reloaded" from the last single, I'd say the B-sides are getting much better than in previous years.
So the question remains: do I like the album version or the single version of "The Sound Above My Hair" more? Well, although I enjoy them both equally and can find excellent qualities in both, I will give the nod to the single version for keeping all elements of the song feeling as though they flow together well. The two parts of the album version created a bit of a jarring transition (though not a bad one -- it is a fun track), but the bagpipes seem to slide right into the situation. But I am just one man, and I'll leave it to you to decide!