My Favorite The Happiest Days of Our Lives

My Favorite are not the most prolific band. They’ve spent the past three years releasing a series of limited edition EPs, loosely based on the mythology of Joan of Arc and now they are gathering them altogether on The Happiest Days of Our Lives. The CD collected those 12 songs along with four songs from a new recording session. That’s where the opening "The Happiest Days of My Life” comes from, a rare moment of out and out optimism from a band whose songs are usually a little on the bleak side. Still, you can’t help but feel that they are just being sarcastic. There are at least half a dozen anthemic gems that capture the best moments of New Order, St. Etienne and the Magnetic Fields, but there are also some other songs that feel like filler. When the music was appearing as EPs, it was much easier to swallow one song out of four being a little on the weak side, but when they are all grouped together on one album, it makes for a patchy record where the best songs soar way above the average. The second disc contains 14 remixes (of six songs), done by the likes of Future Bible Heroes, Flowchart and Alexander Peris. For the most part, the remixes don’t deconstruct the songs to their most basic elements, instead preferring to simply add some sweeping atmosphere and some funky dance beats. It is an interesting diversion, but the originals are definitely preferable. Chances are it could be a while before My Favorite record some new material, so if you missed on the EPs the first time round, this is the perfect way to get up to speed. (Double Agent)