Release date: 17/05/10 Link: Myspace Before a second of music is played, Derivatives is already a fascinating album. The very idea of the delicate, heartfelt and evocative melodies of the previous album from William Fitzsimmons, The Sparrow and the Crow, being re-imagined and remixed to give them a positive spin is an idea that could possibly have terrible repercussions. Fortunately, the remixes are tastefully done and don’t squeeze every bit of essence from the original songs. Instead of unrecognisable songs being created, as so often is the way with remixes, Derivatives is an assembly of songs developed beautifully, creating a continuation from the songs on The Sparrow and the Crow. Electro blips, synths and heavy basslines now accompany Fitzsimmons’ mournful voice, adding to the songs rather than removing key elements from them. It’s difficult to look at what these songs have become without putting them under great scrutiny and comparing them unnecessarily to their counterparts, and even if you did, luckily these songs can withstand the scrutiny. They’re still as emotional and frantically grab at your heartstrings, clutching them tightly and relentlessly refusing to release grip. All this emotion can get quite tiring, especially if you immerse yourself fully into the songs. The Pink Ganter remix of ‘So This Is Goodbye’ is an album highlight and preserves the beauty of the original song, using its emotional foundations as building blocks for something haunting and wholly respectful to the original. Ending the album with the Katy Perry cover, ‘I Kissed a Girl’ is a brave move, but a move that completely pays off. Suddenly, the rather insincere Perry ditty takes on whole new levels. Somehow the rather vacuous lyrics have meaning when delivered by William Fitzsimmons’ earnest voice. The intriguing thing about this album is the fact that the songs can be enjoyed on various levels. For a William Fitzsimmons fan who has listened to The Sparrow and the Crow and knows every little nuance of each song, Derivatives is a continuation, welcomed with open arms. For the new William Fitzsimmons fan, no prior knowledge to The Sparrow and the Crow is needed – these songs are perfectly legitimate, built upon versions of the originals, brimming with outstanding beauty and crafted with care. Photobucket