The Sparrow and The Crow was a fantastic album and I am a fan of Fitzsimmons’ work and to that extent Derivatives is an album that I was more than happy to listen to, yet this is not a lasting album in any way.
It consists of remixes and reimaginings as well as a cover of the Katy Perry song I Kissed a Girl, the song which most fans will want to hear just to see how Fitzsimmons has made it his own.
Part of the joy of listening to The Sparrow and The Crow came from knowing that Fitzsimmons’ could been sitting in front of you and playing in your room, the breathy vocals and the economical guitar work made this an album that you could listen to through headphones and be with Fitzsimmons, thus the act of remixing these songs seems to take away from what made them special in the first place. Guilty on this count is the sacrilegious If You Would Come Back Home (Mikroboy Remix) a song about as necessary as a subscription to FHM in a nunnery. Of the two versions of I Don’t Feel it Anymore on this album, the second more closely reflects the original version but with the inclusion of the female vocals. The version that opens this album is not wholly bad, but again seems patently unnecessary and out of place. You Still Hurt Me one of the best songs on The Sparrow and the Crow is perhaps the only song improved on Derivatives with the use of a full choir to provide backing vocals to Fitzsimmons vocals. The two Pink Ganter remixes serve only to show what Fitzsimmons would have sounded like if he had co-written the album with Erasure, something that I am sure I would been able to somehow continue through my life without knowing.
The cover of Katy Perry’s I Kissed a Girl is, like most covers, good to a certain extent. Fitzsimmons at least complete reimagines the song and certainly puts his own stamp on it but it sums up Derivatives in that it hasn’t done anything to further my opinion of Fitzsimmons in any way. His cover of King of Wishful Thinking is also much better. The Sparrow and Crow enriched my musical tastes but Derivatives will simply pass me by.
Just buy The Sparrow and the Crow instead, that still remains a fantastic album while this will endure a short lifespan as a mere distraction and exercise in trying best to miss the point of listening to William Fitzsimmons in the first place.