BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge 2012 - Review
Review by Jack Foley
ONE of the compilation highlights of any year for the past few years has been BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge collections, their annual round-up of the cream of the past year’s sessions.
2012 proved to be another good year (if not a vintage one). And this showcase spans every genre, from pop to rap via rock, folk and dance. Some artists, as usual, provide alternative versions of their own songs (fun’s acoustic breakdown of We Are Young standing out as an obvious highlight).
But the most fun to be had is when artists from one genre have a go at covering an artist from another. It’s then that some very interesting re-interpretations occur (though not always successfully for die-hard fans of the original).
Hence, album opener Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye gets a stark makeover from Rita Ora and sets things in motion in pleasing fashion.
Elsewhere, Paloma Faith delivers a typically classy (and gospel tinged) version of Rudimental’s Feel The Love, Conor Maynard puts forward a surprisingly good acoustic version of Nicki Minaj’s Starships (complete with fab use of piano), and Usher is clearly having fun with a breezy version of Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks.
Other successes include Kasabian’s brilliant version of Lana Del Rey’s Video Game, The Vaccines’ kick-ass take on Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (complete with gritty guitars) and Maverick Sabre’s clever mash-up of Sean Kingston’s Beautiful Girls and Ben E King’s Stand By Me (which fit together surprisingly well).
I also liked Example’s stripped back, piano-laced and soul-tinged version of Rihanna’s We Found Love and Arctic Monkey’s version of Katy B’s On A Mission.
One of the more interesting, meanwhile (if not entirely successful), is Ed Sheeran, Devlin and Labrinth teaming up for an attention grabbing take on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s No Church In The Wild. It’s a close call but an honourable failure.
Of those artists sticking to their own material, Alex Clare’s acoustic version of Too Close is another standout, as is Lana Del Rey’s Blue Jeans (delivered in extremely moody fashion) and – almost naturally – Mumford & Sons’ rousing acoustic take on their I Will Wait. Credit, too, goes to Bombay Bicycle Club for a great version of their Lights Out, Words Gone. Likewise, Michael Kiwanuka for a classy version of I’m Getting Ready.
There are some misses. Scouting For Girls make a bit of a hash of Little Mix’s Wings, Plan B can’t quite carry off Cheryl’s Call My Name (in itself a poor song), JLS foul up Labrinth’s Earthquake/Do It Like A Dude, Professor Green’s vocals seem ill-suited to Adele’s Hometown Glory (even though he uses her vocals for the chorus) and Florence + The Machine surprisingly overdoes Drake’s Take Care.
Also a surprise is just how badly wrong Dappy and Brian May’s take on Queen’s We Will Rock You is.
All told, though, it’s another diverse and generally enjoyable compilation that also forces you to have an opinion (no bad thing).
Download picks: We Are Young, Starships, Too Close, Blue Jeans, I Will Wait, Video Game, Beautiful Girls/Stand By Me, Feel The Love, We Found Love,
- I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
- Video Game – Kasabian [Originally By Lana Del Rey]
- No Church In The Wild – Ed Sheeran / Devlin / Labrinth [Originally By Jay Z & Kanye West]
- We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – The Vaccines [Originally By Taylor Swift]
- Take Care – Florence + The Machine [Originally By Drake Feat. Rihanna]
- Beautiful Girls / Stand By Me – Maverick Sabre [Originally By Sean Kingston / Ben E. King]
- Beautiful People – Labrinth [Originally By Chris Brown Feat. Benny Benassi]
- We Found Love – Example [Originally By Rihanna Feat. Calvin Harris]
- Machu Picchu – Foster The People [Originally By The Strokes]
- We Will Rock You – Dappy & Brian May [Originally By Queen]
- Lights Out, Words Gone – Bombay Bicycle Club
- Lonely Boy – The Maccabees [Originally By The Black Keys]
- Won’t Let You Go – James Morrison
- Lego House – Loick Essien [Originally By Ed Sheeran]
- Who You Are – Twin Atlantic [Originally By Jessie J]
- I’m Getting Ready – Michael Kiwanuka
- To The Stars – Modestep
- On A Mission – Arctic Monkeys [Originally By Katy B]
- Hometown Glory – Professor Green [Originally By Adele]