BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge 2013 - Review
Review by Jack Foley
AS EVER, BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge collection offers a generally entertaining selection of cover versions and live renditions.
The tracks assembled from 2013 include take-notice moments such as Vampire Weekend’s take on Robin Thicke’s now controversial Blurred Lines, Mallory Knox’s husky, acoustic take on Pink’s Try and 30 Second To Mars’s ear-pleasing version of Rihanna’s Stay.
Needless to say, these are several of the standout moments.
Others include Ellie Goulding’s piano-backed, stripped down take on Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors, which really comes alive during the chorus, fun’s breezier version of Goulding’s Anything Could Happen and just damn good live versions of Bastille’s Pompeii, Frank Turner’s The Way I Tend To Be and Naughty Boy’s La La La by the artists themselves.
We even rated a dirty, funky live version of Jason Derulo’s Talk Dirty, while Jake Bugg underlines what a great live artist he is, too, with a solid live offering of Lightning Bolt.
Arctic Monkeys impress with their version of Drake’s Hold On, We’re Waiting To Go Home, while Mumford & Sons drop an interesting take on Alt-J’s Tessellate (needless to say, it sounds better) and there’s quality (as you’d expect) from Ben Howard on Ellie Goulding’s Figure 8 and Gabrielle Aplin on a sweet version of One Direction’s Best Song Ever (again, arguably, better than the original for sounding a little more mature).
As ever with these compilations, the very best moments come from the surprises, such as Vampire Weekend’s fun take on Blurred Lines – although there are also those covers that don’t convince, with urban artists sometimes displaying their limitations when stretching themselves into other genres.
The closing two tracks on CD2 also bring things to a somewhat disappointing finale, with hip-hop and dance being served up, respectively, by A$AP Rock (Wild For The Night) and Disclosure (Need U (100%).
Fortunately, though, there are more moments that hit than miss and 2013 has to rate as another successful year for the Live Lounge series.
Download picks: Pompeii (Bastille), Try (Mallory Knox), Blurred Lines (Vampire Weekend), So Good To Me (The 1975), Talk Dirty (Jason Derulo), La La La (Naughty Boy), Anything Could Happen (fun), The Way I Tend To Be (Frank Turner), Mirrors (Ellie Goulding), Get Lucky (Daughter)
- Blurred Lines (ORIGINALLY BY ROBIN THICKE FEAT. T.I. & PHARRELL WILLIAMS) – Vampire Weekend
- Tessellate (ORIGINALLY BY ALT – J)
- So Good To Me (ORIGINALLY BY CHRIS MALINCHAK) – The 1975
- Figure 8 (ORIGINALLY BY ELLIE GOULDING) – Ben Howard
- It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
- Radioactive – Rita Ora
- Diamonds (ORIGINALLY BY RIHANNA) – Jessie Ware
- Good Time – Carly Rae Jepsen & Owl City
- Impossible (ORIGINALLY BY SHONTELLE / JAMES ARTHUR) – K Koke Feat. Daley
- Thrift Shop (ORIGINALLY BY MACKLEMORE FEAT. RYAN LEWIS) – Theme Park
- Close Enemies – Example
- Can You Hear Me? (Ayayaya) – Wiley Feat. Skepta & Ms D
- Chained (ORIGINALLY BY THE XX) – Mikky Ekko
- Beneath Your Beautiful (ORIGINALLY BY LABRINTH FEAT. EMELI SANDÉ) – Misha B
- Little Talks (ORIGINALLY BY OF MONSTERS AND MEN) – Lianne La Havas
- Thinkin Bout You – (ORIGINALLY BY FRANK OCEAN)
- Try (ORIGINALLY BY P!NK) – Mallory Knox
- The Way I Tend To Be – Frank Turner
- Wild For The Night – A$AP Rocky
- Need U (100%) (ORIGINALLY BY DUKE DUMONT FEAT. A*M*E) – Disclosure Feat. Sam Smith