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Radio 1's Live Lounge - Volume 3 - Review

Radio 1's Live Lounge Volume 3

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

RADIO 1’s Live Lounge compilations have now become an almost permanent fixture on the pre-Christmas release schedule. But that’s a good thing as it remains a cut above most compilation albums for this time of year.

Whereas most seek to recycle past hits centred on one particular theme (love songs, Christmas, etc), The Live Lounge remains a showcase for genuine musical talent. Heck, it even contains a few eye-opening surprises and poses some questions.

In the case of participants such as McFly and Girls Aloud, it’s why can’t they make their own material sound as good, accomplished and mature as their appealing cover versions of Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl and Robyn’s With Every Heartbeat respectively (although, admittedly, the thought of the young boys of McFly having to ‘confess’ to kissing a girl and liking it is vaguely amusing and not the best choice of cover records!).

But throughout this 2-CD compilation, there are some gems – all recorded as part of Jo Whiley’s daily live lounge session that invites singers and bands to come in and deliver acoustic, or strings-backed, versions of their own material, as well as offer a different interpretation of a favourite song of the moment.

Hence, the highlights this time fly thick and fast. Duffy’s album opener, a stripped back version of her own mega-hit Mercy, underlines just what an incredibly talented performer she is; while The Ting Tings’ super-charged take on Gossip’s Standing In The Way Of Control (complete with I’ve Got The Power sampling) is a real moment of inspiration.

Dizzee Rascal is clearly having fun taking on The Ting Tings’ That’s Not My Name, and the enthusiasm is infectious, while Pendulum’s pumped-up, drum ‘n’ beat take on Coldplay’s Violet Hill really has no right to work as effectively as it does. It’s actually quite thrilling.

The Kooks’, erm, shine with a delicate, strings-backed version of their hit Shine On, Newton Faulkner sparkles with Kate Nash’s Foundations and REM work wonders with a moody version of Editors’ Munich – and it’s nice to see such a big band taking part in something so intimate.

Likewise The Foo Fighters’, whose cover of Arcade Fire’s Keep The Car Running is certain to become another favourite.

Elsewhere, Elbow underline their class with a beautifully stripped down version of their magnificent One Day Like This and Ironik also scores big with a similarly stripped back version of his own hit, Stay With Me.

Kate Nash delivers an interesting variation on Arctic Monkeys’ Fluorescent Adolescent, while Athlete ensure that Wires remains as spellbinding and thought-provoking as ever.

Bat For Lashes, meanwhile, succeed in re-inventing the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams in her own inimitable style.

Needless to say, not everything works and there are moments that don’t succeed as well (Sam Sparro’s take on Estelle’s American Boy being one example). But in the main, this is an excellent compilation album to have in any collection – and one that’s sure to go down a storm and spark conversation at several dinner parties this winter.

Download picks: Mercy, Standing In The Way Of Control, Violet Hill, Foundations, Shine On, With Every Heartbeat, Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning), Munich, Keep The Car Running, One Day Like This, Stay With Me, Wires, Sweet Dreams

Track listing:
Disc: 1

  1. Duffy – Mercy
  2. The Ting Tings – Standing In The Way Of Control
  3. Dizzee Rascal – That’s Not My Name
  4. Sam Sparro – American Boy
  5. Pendulum – Violet Hill
  6. The Streets – Blinded By The Lights
  7. McFly – I Kissed A Girl
  8. The Kooks – Shine On
  9. Newton Faulkner – Foundations
  10. Panic At The Disco – Nine In The Afternoon
  11. Girls Aloud – With Every Heartbeat
  12. The Feeling – Work
  13. The Hoosiers – LoveStoned
  14. The Wombats – Moving To New York
  15. Paramore – Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)
  16. Elliot Minor – Rule The World
  17. Ida Maria – Sweet About Me
  18. R.E.M. – Munich
  19. Glasvegas – Daddy’s Gone
  20. Foo Fighters – Keep The Car Running

Disc: 2

  1. The Script – Lose Yourself
  2. Adele – Chasing Pavements
  3. Elbow – One Day Like This
  4. Scouting For Girls – Elvis Ain’t Dead
  5. Guillemots – Black & Gold
  6. Lupe Fiasco – Superstar
  7. Ironik – Stay With Me
  8. Kate Nash – Fluorescent Adolescent
  9. Goldfrapp – It’s Not Over Yet
  10. The Pigeon Detectives – Ready For The Floor
  11. Kasabian – LSF
  12. Athlete – Wires
  13. The Zutons – Beautiful
  14. The Automatic – Love In This Club
  15. Santogold – Hometown Glory
  16. Alphabeat – 10,000 Nights
  17. Bat For Lashes – Sweet Dreams
  18. Ne-Yo – Closer
  19. Rihanna – Hate That I Love You
  20. Estelle – American Boy

  1. Cannot Wait to hear this the tracks look amazing and if it’s anything like volume 1 & 2, I will enjoy it !

    Loobo--    Oct 20    #
  2. perfection & brilliance!

    andis girl    Oct 21    #
  3. I have just bought it from tescos and it is a great album but i can't find it for sale anywhere else at the moment

    chris    Oct 21    #
  4. Buy this album it is brill!!!!!!!!!!

    Michael    Oct 22    #
  5. And just WHY do you say Sam Sparro’s take on “American Boy” isn’t successful? I rather enjoy it and think it’s a clever way for a versatile and talented gay artist to cover a popular song. That, coupled with your comment about McFly’s Katy Perry cover, makes me think that perhaps you’re a shade homophobic perhaps.

    Alex    Oct 23    #
  6. its a really good album, but the wombats was amazing – its a bit annoying its not on here actually..

    sam    Oct 23    #
  7. Um, where did Alex get the homophobic thing from? Did I miss something?

    Sasha    Oct 24    #
  8. Sam Sparro’s take on american boy is one of the best songs on the album, every song he does he makes into his own, especially with his only take on Kanye West’s rap. Album is a MUST.

    J A L J C    Nov 1    #