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Having purchased (and raved) about the other Live Lounge albums, I was a bit disppointed by this offering. One of the most amazing covers that I've heard in a long time (probably since Leona did Snow Patrol) wasn't included. Paramore doing Kings of Leon was absolutely genious but has been missed off (to be replaced by the rubbish that is N-Dubz).
I love the Live Lounge (even since Jo Whiley left to do weekends), but this seems to me like they just wanted to release another album as soon after the previous one as possible, so as to keep the interest high. Fair enough, but it doesn't seem to have worked in my opinion. I would have much prefered them to wait a bit and hit me with something amazing (or even, a bit more amazing than this CD).
Another blatant omission from this is the cover of Battlefield (originally Jordan Sparks) by Fightstar. I love this song anyway, but I thought their version was amazing!
I'm hoping that they can improve things when (or if!) they release a 5th offering, otherwise I think it'll really start to turn people off. I just wonder who decides what goes on the the CD's, and do they listen to the reaction from the listeners when compiling the track list.
I'm going to stick with the Live Lounge for now, at least until Volume 5 :)
I regularly listen to Radio 1 in the car while taking the kids to school and playschool and collect them again and i often hear them do a 'Live Lounge', where and artist comes into the studio and records their own version of another artists song. When i first heard it, i didn't think this was going to work very well but i'm pleased to say in most cases i have been proved wrong.
This particular version of the Live Lounge works very well and some alternative versions of these songs are actually much better than the original artist. In fact a previous volume of the Live Lounge proved very sucess for Leona Lewis doing a Cold Play cover.
Live Lounge Volume 4 sees Florence and the Machine take on Beyonce's Halo, Scouting for Girls remix the Take That classic A Million Love Songs, Alesha Dixon does Kings Of Leon Sex is on fire and Elton John's Tiny Dancers gets a makeover by Ironik all of which are great twists on the originals.
As well as re-recording other artists songs some artist just remix their own songs my particular favourite is Lady Gaga's Poker Face and U2's Beautiful Day these are all great songs and a good mixture to so it's a perfect cd for in the car, doing the housework or as background music.
This album is also great value being a double cd featuring 19 tracks on each disc, i bought mine for £9.99 but i believe Amazon are currently selling it at £4.99!
Live Lounge is a show that takes place on BBC Radio 1 most weekdays just around lunch time. It's a place where artists go into to talk about their band, perform their own single and then a cover of their choosing. Some of the songs performed there have even been released by the artist at a later date (Leone Lewis- Run).
This album has a variety of singles on it, so I'd say it's a safe bet that there's something on there you'll enjoy. Here are my picks:
***** THREE OF THE BEST *****
The Noisettes- When You Were Young
A song sang by the more rockier Killers, but Shingai gives this song a softer touch and makes it sound almost lullabyic at times. It keeps to the original melody for most of the song, but the choir bit half way through really makes a difference. My favourite song on the album purely because I like the original song and love The Noisettes take on it.
Florence and the Machine- Halo
This song, if I remember correctly, split audiences opinions when it was first aired. I personally loved it and thought it was a really brave choice for a singer, who let's be honest, isn't amazing vocal wise, to take on a huge song by one of the biggest female popstars of the decade. It keeps to the same track, but Florence can't resist her normal shouty self at times.
The King Blues- Bonkers
Now this is a song that was covered that I prefer to the original. Instead of it being overly RnB like, it's backed up by a constant drumbeat. For a band that I wouldn't consider covering this, I think it worked out brilliantly. It hasn't got the best vocals on the track but is something you can't help but bop along to.
***** OVERALL *****
I'd definetly give this album an 8/10 as if you generally enjoy chart music then it's got some of the biggest tracks of the year, but also some songs you might not have heard before (or in a while) and covered excellently by other artists.
The problem with compilation albums is often they can vary from the downright brilliant to the utterly awful. Well here's one for your delectation - Radio One's Live Lounge Volume 4.
Being Volume 4 in the series, you may have come across some of the previous editions over the past few years. It consists of two CDs containing live tracks taken from the Radio One Live Lounge, which are often performed during Fearne Cotton's show during the week (previously during Jo Whiley's show for those who remember a good radio show!). During these performances, the artist plays their latest single, and a cover version - often a track from a completely different genre to their own, some of which work brilliantly and some which fall flat and are instantly forgotten. This album combines the best of the cover versions and live performances of the artist's own single.
Both CDs contain 19 tracks on them, and both are full of popular artists in today's charts. Now at this point in the review I'm at somewhat of a crossroads - the majority of music reviews that go from track-to-track are tedious and unimaginative, so I prefer to give a general overview of the album so the reader can enjoy it more - but with a compilation album such as this it's nigh on impossible to give a general feel for the album...but here goes...
Take the opening track on Disc two - Calvin Harris with his 2009 hit Ready For The Weekend - the instant thing about this track is it kicks in with a piano that sounds like Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting rather than a disco tune in the style of Harris. That's what the majority of these performances of the artists single are like - they make them sound different from the original to make it worthwhile, interesting, and if they work they ultimately end up on this album.
Then take the second song off this disc to give an exact opposite of what you expect - indie rock giants Kasabian performing a cover of Gwen Stefani's The Sweet Escape. At first I was even unsure of what the Gwen Stefani track was, but it's instantly recognisable despite the fact a four-piece guitar band from Leicester is performing it. They put their own trademark on things, and the oddly enough, it would only take a couple of seconds of someone walking into a room and hearing it and going 'is that Kasabian singing Gwen Stefani?", "why yes, yes it is."
Looking through both discs, and having owned Volume's Two and Three, I often look towards the cover versions as the first tracks to listen to as they'll always be something different and often bring a smile to your face as you think "this definitely can't work" and then thirty seconds into proceedings you're left saying, "oh wait, this is quite excellent." Some examples of this on the album include the following songs...
Alesha Dixon performing Sex on Fire by the Kings of Leon. Sex on Fire is regularly coming near the top of greatest songs of the Noughties in recent polls, and Dixon is more renowned for her television presenting rather than her singing these days, but this song clearly shows she can still belt out a tune or two. It's a purely acoustic number that sounds quite beautiful - of course, if you know the original it's a bit more rock n roll than this one suggests, but it's brilliant.
Hot Chip performing Wearing my Rolex by Wiley. To the less accustomed to popular music, these two acts may mean nothing to you, but Wiley is your regular R'n'B star, and Hot Chip vary from disco, to progressive dance, to rock music and everything in between - and this song could genuinely have been written by them. The familiar synthesised riff from the track is instantly recognisable and sounds like something that Hot Chip could have written themselves. It works perfectly.
Marmaduke Duke covering Single Ladies by Beyonce. Marmaduke Duke had a hit with Rubber Lover earlier this year, but it's a side project of the frontman from Biffy Clyro, which is where more of you may recognise his voice. This Beyonce single has the famous dancing video with Beyonce and two others performing a rather rigorous dance without any cuts. Marmaduke Duke put it on an acoustic slant yet still give it that catchy edge that the original had.
Other tracks of special note include Jamie T covering If I Were A Boy by Beyonce, Maximo Park covering Just Dance by Lady GaGa and Katy Perry performing Electric Feel by MGMT - a brilliant cover that shows she can certainly hold a note or two.
Of course, the performances of original songs are just as impressive, but if I'm honest, the covers are what can sell this album - you won't hear them anywhere else and if they've made the album, they must be pretty decent. And they certainly are.
Radio 1 is a national radio station from the BBC aimed at a target audience of 16-26 year olds. The Live Lounge takes place regularly on weekday mid-mornings where an artist or band will come into the show and sing totally live and acoustic. Normally they will perform two of their own songs and one cover song. The 4th volume in the series of Live Lounge album features more recordings from the lounge.
I think my favourite part of the live lounge is the part where covers are sung, especially where you have an artist singing a cover from a completly different musical genre from their own. I'm glad to say that the majority of this album is made up of some of the best cover versions from the show. This includes amongst others Florence & The Machine doing Beyonce's Halo, as well as Little Boots doing JLS's Beat Again.
Also featured are some of the best original live versions, one of my favourites is Black Eyed Peas doing a stunning live version of Boom Boom Pow. There alot of highlights on this album and you really do get a chance to hear the artists do something completly different and out of their comfort zone.
I would highly recommend this album to any music fan as it's so different from anything else out there at the moment.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Lady Gaga - Poker Face
2 Tinchy Stryder And Amele - Sweet Dreams/Beat Again (Originally By Beyoncé / JLS)
3 Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
4 Lily Allen - Not Fair
5 Katy Perry - Electric Feel (Originally By Mgmt)
6 Newton Faulkner - Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh) (Originally By Pixie Lott)
7 Florence & The Machine - Halo (Originally By Beyoncé)
8 Paloma Faith - Sexy Chick (Originally By David Guetta Feat. Akon)
9 Scouting For Girls - A Million Love Songs (Originally By Take That)
10 Noisettes - When You Were Young (Originally By The Killers)
11 Biffy Clyro - Love Sex Magic (Originally By Ciara Feat. Justin Timberlake)
12 Friendly Fires - Paris
13 Hot Chip - Wearing My Rolex (Originally By Wiley)
14 Gossip - Heavy Cross
15 Jamie T - If I Were A Boy (Originally By Beyoncé)
16 Shontelle - T Shirt
17 King Blues - Bonkers (Originally By Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden)
18 Ironik - Tiny Dancer (Originally By Elton John)
19 U2 - Beautiful Day
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Calvin Harris - Ready For The Weekend
2 Kasabian - The Sweet Escape (Originally By Gwen Stefani Feat. Akon)
3 Little Boots - Beat Again (Originally By JLS)
4 Daniel Merriweather - Red
5 Paolo Nutini - Candy
6 Alesha Dixon - Sex On Fire (Originally By Kings Of Leon)
7 Sugababes - Spiralling (Originally By Keane)
8 The Saturdays - Beggin' (Originally By Madcon)
9 Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
10 The Script - Times Like These (Originally Foo Fighters)
11 Metro Station - Shake It
12 Marmaduke Duke - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) (Originally By Beyoncé)
13 Fleet Foxes - Mykonos
14 Maximo Park -Just Dance (Originally By Lady Gaga Feat. Colby O'Donis)
15 Bat For Lashes - Daniel
16 Lenka - Jump In The Pool (Originally By Friendly Fires)
17 Basement Jaxx - Raindrops
18 N-Dubz - Papa Can You Hear Me?
19 Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers