We mentioned BBC Radio 1s Live Lounge 2015 album a couple of weeks ago – coming out on 30 October, it’s an album worth getting hold of, if only to hear a ton of today’s music’s best-selling artists sing not only their own songs, but the covers of other artists: sometimes better than the original.
A two CD set, the first half opens with Ed Sheeran’s beautiful take on Hozier’s hit, ‘Take Me To Church’. Raw, and piano-driven, the song is almost spoken word, and is definitely given the Sheeran treatment, the man makes it his own. This leads into Little Mix singing their own song, ‘Black Magic’: it’s a nice version of the song, showing just how well the Little Mix ladies can sing.
If you’re not familiar with some of the artists or songs (there’s quite a few I’ve not heard the originals of before), it’s still worth having a listen. I really liked hearing Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ interpreted by Disclosure and Sam Smith, for example. There were a number of medleys as well, Jess Glynne tackled James Bay’s ‘Let It Go’ melded to ‘Umbrella’ by Rihanna, while over on CD 2, Imagine Dragons gave Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ and Ben E King’s ‘Stand By Me’ a pretty good go. The *best* medley of all however, in my opinion, was Kodaline’s Medley of ‘Sing’ (Ed Sheeran), and ‘Shake It Off’ (Taylor Swift), underpinned by ‘Uptown Funk’ (Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars). Steve Garrigan’s voice isn’t too dissimilar to Ed Sheeran’s for starters: but what really joined all three songs together seamlessly, rather than seguing one into the other, was the use of violin throughout to unite them. ‘Uptown Funk’ was reduced to the lines, “If you don’t believe me just watch”, but that was enough – it *WORKED*.
Other highlights of the album included George Ezra singing a really stripped back version of his hit, ‘Barcelona’, John Newman’s funky, even soul take on Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Run Away With Me’, and Charlie Puth’s cover of ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, originally by Calvin Harris and the Disciples. I’d not heard Puth before, but his voice is beautiful, and very much suited to this song.
I quite enjoyed Chvrches’ take on Justin Bieber’s, ‘What Do You Mean’. It’s an interesting perspective to have a female vocalist sing what is admittedly a rather controversial song, whatever Justin Bieber means by it.
BBC Radio 1s Live Lounge 2015 Album is definitely worth getting – with a total of 39 songs from artists including Ed Sheeran, Years & Years, James Bay, Rudimental, Chvrches, Hozier, Muse…and many many more…it’s not just value for money but also the only place you can hear these artists’ unique take on songs live and stripped down.