Dermot O'Leary Presents The Saturday Sessions Album Review
Aiming to get a foot in the door in the compilations market, rejuvenated by the highly successful Live Lounge CDs, The Saturday Sessions is the latest attempt by the BBC to appeal to the masses. Taking a break from the inevitable soul-destroying job of presenting The X Factor, Dermot O'Leary has decided to release this; two disc, popular music powerhouse, which should appease everybody who loves listening to the charts but there are also a few surprises for a more refined audience.
Obviously with the sheer scale of music spread over these two discs, there are inescapably some duds across the two CD's. Scouting for Girls being the biggest example of this, they have been defeated by the seminal Status Quo hit 'Rockin' All over the World' and somehow found a way to make it even more irritating then it was first time round. Ellie Goulding's cover of 'Jolene' is a prime example of why singers with not a very big vocal range should take on big songs. Another example of this, is Strictly Come Dancing judge (can you sense the reality TV theme?) doing a cover of the big and powerful Dusty Springfield number, 'Son of a Preacher Man', it just feels too big for her and not at all right.
Of course it is not all bad. Supergrass doing 'Beat It' provides one of the very few surreal moments on the record, it may be odd but they surprisingly pull it off. Carrying on with the Michael Jackson theme, Imogen Heap has her go at the even more famous MJ song and pulls off a beautiful rendition of 'Thriller'. Among the other highlights; Lily Allen's cover 'Womanizer' breathes fresh air into the track, Mumford and Sons playing 'The Cave' is one of, if not the highlight of the album, they are cheating a bit, already being an acoustic band but their version on the record is spine-tingling good. Florence and the Machine are on usual reliable form with a stripped-down version of 'Rabbit Heart' and Paolo Nutini does a brilliant acoustic version of 'Candy'.
This album is sure to be a stocking filler at Christmas. The large amount of tracks (40 in total), will not appeal to everybody, going from the little known/odd to the more established and well known acts, but it is a good mix of popular music and more obscure and up and coming music.