Monthly Archives: December 2013

Review: Various Artists – 12 Traditional Christmas Songs (In Aid Of Radio York’s Good Night’s Sleep Appeal)

Various Artists - 12 Traditional Christmas Songs

Various Artists – 12 Traditional Christmas Songs

I don’t know about you, but I’m still not feeling particularly festive – so I thought I’d give this BBC Radio York curated compilation a spin and see if it helped to change my mood. As the title suggests, 12 Traditional Christmas Songs is exactly that – but the twist is that each of these songs have been re-imagined by one of 12 local artists hand-picked from the many acts featured on BBC Introducing In York & North Yorkshire.

Naturally, each artist has a different take on these traditional carols – Union Jill play things straight by delivering a faithful version of ‘Coventry Carol’, while Bull exemplify their slacker-rock approach to ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ by only singing two lines from the original song. Elsewhere, Pip Mountjoy has her sights set on next year’s John Lewis advert with her rendition of ‘The Holly And The Ivy’, while BluesBeaten Redshaw offers an appropriately jaunty take on ‘I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In’. Other tracks distinctly suggest the influence of a particular artist: Littlemores channel early Arctic Monkeys on their version of ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High’, Adam Chodan imagines how Noel Gallagher might sing along to ‘Away In A Manger’, King No-One‘s cover of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ echoes Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’, and The Buccaneers take on ‘Jingle Bells’ in the style of ‘Birthday’ by The Beatles.

The best moments on the album are when the artists really make their own mark on their chosen song. Bear Station offer up a beautifully arranged version of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’, while Gavin Loughlin enlists the aid of two female vocalists to deliver a harmonious, minimal take on ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing’. Special mention must also go to Nathan Luke, whose stunning delivery makes his version of ‘Silent Night’ a real highlight – you can just imagine him bringing an entire congregation to a standstill with it. It’s The Blueprints who best succeed in putting their own stamp on their chosen song though, rendering ‘While Shepherd’s Watch’ in their signature propulsive indie-rock style – and also throwing in a little trademark humour by featuring some alternative lyrics you may remember from your school days and a cheeky nod to BBC Radio York DJ Jericho Keys.

As if all this festivity wasn’t enough on its own, all proceeds from sales of the album are going towards the BBC Radio York and St. Martin’s Hospice “Good Night’s Sleep” appeal, which you can find out more about here. You can get a copy of the album on CD from the St. Martin’s Hospice website, or download it on iTunes – and do so knowing that it won’t just be your face that it’ll help to put a smile on.


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Banger Police: A Brief Summary Of ‘Bangerz’ by Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus - Bangerz

Miley Cyrus – Bangerz

In the current end of year list-o-rama, the Guardian’s list caught my eye for the wrong reason – namely that their writers managed to collectively rank Miley Cyrus‘s most recent album Bangerz above Jon Hopkins‘ incredible Immunity. But rather than spew ill-informed hatred, I decided I should at least listen to Miley’s record. For science. So, here’s what I thought of it…

…honestly, I should probably just put a funny gif here and have done with it, but here’s a track-by-track summary instead.

  1. Soppy ballad.
  2. Rihanna off-cut. (I’ve honestly been assuming that this was a particularly mediocre Rihanna song up until now.)
  3. Embarrassing attempt at ‘edgy’ rap.
  4. Comical country/rap fusion.
  5. Soppy ballad that shamelessly cribs from ‘Stand By Me’.
  6. I CAME IN LIKE A WREEEEECKING BAAAALL! (Probably the best thing on the album, for what little it’s worth.)
  7. Dross.
  8. Something cobbled together from the scraps from Daft Punk’s (turn)table(s).
  9. Miley Cyrus goes dubstep/soppy ballad hybrid.
  10. ‘Delilah’ with a dubstep chorus.
  11. Generic euphoria/hollow self-belief/terrible rapping/even more dubstep. “STAY IN YOUR LANE BITCH!”
  12. Soppy ballad.
  13. Rave rave rave, yawn yawn yawn.
  14. …fuck off, you really think I’m going to listen to the ‘bonus’ tracks?

In summary, you can quite safely get self-righteous about Immunity (or any other album of your choice) being better than Bangerz because Bangerz isn’t even “just good pop”, it’s just shit. You want a “banger” Miley? THIS is a “banger” – and also the perfect palate cleanser after having wasted 50 minutes of my life on your shitty record.

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