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Various Artists Radio 1's Live Lounge Review

Compilation. Released 2006.  

BBC Review

...You realise what a unique experience being in the Live Lounge is, not only for the...

Dan Slipper 2006

Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley introduces this collection of covers and classic tracks from the famous Live Lounge. She sums up the compilation with just one word: ‘goosebumps’ – the reaction regularly texted in by the audience along with ‘OMG… that was the best Live Lounge EVER’. Well, listen to this and see what you think.

The Live Lounge must be a scary experience for any artist. It’s live national radio and the pressure is really on. Whiley describes her favourite moments as ‘the words they don’t remember, the notes they don’t hit and times they start giggling.’ Unfortunately, those have been left off this disc but it is still something of a treat. All the tracks were recorded and mixed by Radio 1 music engineers and they have managed to capture the immediacy and fragility of live performance. They have revealed the talent and creativity of some fantastic musicians and exposed the deficiencies in others. Many of the artists featured on the album have been supported by Radio 1 from the very beginning: Arctic Monkeys, Snow Patrol, and Razorlight to name a few.

The first notable moment is the Arctic Monkeys performing "Love Machine". They sing off-key which emphasises the live nature of the recording. But far from detracting it means the artists deliver an enjoyably honest and fresh performance. Just wait until you hear Snow Patrol’s rendition of "Run" – an electrifying moment, as is the introduction to Corinne Bailey Rae singing "Munich". You can hear her fingers on the guitar strings.

Not all of the disc is this good. The Automatic singing "Gold Digger" comes across as lifeless and lacking in atmosphere and there don’t seem to be many sparks from Editors either. Press play on disc 2 however and listen to Coldplay performing "The Scientist" and witness a Jo Whiley ‘goosebump’ moment.

Listening to the tracks on this disc, with artists ranging from Razorlight to 50 Cent via Jamie Cullum and Basement Jaxx, you realise what a unique experience being in the Live Lounge is, not only for the artist but the listener too.

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