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BBC Radio 1 – Live Lounge Volume 5

Hannah Quinn


The success of  Live Lounge could be attributed to the fact that it allows us our guilty pleasures with a pinch of credibility – it’s perfectly acceptable to listen to Katy Perry’s Teenage Dreams when sung by Example; it’s practically cool to bop along to Taio Cruz when he’s doing his take on Mumford & Sons’ Little Lion Man. But really what makes Live Lounge so great is the genius pairings like those mentioned, along with amazing live recordings of hit songs by the artist themselves.

True, Live Lounge can be a tad hit-and-miss, but this fifth offering packs more punch than its predecessors. The real highlights are the songs that are dismantled like lego and built up again into a new, barely recognisable shadow of its former self – see indie hit Starry Eyed courtesy of You Me at Six and Kelly Rowland, who makes Kasabian’s Underdog sound like a girly pop anthem (one of the good ones). Scissor Sisters’ country western style cover of All the Lovers is hootenanny, finger lickin’ good.

The only times that Live Lounge falls down is when the covers are too predictable – like Jordin Sparks singing Alicia Keys’ Fallin’, which isn’t far enough off the original for the wow factor. The live recordings are pitch perfect and overplayed songs sound fresh all over again. The Temper Trap performing Sweet Disposition almost sounds as if it is recorded in a cathedral, and was enough to make me listen to it yet another fifty times. There is enough of a mix of pop, R n’B and rock – most of the time in the same song – to please any musical palate. There will be some tracks that will be skipped past, some might even be liked more than the original and some will make you check the sleeve before you realise what song it is. But hey, that’s what Live Lounge is all about.