Album: Various Artists: The Saturday Sessions 2011 (Sony)


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The Independent Culture

By far the most interesting aspect of Radio 2's Saturday Sessions is not the "unplugged" versions of pop hits that so rarely reveal any new aspects of performer or material, but the moments when the acts are required to step out of their personal comfort-zones and cover another artist's song.

Some, like Plan B's strained attempt at "Tracks of My Tears", illustrate why they're infrequently attempted; others, like John Grant's transformation of Abba's "Angel Eyes" into elegant adult confessional and Villagers' Leonard Cohen-like approach to Janelle Monae's "Tightrope", are genuinely revelatory. Then there are the ones that are just spirited good fun, notably Kasabian's take on Del Shannon's "Runaway". But the most gripping thing here has to be Paolo Nutini's delicate rendition of Richard Thompson's "Beeswing".

DOWNLOAD THIS: Beeswing; Angel Eyes; I've Been Losing You; Runaway