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Album Review: Dermot O’Leary – Presents The Saturday Sessions 2011

4 min read

With his X Factor presenting slot taking up a large portion of his weekly duties you would think that BBC Radio 2 presenter Dermot O’Leary would be absolutely exhausted by the end of the week but you would be wrong. In fact the Irish born hotties weekend antics are what keeps his engine in full momentum as he takes to the BBC Radio 2 studios between 3pm and 6pm to present his popular show dedicated to new and emerging artists as well as featuring some of the top names from the music industry in an intimate live session setting to build the collections that he releases to his eagerly awaiting fan-base under the title of The Saturday Sessions.

DermotOLearySaturdaySessions (2)Previously the presenter has offered us an array of live and acoustic performances from the likes of Kings of Leon, Kasabian, Supergrass, Manic Street Preachers and the late, great Amy Winehouse and no collection to date has proved dull or uninteresting in the slightest as we have become accustomed to a jam packed selection of acoustic performances and covers by some of the biggest names around.

Last years edition of The Saturday Sessions proved to be a successful chart fixture for the compilation given its high profile filling. This year the collection reaches new heights with a further forty tracks to add to O’Learys bow.

The Saturday Sessions is a diverse compilation and not one that limits its content to just your average live version but a compilation that includes numerous covers of some old classics as well as new artists putting their stamp on some of today’s popular hits.

Adele takes the opening honors with an impressive live version of the incredible Rolling In The Deep. Completely stripped back the track opens the door for Adele to tear the house down with her booming vocals that are cast over a minimalistic backdrop of guitar strumming and the odd drum thumping.

Florence and the Machine offer us a beautiful performance of Cosmic Love and though I don’t find myself drawn to the band outside of this collection I can definitely appreciate the talents behind this track with Florence’s signature scratchy vocals ripping through a fan favorite which will prove to be a treat for any Florence and the Machine aficionado.

The second disc delivers a fantastic performance of L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N by folk favorites Noah and the Whale while the opening Forget U provided courtesy of US smooth groover Cee Lo Green shows the singers flawless and bolshy charisma behind the mic as he hits some impressive high notes over an engaging rhythm.

Live hits aside the main draw to these compilations is the covers. Once again with The Saturday Sessions 2011 we are not left disappointed as we are given some of the most impressive covers to date within the compilations running.

Rumer’s rendition of Harry Mancini’s Moon River is as exquisite as soulful sweetness comes as she takes hold of the iconic number and makes it her own with pure conviction streaming through her voice from the first note while Jessie J’s performance of the eighties Whitney Houston classic I Wanna Dance With Somebody shows us just why the hip hop princess is regarded so highly within the industry as her versatility is given the limelight on the number on a track that suits her perfectly.

A couple of Bruce Springsteen gems are given focus on the collection with Jon Fratelli’s rustic vocals taking the music veterans iconic Dancing In The Dark for a ride while holding tightly to its nostalgic roots. Further down the track-listing harmonies and a drum machine are the orders of the day with Boxes taking on another Springsteen heavy weight, Streets of Philadelphia. Although the drum machine used on the track makes the number sound a little cheesy the band still do a fantastic job with the sentimental ballad.

Another fantastic addition to the increasingly popular staple in compilation releases and one that fans will find very hard to critique with its diversity and with the volume of music contained within the collection there is definitely something to be found for everyone here.

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