Friday, October 11, 2013

Songs you may have missed: The nude edition

Sorry for the lack of updates this week - the real world has been getting in the way (plus there wasn't much to write about, to be honest).

Anyway, here's a rundown of the songs that floated onto the internet this week, most of which seem to be stripped-back, denuded, unclothed and generally acoustic versions of original songs. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

1) David Bowie - Sound And Vision (2013)
You've probably heard this on an advert for a mobile phone and wondered where it came from. It's Sound And Vision, and it's definitely Bowie's voice, but the only backing is a naive piano that sounds like it was recorded in a school assembly.

In fact, the mix is the work of Sonjay Prabhakar, who was given the original master-tapes and pared away all the production to leave the lead vocals, Mary Hopkin's backing and Roy Young. Yep, that's really there on the album mix. Who knew?

It's proved so popular that Bowie has given an official release his blessing. It's out now on iTunes.

2) Miley Cyrus and The Roots - We Can't Stop
Presented like the opening titles of The Brady Bunch, this a capella rendition of Miley's FU anthem actually makes the song tolerable. Easy to forget there's a great set of vocal cords hidden behind that tongue.

3) MKS - No Regrets
As well as the near-perfect cover of Lorde's Royals, which I posted on Tuesday, MKS performed an acoustic version of their new song No Regrets at their recent Reload Sessions recording. A ballad that could be a love song, it could also be about the girls' split and reunion: "Enemies, I hope we clear the air".

4) Foxes - Youth
Precisely one million years after it first appeared online, Foxes' beautiful Youth is finally getting a proper release. Radio 1 put it on their C-List this week, which augurs well. Foxes celebrated the news by playing the song in bed, for some reason.

5) Robbie Williams - Go Gentle
I was lucky enough to go and see Robbie record an episode of Radio 4's Mastertapes last night. The premise of the show is that artists come in and discuss their defining album - in Robbie's case, Life Thru A Lens. He talked about being booted out of Take That ("I asked them if I could take a pineapple with me") and how Gary Barlow rejected his first ever song.

"I phoned Gaz up and I said 'I've got this song - it's about a prostitute, in Manchester' and he said, 'it'd be alright for a rock group, wouldn't it, lad?"

At the end of the night, he played a couple of tracks from his new album, Robbie Williams Swings Both Ways, including this - Go Gentle, a sincere, but goofy, declaration of love for his one-year-old daughter. He was in tears at the end of it.

6) VV Brown - The Apple (live on Later)
OK - so this Jools Holland performance is as far away from acoustic as it's possible to get, but WHAT A SONG.

7) TLC - Meant To Be
Written by Ne-Yo, Meant To Be is the only new song on TLC's 20th anniversary collection. T-Boz sounds like she's been smoking 40-a-day for the last decade, but this is quite lovely in a 90s throwback kind of way. More Red Light Special than Waterfalls, but I can live with that.

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