This isn't as good as I was expecting. It all felt a little lacking in terms of flow through the cd, choice of songs and in terms of energy. There isn't anything wrong with the collection, it's just that it is one of those that you could take or leave. Having bought his collection from last year, this didn't quite meet the expectations.
I purchased last years (2013) and really looked forward to this years. What a mistake, it is soooo melancholy. I am forcing myself to listen to it all but it so lacks life it is draining. 40 tracks by some good acts, with what can be great songs but they are sung like they have been to a funeral of a good friend before coming to the studio. If you like this kind of stuff you may enjoy it, I like a bit of the blues myself, but this is different, depressing....
Do not buy this if you suffer from any kind of depression. It may finish you off. Parts of this are so bad it makes you wonder what was going through dermots mind when he compiled it. The lowest point has to be the heart rendingly soul destroyingly awful chim -chim cherree (yes, that one). It is both ridiculous and depressing at the same time!
I don't normally listen to the show, but I heard Foy Vance on the radio and his version of Where Everybody Knows Your Name. I loved it and bought this album. The whole album is a collection of mellow acoustic covers of songs, the perfect background to a mellow night. As a traditional master of the failed romantic atmosphere, I'm hoping this could be my secret weapon! Love it, and in Foys' case I think his version is better than the original.
The photo is the clue, showing Dermot O'Leary channeling Val Doonican. The songs are mostly weak cover versions, although Back to Black achieves poignancy in the wake of Amy Winehouse's demise. The one real spark of imagination is the Turin Brakes' version of Chim Chim Cheree, which makes the most of the sparse lyrics by introducing a manic instrumental section and does its best to separate the song's genius from Dick Van Dyke's infamous butchering. The second disc is better, which at least provides some relief. I give that 4/5.