B*Witched – The Stars Are Ours

“No. Not at all.”

Tim: Celebrity Big Brother’s on at the moment, and while I typically couldn’t give a toss about that, Edele from B*Witched is in there.

Tom: Crikey, that would have been a slightly dodgy booking back in 1998 when B*Witched were a big thing.

Tim: Yes, and yet she was still one of the more notable names. I believe the standard joke doing the rounds was “you know, they really should do a celebrity version of this show”.

Anyway, it reminded me that this got put up on YouTube a few months back. Originally due for release two weeks from now, turns out it was unceremoniously released about a month earlier. Anywhere, let’s hear it.

Tom: That’s… that’s Wake Me Up.

Tim: Pretty much, yes, albeit rearranged for strings, and then chopped up and interspersed with a fairly low-key typical B*Witched track, and…well, I don’t think it works, really.

Tom: No. Not at all.

Tim: In its individual components, it’d be an interesting but unremarkable remix and a rather dull comeback track. Together, it’s sounds just plain disjointed, really, and while I appreciate that actually most Avicii tracks work exactly the same way, there’s just something about that moment, coming out of the first chorus, where it slips from jump around, strobe lights and smoke machine on the dance floor to extremely gentle strumming without even a drumbeat to keep up the momentum.

Tom: For me, it’s just the constant awareness that it’s not Wake Me Up. The same rhythm, just slightly different notes.

Tim: Yes, although admittedly the singing bit isn’t too bad – there’s a decent middle eight, and the vocal chorus is quite good. Thing is, it could have been great if they’d (a) made it flow a bit better and (b) made something original for it to flow into. Shame.

The Big Reunion – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday

“This is an awful, awful cover.”

Tom: We had Comic Relief singles. We had Children in Need singles. I guess ITV is now getting in on the act with Text Santa singles.

Tim: And, of course, the X Factor single, which for the past couple of years has been for Together For Small Lives, which is definitely because they want to be charitable and definitely not because they want to get rid of all the “Let Kill These X Factor Profitable Bastards” Facebook campaigns. Actually, sod my cynicism: why can’t it be both. It’s a good charity, and a not particularly terrible track. Buy it, why don’t you.

Tom: Is it a bit awkward, by the way, that Leona Lewis also covered this? Folks from two ITV shows, both releasing the same cover in the same year. You’d think they could have co-ordinated that better.

Anyway, we asked for two things of Leona track: “this had better be rollicking”, and “capturing the essence” of the original. Now, we’ve decided in the past that we don’t treat charity singles any differently, so let me warn you: this is an awful, awful cover.

Tim: Hahaha – what a wonderful introduction. LET’S HIT PLAY, KIDS!

Tim: There was Alien. Then there was Aliens. AND THEN THERE WAS ALIEN 3.

Tom: It was anaemic, but generally acceptable, I guess, until that unexpected, unnecessary and unforgivable rap middle eight. Then to make matters worse, the saxophone has completely disappeared.

Tim: I don’t know – I actually found that rap very moving and profoundly thought-provoking. Well, at least the first time I heard it. Then I heard it again and noticed that “there’s people without no food to eat” was a double negative and then that entirely ruined it. SORRY ABS MUST TRY HARDER.

Tom: And then an “IT’S CHRISTMAS!” shouted? That’s the wrong band! That’s Slade! And then all the timing’s messed up! You’ve ruined Christmas, ITV. YOU’VE RUINED CHRISTMAS.

Tim: No, no I won’t quite have that. Because right now, there’s only one supergroup that matters for me. And ITV are also responsible for that. So they’re even. But if it wasn’t for that, then yes, ITV. YOU’VE RUINED CHRISTMAS. BECAUSE THIS IS AWFUL.

B*Witched – Love And Money

There’s none of the playfulness.

Tom: B*Witched? You’re kidding me.

Tim: Absolutely not – obviously, you don’t take part in a big reunion TV show and go on its accompanying tour just to say goodbye again afterwards, so let’s have some proper new music, shall we?

Tim: And it is…entirely generic. It’s very good generic, mind – mild opening verse building into a hefty two-part chorus, good use of screaming for the title and a sensible break for the middle eight – but there’s none of the playfulness that has become regarded, for better or worse, as their trademark.

Tom: They were always seen as a bit of a novelty act for that reason. When “Some people say I look like me dad” is the rallying call for a retro-enthusiastic cheer on a cheesy dance floor, then I can understand them wanting to be a bit more respectable.

Tim: This could easily be by, say, Demi Lovato, or P!nk (especially with the bit in the chorus lifted from Blow Me (One Last Kiss)).

Tom: Yep, there’s even the cheering-sound-effect afterwards. But that said, “this could be by Demi Lovato” is a pretty good compliment.

Tim: It is – it’s very high praise indeed, but it’s still slightly disappointing for a B*Witched song. Great track, but with bad reasons for being so.

Tom: It’s not the Irish flutes and cheesy pop that some fans will have been hoping for… but then, it’s not the nineties any more.