Dermot O'Leary presents The Saturday Sessions is a fantastic new double album, featuring a collection of cover versions and rare stripped back acoustic versions from The Dermot O’Leary Radio Show (Saturday 3pm – 6pm BBC Radio 2). The album is made up of big artists such as Lily Allen, Biffy Clyro, Kasabian, Elbow, Ellie Goulding and Florence & The Machine, along with some more ‘fringe’ artists. All the tracks are exclusive to this album and not available anywhere else.

Most of the tracks are fairly stripped back acoustic versions, and artists like Elbow, Mumford & Sons, Doves and Amy Winehouse are well suited to this style, delivering strong performances of their own material. However for me albums like these (and Jo Whiley’s Live Lounge) really come into their own when you get to the cover versions, and on here there are some fantastic ones. The standout one for me is The Divine Comedy’s version of MGMT’s ‘Time to Pretend’ – beautiful arrangement that sounds amazing. Fyfe Dangerfield’s version of Call the Shots (Girls Aloud) is a close second, and reminds me of the time before Fyfe’s sole material and Guillemots weak third album – great arrangement again. Hoosiers deliver a surprisingly heartfelt version of Black’s ‘Wonderful Life’ while Buffy Clyro give Cheryl Cole’s ‘Fight For This Love’ a similar mellowing.

Alex Cornish also goes back to the 80’s to perform a good version of Dire Strait’s seminal classic Brothers In Arms – interesting choice.

Throughout the album, the quality never really wanes, both musically, vocally and on the wonderful production.

Essential listening

Disc 1.
1. Mumford & Sons – The Cave
2. Paolo Nutini - Candy
3. Biffy Clyro – Fight For This Love (Originally By Cheryl Cole)
4. The Ting Tings - Dub Be Good To Me (Originally By Sos Band/Beats International)
5. Florence And The Machine – Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
6. Ellie Goulding – Jolene (Originally By Dolly Parton)
7. Fyfe Dangerfield – Call The Shots (Originally By Girls Aloud)
8. Alesha Dixon – Son Of A Preacher Man (Originally By Dusty Springfield)
9. Keane – Spiralling
10. Lily Allen - Womanizer (Originally By Britney Spears)
11. Athlete – Bulletproof (Originally By La Roux)
12. Will Young – Golden Slumbers (Originally By The Beatles)
13. Bat For Lashes - Daniel
14. The Leisure Society – The Last Of The Melting Snow
15. The Magic Numbers – The Pulse
16. Ben’s Brother – Poker Face (Originally By Lady Gaga)
17. The Do – On My Shoulders
18. The Hoosiers - Wonderful Life (Originally By Black)
19. Tom Baxter – Back To Black (Originally By Amy Winehouse)
20. Scouting For Girls - Rockin' All Over The World (Originally By Status Quo)

Disc 2
1.Elbow – Grounds For Divorce
2. Paloma Faith – New York
3. Kasabian - Empire
4. Supergrass - Beat It (Originally By Michael Jackson)
5. Doves - Kingdom Of Rust
6. Lissie - Nothing Else Matters (Originally By Metallica)
7. The Divine Comedy - Time To Pretend (Originally By MGMT)
8. Sia – Day Too Soon
9. Ed Harcourt – 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (Originally By Paul Simon)
10. Editors - It Ain't Me Babe (Originally By Bob Dylan)
11. Scott Matthews – Elusive
12. Alex Cornish – Brothers In Arms (Originally By Dire Straits)
13. Turin Brakes – Sea Change
14. Imogen Heap - Thriller (Originally By Michael Jackson)
15. Gossip - Heavy Cross
16. White Rabbits - Kid On My Shoulders
17. Lisa Hannigan – Playground Love (Originally By Air)
18. The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition
19. Cerys Matthews - Love Me Tender (Originally By Elvis Presley)
20. Amy Winehouse – Rehab