Sirens Of Song Cover

The burning question on everyone’s lips was, just how would Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra follow up the hugely successful release of Golden Age Of Song back in 2011, which went on to sell almost 200k copies in the UK alone.

Well the answer was simple; Holland is back with a brand new album together with an elite gathering of world-class female artists. His new album, Sirens Of Song, highlights Holland’s talent for being one half of some of the most amazing collaborations. This latest offering features duets between the man himself and some of the most iconic female voices in both contemporary and classic music. For example, he is joined by Kylie, Emeli Sande, Joss Stone, Laura Mvula, Imelda May and Rumer to name just a few.

Sirens Of Song is a true showcase in musicianship and combines an array of wonderful performers with Holland’s outstanding talent, together with big band support from his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. The 14 track album features a selection of original tracks and reworked classics. There are also posthumous contributions from Eartha Kitt with Ain’t Misbehavin’ and the Amy Winehouse cover of Toots And The Maytals classic track, Monkey Man. Apart from these two tracks, which were originally recorded for Holland’s TV show, everything else here was specifically recorded for this album.

Ruby Turner opens the proceedings with a cover of Ray Charles Jumping In The Morning which sets the tone for the rest of the album. Turner is the only artist to be given two songs to perform; the original I still Went Wrong being the other.

One track which is especially pleasing on the ears is KT Tunstall performing an excellent interpretation of the Cole Porter classic Night And Day showing exactly what a fine voice she has. On the subject of fine voices, Emile Sande also sings an oldie; Love Me Or Leave Me, which most of us will remember being covered by Doris Day for a biopic about the original artist who recorded this song, Ruth Etting.

There are many fine recordings on Sirens Of Song including Kylie’s cover of Should I Stay Or Should I Go originally recorded by The Clash. Here Holland manages to find that perfect blend of a music cocktail by inviting a global superstar into the Holland studio to sing a Jones and Strummer Clash punk classic.

The stand out track for me is Melanie C’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s I Wish. With Melanie’s voice together with a pinch of the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra the whole thing comes alive and rapidly becomes something very personal and spellbinding.

A word of special mention must go out for the inclusion of Eartha Kitt performing Ain’t Misbehavin’ which can only be described as a truly magical moment. This was recorded during a performance on the Later… show back in the spring of 2008. Let’s just be thankful that the performance still exists and was included on this album.

You can hear it in Holland’s playing that he is inspired by the fact that he was able to both collaborate and work with such a diverse and dazzling array of talent; who hail from all sorts of genres spanning from today and back to the jazz age. That inspiration is there for all to hear and enjoy.

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)