Friday, 11 May 2012

Kimberley Walsh & Alfie Boe - One Vision

What do we think about what effectively amounts to Kimberley Walsh's third solo musical effort after her Aggro Santos collab and the Horrid Henry soundtrack job? Well, the thing about her cover of Queen's One Vision is that you have to approach it on two levels.

At face value, I think it's fair to say that it's probably the weakest track any of Girls Aloud - either as a combined force or individually - have released as a single. Queen are one of those bands that you just don't touch when it comes to covers, it's too much of an impossibility to ever come close to matching anything of Freddie Mercury's original performances on the tracks. It's in the pizzaz of it all, and the flamboyant diction.

And you'd sort of think, that with her theatrical background (and Kimberley really has utterly excelled in Shrek of late), that flamboyance would suit Kimberley. But in this case, it really doesn't - it's sort of like a Glee version of Queen, if Glee was populated by successful British popstars. Too studied, too safe, too predictable. And Alfie Boe's operatical blasts across the track certainly don't help either - it trips the track over into a kind of Mary Poppins-esque extravaganza of jazz-handed showbizness that wipes away the firey heart of the original.

What does the cover have going for it then? Well, for starters - because it comes from one fifth of Girls Aloud, we - as long-serving eternally loyal fans - feel honour bound to purchase it, which we did. There's also the fact this is all in support of the Olympics and Team GB, and we felt it might be rather patriotic of us to 'do our bit' and part with our pennies. And to be fair to this re-work of the Queen classic, we rather like the way they've kept much of the production pretty faithful to the original - those strings sections are really quite gorgeous.

And above all, there's a real heart-bursting sense of inherently British pride to the whole thing. It makes you swell with passion for our great nation, this wonderful land that has had the fair grace to produce such musical greats as Queen and Girls Aloud. And while this cover presents a rather cock-eyed look at both groups' ongoing legacies, we like to think we can take One Vision as a reminder of how good they are in their own right rather than this rather outlandish mish-mash of extravagance.

One Vision is available to download from iTunes.

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