In an unashamed case of "does what it says on the tin", disc one of this charity album, "Uncovered, Unplugged" is a selection of acoustic cover versions performed in session on FM 104's Strawberry Alarm Clock. À la "Even Better Than The Real Thing," it's a chance to hear some of your favourite pop tunes turned on their heads by some of your favourite Irish artists. An uncomplicated, inoffensive and unassuming collection of songs, this compilation falls down merely in not turning these tunes on their heads enough.
Aslan provide a thoroughly bland and predictable rendition of U2's "All I Want Is You" while The Republic of Loose play an almost note for note cover of MGMT's "Electric Feel." The most pointless thing on offer here though is undoubtedly Colm Lynch's take on The Killers' "All These Things That I've Done." Why anyone would want to play a "one man and his guitar" version of a song where the entire appeal lies in the vocal talents of a gospel choir is a mystery of epic proportions.
One the plus side, you'll also be privy to a pitch perfectly harmonised "I Love It When You Call" (The Feeling) from former Picturehouse frontman Dave Brown, and some fancy bluesy guitar from Tom Baxter on a soulful interpretation of Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black," while Ruth Anne manages to sound impressively un-Irish as she skilfully blends Prince's "Kiss" with Estelle's "American Boy."
If you're not a regular Strawberry Alarm Clock listener and particularly fond of Jim & Niamh, I'd advise giving disc two, "Just Havin a Laugh," a miss altogether. Just pretend it doesn't exist, unless you're a particular fan of witless comedy based on base, unimaginative and poorly executed phone wind ups and exaggerated stereotypes. The fact that these are the "best bits" bodes poorly for the future of Breakfast time radio.
All that said, the Strawberry Alarm Clock's Bestest Bits is what it is, a timely release with all proceeds going to Temple Street Children's University Hospital… perfect stocking filler.