The John Lewis Christmas advert has become as much a part of the run up to the 25th of December as the Coca Cola “Holidays are coming” advert and the latter stages of the X Factor. Such an event it has become that teasers for this year’s ad, showing a bear fast asleep, have been popping up in virtually every break on ITV, complete with the now obligatory twitter hashtag (this one being #sleepingbear, of course).
The advert gets its TV premiere tomorrow night on ITV, during one of the X Factor ad breaks. It’s said that the whole of that particular ad break (around 8:10pm) will be taken up by it – yes people, it’s that big a TV event. But if you can’t wait for it, or just don’t want to watch XF to catch it, John Lewis has already put the full advert up online. And it is pretty special. The company have clearly pulled out all the stops for this, hiring animators who have worked for Disney to create the tale of The Bear and The Hare. The style of the animation reminds me a lot of Watership Down and The Animals of Farthing Wood, which is a very good thing. To top it all off, it is soundtracked by a version of Keane’s classic anthem Somewhere Only We Know performed by Lily Allen which, I have to admit, I am not entirely sure about. I guess it is because I know and love the original so much, but fair play to her for giving it a bash anyway.
Most of all, the advert captures the spirit of Christmas perfectly. The cynics and Scrooges of social media will no doubt maul it and take the mick out of it (and some already have), but you know what? Screw them. This is one of the loveliest things I have seen for some time and if your heart isn’t the slightest bit warmed by it, then you probably don’t have one.
Yes I am a softie and I am not ashamed.
There is a competition at the moment where you can remix Keane’s current track Stop For A Minute on the site MusicMyne. The most popular one as of May 17th 2010 will win a signed copy of the band’s new EP Night Train and a Night Train T-shirt.
I myself have done a remix of it, partly because it seemed like fun and partly because I would very much like to win what they are offering. It’s on my Tumblr page if you want to have a listen to it (I am trying to put it up on here as well, but it’s not letting me at the time of typing). If you like it, please tick the little “thumbs up” icon. If you fancy having a go yourself, click here.
EDIT : I have the actual link to my remix here. The audio did tend to skip a bit when I was listening to it via this, but maybe it’s just exclusive to me. Anyway, you can hear it here too.
RE – EDIT: I made another one. It is also on my Tumblr now.
One of my favourite comedians Mark Watson recently wrote on his Twitter page how he thought Kings Of Leon’s Sex On Fire sounded like the Stereophonics’ hit Dakota. It sort of got me thinking about which songs I thought were similar to others.
And so, after much searching and listening through the wonder that is Spotify, I noted the following:
Lily Allen’s Not Fair sounds a fair bit like Doves’ Kingdom Of Rust.
Take That’s Greatest Day could easily be mistaken for a Snow Patrol song. Chasing Cars springs to mind.
Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams is the musical twin of Travis’ Writing To Reach You.
Keane’s Better Than This has echoes of David Bowie’s Ashes To Ashes.
The Hoosiers’ Cops And Robbers reminds me of The Cure’s Love Cats.
And Scouting For Girls’ She’s So Lovely sounds like, er, every other Scouting For Girls song.
I am fully aware that at least one other person has made the same observations of one or two of the pairs of songs I’ve mentioned here. However, listening to them one after the other has made me even more convinced of the similarities between them. And in no way am I saying that the fact that these songs are identical to others constitutes a bad thing. In fact, I happen to like most of the songs I’ve mentioned here.
EDIT : If you can think of any other songs that sound identical to other songs, then please feel free to leave a comment. Or tell me how much you agree with me on the ones I’ve mentioned. Or how much you disagree with me and think that I should have my ears syringed. I can take it.