Friday, September 30, 2011

Fun Friday Links

There are two big sports finals happening this weekend and I honestly could not care less. I ususally spend AFL Grand Final day shopping because come 2pm there is NO ONE at the shops. It's fantastic. The weather is supposed to be crappy tomorrow, so I might start a new tradition and watch DVDs on the couch with a blanket. Sounds divine.

But for now, enjoy these links!

- Imagine if Eric Stoltz had played Marty McFly. Or if Tom Selleck was Indiana Jones. That's crazy talk! But that's almost what happened. Check out this list of ten famous movies roles that were recast at the last minute.

- I am an avid scarf wearer in Winter. But I mostly just hang them around my neck and leave it at that. This clip, though, will no doubt change the way you wear scarves. Watch this cute girl demonstrate 25 ways to wear a scarf in 4.5 minutes. It's really cool (found via The Mustard Jumper).

- What would it sound like if Don Draper pitched the new Facebook timeline? Well, have a listen! I hate the Facebook changes. But I have an inkling if Don Draper pitched it I would like it a tad more than my current levels of extreme indignance towards the THREE SEPARATE idiotic newsfeeds. It's the SAME INFORMATION. THREE TIMES. WHAT IS THE POINT? Don't even get me started on the "Top Stories" thing that seems to be compiled in a completely random way that has no relation to my actual close friends and family /end rant.

- Want to see an example of absolutely appalling customer service? Seriously, the person from GASP who responded to this complaint is obviously a twenty two year old fashion graduate with no corporate experience, or a manager with their head so far up their own ass they have no idea how shitty the clothes at GASP really are. Read the original complaint and the response from the company here. Just because your company has a shop on Chapel Street in Melbourne doesn't mean it's God's gift to the fashion industry, FYI.

- Finally, I have read pretty much all the Stephanie Plum books, with the exeption of the last three or four. To be honest, I think Janet Evanovich is basically just writing the exact same story over and over and over again, so I gave up. But, they've made a film adaptation of One For The Money starring Katherine Heigl. I was SO against the Heigl when I found out she was playing Stephanie, but upon seeing the preview, I actually don't hate it. I might even really want to see it.

Although does anyone else think Debbie Reynolds is completely wrong for Grandma Mazur? She's supposed to be a mix of Estelle Getty and Grandma Yetta from The Nanny. Oh well, you can't win them all, I guess.

- Finally, become a fan of the Boredom Abounds By Julia Facebook fan page to get all the latest updates in your newsfeed! Pin It

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spring Wardrobe Number Three

Spring Wardrobe Number Three

Spring Wardrobe Number Three by boredomaboundsbyjulia

I had a lot of fun putting this together. I was imagining a Spring afternoon tea or garden party when jeans just won't do, but you don't want to be the most dressed up gal in the room either.

I actually came really close to buying this dress from Dorothy Perkins a couple of months ago, but ended up with something else. However, I'm just so drawn to the cotton candy colour and the simple white stripes. Paired with a cardi and some simple ballet flats and this outfit will make you look chic and cheerful, with the pink of the sundress popping out.

I kept the make up simple, because the colour of the dress is the show stopper in this ensemble, and a nice neutral bag with sunglasses with tinted frames complete the look. And as always, a girl can never go wrong with a pair of pearl earrings.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Adventures in Cooking - Italian Lemon Biscuits

Remember this book from your mum's cookbook shelf? It was our staple sweet cookbook growing up, and the recipes are easy enough for kids over about twelve to do on their own. The chocolate chip cookies, chocolate coconut slice, the lemon coconut squares and the Lebkuchen from this book are things I've been baking for years and years. And they never fail to a) be totally delicious, b) super easy to make and c) a crowd pleaser. When I moved out of home, I found a copy on ebay for six dollars and out of all the cookbooks I own, it gets the most airplay.

But today I wanted to try something different. I've had my eye on the Italian Lemon Biscuit recipe for a while now, and what do you know, we had another afternoon tea at work this week, so I spent a relaxing Sunday afternoon making a few batches of them for work and home.

I didn't take step-by-step photos this time, because it's a very easy recipe and also because I forgot to grab the camera and set everything up nicely. By the time I was wrist deep in mixture it was too late!

The gorgeous serving plate was bought from Bed, Bath and Table this past weekend (they also had it in a different colour - I want to say either a dusty red or white). I cannot go into that shop without buying some sort of home decor item. It was $14.95.

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
60 grams butter at room temperature (the original recipe called for LARD. Can you believe it?)
1 1/2 tablespoons of milk
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Sift the flour into a bowl. With your fingers, rub and gently knead the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. My butter wasn't quite a room temperature, so I zapped it in the microwave for about fifteen seconds and it softened up nicely. Don't worry if it melts a bit, it will still rub in nicely. You just don't want the majority of the butter melted - it needs to be quite solid still.

2. Put the milk and sugar into a saucepan over a low heat. Stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved (this takes less than five minutes).

3. Add the vanilla essence to the milk and sugar mix and stir through. Turn off the stove and let the mix cool slightly.

4. Beat the egg and add it to the flour and butter.

5. Add the milk/sugar mix to the flour and butter. Stir through until the mixture becomes a soft dough. You may want to sprinkle a tiny bit more flour on the top of it if it still seems a bit wet.

6. Grab teaspoons full of the mixture and roll into ball shapes. I say ball shapes because I like mine to not be perfectly spherical. When they cook the tops sort of break up and open a bit, and I like the imperfect look. You can make them perfectly round if that's the sort of aesthetic you prefer when baking. 

7. Pop them on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and bake in a moderate oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. In my fan forced oven I kept the temperature at about 140° celsius and baked them for about fifteen minutes.

8. Take the biscuits out when they just start to become golden on top and let them cool down.

Icing ingredients
2 - 3 cups of icing sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
lemon rind (optional)

1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. 

2. Pour in one tablespoon of lemon juice and stir it through. If it's too stiff, add more lemon juice a bit at a time. The icing should be runny, but not completely liquified.

3. Using a spoon, drizzle streams of icing back and forth over all the biscuits at once a few times until you have the amount of icing you want on each one.
4. Let the icing dry completely.

And that's it! It's so easy, and the biscuits really do have that Italian biscuit taste, but with a nice zing of lemon in the icing.

- I didn't use lemon rind on top of the icing because I think the icing is lemon-y enough. But it would look nice and add that extra bit of flavour.
- You could also add a tiny splash of lemon juice to the biscuit mixture as you add the egg and the milk/sugar to the flour and butter so that the lemon flavour carries through the biscuits.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Morning Melody - Avalanche City

I heard this song the other day and found the video on youtube - it's so adorable! You have to watch it, just for the animation alone.

See? Adorable! And the tune is so catchy. Such a Spring time happy song! I dare you not to like it. Pin It

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fun Friday Links

What a crazy week - Emmys, Glee, real life work. Whew. So, without further ado, here are your Friday Links!

- So, Eddie Murphy is hosting the Oscars next year. Steve Martin, who I love, has some advice for him. My advice to Eddie would be to bust out the red leather suit and get all Raw on Hollywood, but somehow I don't think they'd allow that many F-bombs during the telecast.

- Here's what happens when Sesame Street does Glee. Mr Goo. Hee. Listen to what the Rachel muppet is saying at the very start as everyone else talks. So funny.

- One of the greatest things about Smart Phones and Twitter is that celebrities take them to award shows and post photos online during the event. Check out this quick slideshow of photos from Emmy night this week from various TV stars.

- Don't forget to head over to the Boredom Abounds By Julia facebook page and hit the Like button to get all the latest updates direct in your (horribly changed) Facebook newsfeed! Pin It

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Glee Highlights: Season Three, Episode One - The Purple Piano Project

Finally, there's something on free-to-air TV again! Although Glee now clashes with Spicks and Specks and The Gruen Transfer, but whatever. First of all, I must say two things. HOW could they get rid of Sam and THANK GOODNESS Lauren Zizes has gotten the boot. 

Okay, the highlights.

First of all, Jacob Ben Israel's 'news' about everyone's Summer holidays may be the greatest thing ever.
I mean, describing Finn as the New Directions' "mediocre" lead singer to his face was hilarious.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2011 Emmy Award Fashion Hits and Misses

Woo, the Emmy Awards! I always think of it as the start of award season, although it's kind of all on its own in September, and it feels like ages until the SAGs, Golden Globes and Oscars. Maybe it's because it means the year is on its way to coming to a close, so before you know it we'll be anticipating the February/March awards.

Anyway, let's get stuck into it.

It gets better than this, I promise. Mostly.
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Morning Melody - Seeker Lover Keeper

I heard this on Triple J about two months ago and loved the melody instantly. Then I discovered that Seeker Lover Keeper is made up of Sarah Blasko, Sally Seltmann and Holly Throsby - singers I had heard of, but whose music I wasn't super familiar with.

The clip itself is understated, but I think it's simplicity only emphasises the tune and the sweetly voiced lyrics. It's just lovely.

Tomorrow on Boredom Abounds By Julia: an Emmy fashion hits and misses post!
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Fun Friday Links

Someone on my Facebook feed wrote this morning that there are 100 days until Christmas. WTF has happened to this year? That is insane! Although secretly I quite enjoy Christmas shopping and preparing, as long as I'm organised. But I just realised that also means there are less than 100 days until Summer, which is happy news, and I think Melbourne is going to give us a little preview tomorrow of the warmer weather. Woot!

- First of all you have to look at this stop motion video. It's full of lollies and chocolate and it's basically awesome. There's also a Making Of set of photos on Flickr. So interesting. I may need to buy a packet of Smarties to eat today.

- Secondly, you need to watch this ad for a French Telco company. It features kittens. Lots and lots of kittens masquerading as business men and women. It's adorable. The little ties they wear kill me.

- Thirdly, this video of some senior citizens trying to figure out how to use their webcam is so funny. Particularly around the 1:50 mark. Old people are so cute.

- This set of pictures on NPR of extreme tidying up and organising really appeals to me. I love when things are sort out by colour. It just makes complete sense, you know?

- The family of author Roald Dahl is trying to save the hut he wrote his classic children's novels in. Check out the story here.

- Finally, it's Miss Universe Pageant time again! Have a look at these two summaries of the crazy-ass national costumes, complete with brilliant comentary. Miss Ireland is my favourite. She will beat your ass, Irish style.

Happy Friday, people! Pin It

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spring Wardrobe Number Two

Spring Wardrobe Number Two

Spring Wardrobe Number Two by boredomaboundsbyjulia

This is my ideal work wardrobe for Spring. I love capri pants with a bright top, and the black boyfriend jacket gives it a corporate look without being too unflaterring for a woman's shape. Simple accessories do the trick, and subtle make up with a hint of plum in the eyeshadow would look fabulous with this ensemble.

FYI, I love that bag. And those shoes - I never wear super high heels to work, but wedges are infinitely more comfortable than stilettos and would give me a little bit of height to set off the shorter capri pants. Retro sunglasses are obligatory, obviously.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adventures in Cooking - Brownies

We have an afternoon tea at work today, and I needed a blog entry, so I baked. It's a win/win! I've never made brownies before - wait, I should correct myself. I've never successfully made brownies before (they always end up flat, to cake-like or just weirdly cooked and I get totally enraged that I fail at something so simple and there is much banging of dishes in the kitchen as I clean up. See also: scones), so I thought I'd give them another try. I found this recipe on Taste and made a couple of modifications.

1 1/4 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
200 grams good quality milk chocolate (I used Cadbury Milk)
150 grams butter
3 eggs
250 grams white choc chips
Icing sugar, to dust

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Morning Melody - Lisa Mitchell

This is just a cute, whimsical tune for your Monday morning - Neapolitan Dreams by Lisa Mitchell.


Okay, and it also kind of  makes me want to eat neapolitan ice cream, but that's beside the point. Enjoy. Pin It

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fun Friday Links

So, apparently Winter is back? It just started to hail. Yay. Except not really. It would have been the best day to stay in bed this morning, but that didn't happen.

Instead, let's cheer outselves up with these Fun friday Links!

- The Gloss has very kindly put together an analysis of fictional relationships that would have failed in real life. My favourite is Belle and the Beast.

- How gorgeous are these mock up covers of Vogue magazine with the Disney princesses on the covers? Although Ariel looks vaguely like Jessica Rabbit, the artwork is really beautiful and the cover stories are very clever (warning: if you click through past the magazine covers, some of the artwork gets a bit raunchy, but the other stuff is worth a look).

- The Oatmeal, is, as always, brutally honest with its opinions. This piece on what we should have been taught in high school is perfect. The Home Ec one is especially brilliant, and highly applicable to me because I spent ten minutes during the week reloading the work dishwasher. Because here's how you DON'T load a dishwasher: by shoving shit into it left, right and centre with no order so that everything just literally gets piled on top of everything else and you can barely roll the shelves in or out because five thousand plates have been precariously balanced on twenty eight mugs and eight thousand pieces of cutlery. Yes, I have become that person.

- Bored at work? So are these people. There's a whole website dedicated to the weird and amusing stuff people see in their workplace.

- Want to look at a cute puppy? Here you go. Hint: he's mimicking the giant dog/dragon Falcor from The Never Ending Story. It's adorable.

- And here's a link to the Boredom Abounds By Julia facebook page, should you wish to become a fan! Pin It

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Polyvore - Spring Wardrobe Number One

Spring Wardrobe Number One

Spring Wardrobe Number One by boredomaboundsbyjulia

So, I signed up to Polyvore. I thought it would be a good way to get wardrobe ideas without having to actually go to the shops, and then I realised I could just post my mood boards here to see what you all think. It's a win/win!

Anyhoo, this is my first attempt - Spring is in the air, and while the days aren't always warm, I'm looking forward to updating my wardrobe a little bit. This cardigan costs way more than I would ever pay, but I just love the floral Spring feel. Loafers are my new obsession, as you know, and the accessories are a nice blend of neutral tones.

I could easily wear this outfit at work or on the weekends, it has a nice, seamlessly classic feel to it.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

Title: Beautiful Days
Author: Anna Godbersen
Publisher: Razor Bill / Penguin Group
Year of Publication: 2011
Page Extent: 358

This book was provided to me by the lovely people at Penguin Group Australia for review.

Beautiful Days is young adult fiction author Anna Godbersen's highly anticipated sequel to Bright Young Things. Set in the halcyon days of the Jazz Age in New York, the book follows the highs and lows of three beautiful young women living at Dogwood Mansion in the fictional White Cove, Long Island. Small town orphan Cordelia Grey, long lost daughter of the late Darius Grey, has inherited part of her daddy's bootlegging booze business and is living in the lap of luxury with her best friend from Ohio, Letty Larkspur. Letty is a talented singer on the brink of stardom and has moved in with Cordelia at the mansion until things pick up for her. Their good friend, wealthy socialite Astrid Donal, who is engaged to Cordelia's brother Charlie, lives in a neighbouring mansion and the three girls spend most of their days lounging by the pool or prettying themselves for the many evening soirees around Long Island and in Manhattan.

As Cordelia and Charlie grieve recent the loss of their father, they decide to open their own speakeasy in Manhattan as a tribute to him and in an effort to push the Hales, a competing bootlegging family, out of the lucrative market. Tensions escalate though, as the rivalry between the Grey siblings and the Hale family increases, with each family taking dangerous steps to threaten and eliminate the other from the market.

Astrid moves into Dogwood Mansion as her relationship with Charlie progresses, but quickly finds the goings-on of the business all together too dull for her liking, and recruits Cordelia, Letty and Billlie, her stepsister, to be part of her adventures on the town. This causes friction not only between Astrid and Charlie, and Cordelia and Charlie, but also between Letty and her new beau, promising writer Grady O'Dell. Cordelia also finds herself at odds with flirtation, unable to interpret the intentions of handsome, high-flying pilot Max Darby. As the opening of the Grey's speakeasy draws closer, each girl is pulled further into a world full of a seemingly never-ending cash supply, criminal activity, and unbelievably glamorous social circles where anything goes.

As with the first book in this series, Anna Godbersen has created a richly layered 1920s world of money, mobsters and magic. The parties are endless, the fashion is to die for and the money never runs out. It's easy to forget that the three female characters are in their late teenage years, as the story offers them opportunities that seem to shimmer with possibility, and as they flit between Long Island and Manhattan, the reader is swept up in their glamorous lives from the first page.

With deliciously detailed accounts of the minutiae of their daily lives, Godbersen shows her skill at building an exhilarating world full of possibility and intrigue, and teenage readers will be hopelessly captivated by the story. This book will appeal to older readers as well, as it has an almost Gossip Girl-esque premise. It's hard to believe any great tragedy could befall these girls as they enjoy the best days of their lives, so it will be interesting to see how they fare as 1929 draws to a close in subsequent books. I'm already desperate to read the next installment in the series, and I can't recommend this book, as well as its predcessor, highly enough.

Beautiful Days is now available for sale in Australia for a retail price of approximately $19.95.

In a word: fabulous

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DVD Review - I Am Number Four

The Movie: I Am Number Four
The Players: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer
The Makers: D.J. Caruso (director), Michael Bay, Chris Bender, J.C. Spink, David Valdes (producers), Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Marti Noxon (writers) 
Run time: 114 minutes 

John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is an alien from the planet Lorien, and is one of eight others sent to earth to escape the invading race known as the Mogadorians (or Mogs). Protected by his warrior and guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant), John has to keep a low profile or risk being hunted down and killed by the Mogs, who are searching earth for the eight remaining members of the Lorien race.

This is more difficult than it sounds, though, as John's powers, referred to as "legacies" begin to gather strength before he learns to control them. An increase in body strength, speed, agility and the power to generate light through his hands lands John in trouble early on in the film. He and Henri leave their home in Florida and head to Ohio to start hiding all over again, since the Mogs have picked up their trail and John, number four, is the next target on their hit list

Paradise, Ohio allows them a little more breathing space initially, and John settles into life at the high school, quickly befriending Sam, the son of a missing conspiracy theorist, and falls in love with Sarah, fellow student and amateur photographer. He also makes an enemy out of Mark, a popular jock, who takes an instant dislike to John. 

People quickly become suspicious of John and Henri, as John struggles to control his legacies and his temper. But before they can leave town and start over, Henri is captured and murdered by the Mogs, leaving John to fight the Mogs with a mysterious girl who claims to be Number Six from Lorien.

Based on the book I Am Number Four by James Frey and Jobie Hughes, the film has a quick pace with a relatively vague back story. It jumps straight into the here and now of John Smith's existence, and there is little explanation to how and why the Mogs destroyed Lorien and are intent on killing the eight remaining members of the race.

Pettyfer is a perfectly acceptable leading man, but his friendship with Sam remains fairly secondary to his blossoming relationship with Sarah, which is disappointing. One suspects the writers could have delved deeper into Sam's backstory and his father's conspiracies as a way of linking back to the Mogs' reason for hunting down John Smith. The script is fairly formulaic and lacking great dialogue, which I found disappointing after realising Buffy alum Marti Noxon was one of the screenwriters. But teenage audiences will find appeal in the slick action scenes that bring explosions-a-plenty and are reminiscent of Twilight-esque stunts as John and Number Six fight the Mogs.

Intended as the start of a franchise, it will be interesting to see if more attention and investment is paid to the script for any sequels that are made, because the potential to create a blockbuster set of films is definitely there. It just all depends on how much the studio wants to create a teen sci-fi action film with some real punch and a solid backstory versus a teen action film with a bunch of explosions and some pretty people that doesn't offer much susbtance.

In a word: okay Pin It

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Morning Melody - Penny & The Quarters

Today's melody comes to you from one of the Boredom Abounds sisters and it's quite an interesting one. First, listen to this song - You and Me by a band from the seventies called Penny & The Quarters - it has a gorgeously simple motown feel to it.

Now, for the backstory. This song was recorded sometime between 1970 and 1975 as one of three demo songs in Columbus, Ohio. The song was never released, and was put in storage where they remained for the next forty odd years. In 2006 they were discovered after the record producer, Clem Price's death and were sold to an archival record company. A musicologist (how awesome would that occupation be?) came into possession of the recordings, and this song was released by Numero Group, and subsequently heard by actor Ryan Gosling. The actor recommended it to the director of his recent film, Blue Valentine and it was featured in the film.

But, here's the thing: Numero Group cannot find the original band members or any of their relatives to pay them their increasing royalties. It's a total mystery - they've even played the song to music industry people from the time the song was recorded and no one knows who they are. So they're actively seeking information about the band members (they don't even know all the members' names) or information about their relatives.

So let's put this out into the far reaches of the internet - can you help solve this musical mystery? And, more importantly, how great is this song?

Click through to the youtube page to see the story and lyrics in full.
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Fun Friday Links

Yay, Spring is here! Although the last two morning have been so chilly I though it was Winter still. But the sun is shining, so let's focus on that, shall we?

Something else to focus on are these awesome links! Nice segue, huh?

- Do you have a spare seven minutes to watch this nineties a capella music medley clip? I hope so, because it's totally worth it. Also, I totally remember being part of a choreographed aerobic routine at our Year 8 school concert to one of these songs, which I only just remembered RIGHT NOW.

- Westfield un the UK is opening a new centre, and they've put together this one minute clip of 100 years of fashion. It's really great, and a nice reminder that fashion can be pretty and sexy and feminine without being super skin tight, having hemlines that end at our ass cheeks or just above our nipples and in a variety of colours (cough*fashiondesigners*cough).

- This post about food sculpted/moulded/carved into weird things is proof that some people have too much time on their hands.

- Here's what happens when an orange cat meets it's doppleganger (language NSFW). That cat has lightening quick reflexes.

Yes, all these links are from The Hairpin. It's a really cool website that I obviously spent a lot time reading this week.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone! Pin It

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Heavy Rotation - Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers

It's no secret I enjoy bopping along to the Glee soundtracks in my car. They're just so damned addictive! So when I saw this CD had been released, I was all over it like a rash.

Like A RASH, I tell you.

The Dalton Academy Warblers.

The compliation starts off with Teenage Dream, the Katy Perry song that made The Warblers leap off the screen with their energy, followed smoothly by a plucky,folksy version of Train's Hey Soul Sister. Both of these songs were not my favourite when I heard the original versions on the radio. Warbler-ify them though? I can't get enough!

The Destiny's Child debut song Bills, Bills, Bills is a smooth but poppy number, and following it with Paul McCartney's Silly Love Songs is a nice break in tempo before the album kicks back into high gear with Robin Thicke's When I Get You Alone and Neon Trees' Animal.

Chris Colfer's version of The Beatles' Blackbird is short and pretty, and his duet with Darren Criss on the Hey Monday song Candles is one of the best songs on the album. The fist pumpingly good cover of Pink's Raise Your Glass is something you can't help but tap your foot to, and Maroon 5's Misery is also featured, continuing the party-like musical atmosphere.

Disappointingly short, this album finishes with Rod Stewart's Do Ya Think I'm Sexy, which is one of my least favourite songs in the world, and doesn't do the prior 12 songs justice as a finale (it makes me think of overweight, sweaty, drunk men at an over 28s nightclub).

But it's the third to last song that blew me away. The Warbler's cover of Keane's ballad Somewhere Only We Know is the standout number on the album. It's beautifully done, full of love and happiness, and the melody is just stunningly perfect. It's easily the best song on the album, and the best song The Warblers have sung.

This album is full of a capella crack, and a lot of the time you don't even realise there isn't a musical instrument to be found in an entire song. The vocal arrangements and quick, snappy melodies aren't used to try and rewrite the songs. They're simply used as a new way of performing happy, upbeat music, and I can't get enough of it.

In a word: great Pin It