‘Tis the season for house parties, hot booze and awkward family reunions, so while karaoke is the perfect antidote to glaring silence and forced smiles, it’s a shame that this is the weakest SingStar on PS3. Don’t worry, they haven’t broken it completely. The basic set up hasn’t changed – you sing, you get a score; you argue that your microphone isn’t working properly. The problem this time is the random track list that feels like some Sony exec just hit shuffle on their iPod and went with whatever it spewed out. Surely that’s the only possible explanation for including Coldplay’s Viva La Vida?
It’s not that there aren’t some mega tracks on there. Wacko Jacko’s Billie Jean, Lionel Richie’s All Night Long and the shouty Tings Tings are all perfect party anthems. The trouble is that the track list covers so many genres, decades and tastes that you’re going to hate at least half of them. Moaning about too much variety might sound like madness, but chances are if you love Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris’s Dance Wiv Me, then Kate Bush and KD Lang might not fire you up too much.
Sony need to take a bit more care with their choices next time. The SingStore means if you want more niche stuff like the Happy Mondays’ Kinky Afro you can just download it, so there’s less and less need to shell out £25 for a disc where you only like six of the songs. Add to that more and more dedicated discs like SingStar: Abba already on the market, and people are just going to start ignoring anything that doesn’t add real value to their collection. Anyone worried about the credit crunch, or having to listen to their relatives screech out Babooshka should save their cash for their PlayStation wallet, and virgins should warm up their vocal chords with SingStar Vol.1 and 2 first.
That said, if you’re a karaoke addict then there’s plenty here to beef up your collection and challenge your voice. Billie Jean packs some high notes that should only be attempted by trained opera divas and eunuchs, and Ebony and Ivory has a killer harmony that will leave beginners in a sweaty puddle of humiliation. Bowie’s Space Oddity is perfect for tone deaf show offs, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s will make everyone go misty eyed and nostalgic for the nineties. At your next SingStar party, this will be the disc you dig out for Billie Jean and Killer Queen, and then throw back to the bottom of the pile for the older discs’ more crowd pleasing classics.
Dec 15, 2008