Perhaps better suited live, the songs of Shotgun Karaoke are unnecessary – especially compared to the original brilliance of Leave Your Soul To Science.
The result spans between the claustrophobic yet tender opening number Star-Crossed Citizens to the lovingly-crafted and catchy chorus of Miracle Cure. The ever-reliant Clint Hyndman hits the skins manfully – you'll agree if you've ever seen him play that means putting every one of his man-muscles into every drum stroke – and Stephanie Ashworth is at her intimidating best on bass.
In addition to the original 12 songs on Leave Your Soul To Science, the 2CD version includes – surprise, surprise – a second disc. It's a five-track offering subtitled Shotgun Karaoke, a somewhat misleading title given the obvious thought and rehearsal that went into its creation. The five songs are Dempsey acoustic numbers, including Survival Expert from Leave Your Soul To Science, and a sublime version of Active Child's Hanging On. He's replaced the harp with acoustic guitar, and Dempsey works his upper register beautifully.
From there, versions of Bowie's Let's Dance, World Party's Ship Of Fools and Sam Brown's Stop are earnest, but aren't done justice given the restrictions that only a voice and acoustic guitar place on them. Stop, especially, without the haunting string section of Brown's original, seems naked here. Perhaps better suited live, the songs of Shotgun Karaoke are unnecessary – especially compared to the original brilliance of Leave Your Soul To Science.