Monday, 26 March 2007

Smooth Radio - First Impressions...

So… they chose Barbara Streisand to re-launch Smooth FM in London. "Welcome to Smooth Radio!" Hmmm...

How Smooth is it then? Decidedly Smoother?

Well, on dipping in to the their new sound today… yes it’s all very melodic and easy going as you’d hope and expect. But it does sound rather… well… rather Magic!

As expected, there are a lot of cross over songs with Magic. Today I heard the likes of Marvin Gaye, David Gray, Odyssey and ABC. All big Magic stalwarts. The biggest shift from Smooth’s point of view must be the inclusion of traditional rock based artists.

So come on down… Coldplay and David Bowie!!

The station promises listeners music from 5 decades. Well, they certainly do deliver that every hour and the noticeable point of difference with Magic (and perhaps similarity to Radio 2) is the inclusion of 60’s music.

Yes, there are the obvious timeless 60’s hits like Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Beach Boys, but also the very twee 60’s songs like The Cascades, Everly Brothers and even some of the early Beatles numbers. These certainly will appeal to the over 50’s as is Smooth’s stated aim.

The oddest thing about the station so far is not the music. It’s the positioning statement.

“Your Music. Your Life”

Fair enough. Looks fine on posters, logos etc… but hearing presenters deliver this line like it’s something natural they’d say just doesn’t work. How often do you use sentences consisting of 2 words… and 2 of them in a row!! The days of presenters delivering straplines on air must be numbered. And this particular line just sounds very artificial and forced.

There’s much more speech on the new service and you can see how they are trying to challenge Radio 2 with this type of stuff. Mark Goodier’s quiz this morning had a bit of a Ken Bruce / Steve Wright quiz about it, and Kevin Greening’s ‘talky bit’ with an entertainment journalist about 3D movies, was very ‘Vine-esque’ in it’s construction.

Let’s allow it a few weeks to find its feet, and revisit ‘Smooth Radio’ and see if any cracks appear or if they will be real challenger to the BBC in London.

1 comment:

CSL said...

"Your music, your life" sounds to me like the sort of strapline dreamed up by non-marketers trying to be marketers.

This clumsy attempt at making brands relevant ("Hey we're all about you, not us") is anything but real.

Does anyone talk like that?

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