A covers album consisting almost entirely of Aotearoa's most beloved and iconic songs? A daunting ask that runs the risk of going very karaoke very quickly.

Even more so when you consider that two of the record's three vocalists are actors and these performances are all intended to accompany the local musical, Daffodils, which is in cinemas now.

So it's to their eternal credit that the film's stars Rose McIver and George Mason do a bang-up job here of taking on some of our classic tunes.

They're backed up by the Silver Scroll winning duo LIPS, who handled all the music and production duties, as well as local Grammy winner Kimbra, whose brilliant voice, sheer class and force of personality can't help but steal the show every time she opens her mouth.


She's at her finest on the idiosyncratic pop of What the Hell, one of two original songs LIPS penned for the album. This supercharged blast of synth-pop allows Kimbra to cut loose and lean into the quirk of her actual artist persona to terrific effect.

McIver's highlight is her delicate interpretation of Bic Runga's Drive, which is given plenty of room to hit the song's emotional beats by LIPS' sparse and shimmering arrangement.

Conversely Mason inflects his vocals with a gobby attitude. It sounds a little forced on Th' Dudes boozy piss-take Bliss. But the dude totally nails it on Dave Dobbyn's classic heart breaker, Language. Here it's transformed into a post-punk anthem, perfectly suiting Mason's exaggeratedly punky delivery while also finding a new angle on the song without losing any of its inherent emotion.

All three singers come together for a mash-up of Blam Blam Blam's There is No Depression in New Zealand with Darcy Clay's Jesus I Was Evil, a wildly bold experiment.

Though there's a couple of weaker moments the strength of these iconic songs is more than strong enough to carry them. For the most part this soundtrack's blooming good, offering a fresh spin on our own classic tracks.


LIPS, Kimbra, Rose McIver, George Mason



Daffodils (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


Warner Music


Blooming good.