he Darkness are number one in the album chart. Which is a damn sight more exciting than Eva Cassidy being number one in the album chart. Or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, for that matter.
New entries outside the top 20 – Amen UK #40 (unremarkable yet not entirely dislikeable piano house stuff – Wes introduces it as being by Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess. Start as you mean to go on); Ocean Colour Scene #35 (they now sound like really rubbish-era Simple Minds); Snap! Vs Motivo #34 (The ‘bhangra’ version of The Power – more Bhangra Knights than Panjabi MC, unfortunately); The Thrills #33 (I swear I used to love this song, but now... I dunno. They were so close to being interesting, but now... I dunno. It’s all so damnably disappointing...); UNKLE #31 (‘deep’ stuff, like that DJ Shadow single, or something. I don’t know. Not exactly making waves in my head, to be honest); The Rapture #27 (ultra-lovely ‘disco-punk’ makes unexpectedly large impression on the top 40, still just as brilliant as it was however many years ago that was, sort of lost count, but counting is irrelevant in the face of SLINKY BASSLINE and SHOUTING); and Jet #23 (horrid Australian New Rock dregs, trying to resurrect the blues and causing Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker and all that lot to spin so hard in their graves that the Earth is now tilting at an ever so slightly sharper angle).
Throughout Wes has behaved gitlike (true, he played Bring Me To Life in full, but also he played Fly On The Wings Of Love in full again)... and he won’t stop bigging up Starsailor. But they SUCK, man.
Anyway. Here’s the top 20:
20) D. KAY & EPSILON ft. STAMINA MC – Barcelona
Not quite sure why the man feels like he’s in Barcelona. But it’s a nice enough song, all the nicer since it’s following on from the horrid XTM-Jet double play (you had to be there to fully appreciate how glad you should be at having not been there. If that makes sense). But yes, this is a good ‘un.
19) BEYONCE ft. JAY-Z – Crazy In Love
Slowly descending the top 20 after god knows how many weeks. All set to be overtaken by XTM next week, inevitably. Jay-Z’s guest spot here is not as awful as I used to think it was, but still not as entertaining as the one he does on Pharell’s single. But more on that later, probably.
18) MEL BLATT – Do Me Wrong (NEW ENTRY)
Hmm. Radio 1 leads into this with a medley of All Saints edited together so you can’t hear the parts that Mel Blatt sang. Or she might’ve done, I dunno... truth be told, I can’t stand her voice. It’s all over-breathy and garbled in a supposedly ‘alluring’ manner, singing a song that I’ve a weird feeling she might have penned herself and be Extremely Proud Of Because She Wrote It Ahhh That’ll Show Those Appleton Bitches. It sounds like All Saints, yes.
17) PHARELL ft. JAY-Z – Frontin’
It’s not just the bit where Jay-Z yells “I call you Fo’Real cos you the truth”. It’s how he’s so pleased with himself for getting yet another bloody nickname (which, as far as I can tell, are all nicknames he’s given himself). It’s the way he desperately tries to make “Nonchalant” rhyme with “audience”. And maybe most of all, the way Pharell cuts him off after four lines. Super.
16) LEE CABRERA ft. ALEX CARTANA – Shake It (Move A Little Closer) (NEW ENTRY)
Ooh, Latino-tinged house. Quite decent, really, nice little jinking piano riff rumbles along in the background, nice array of drum samples, and this inexplicable sound that’s a bit like a balloon slowly deflating all over the background of the chorus. Surprisingly likeable, even if it’s almost certainly loved by Dave Pearce and used to signify SUMMER in every single Radio 1 trailer. Or that might be D. Kay & Epsilon ft. Stamina MC. Hmm...
15) STACIE ORRICO – Stuck
Down 6 this week, so probably not actually going to stay in the chart that long after all. Even though it is actually brilliant, as I have come to realise after repeatedly playing it over the past week. Best and most loved bit at the moment, the way her voice trills right at the top of her range, like when she goes “I can’t fayyyyke it!” in the chorus. Easily one of the best singles of the year, and so Radio 1 haven’t playlisted it, obviously. Their loss...
14) BUSTED – Sleeping With The Light On
They playlisted this though. Yes, we remember Extreme. Now piss off.
Anyway – Southampton beat Man Utd 1-0 this afternoon. To commemorate this, here’s Michael Svensson and James Beattie’s Up The Arse Corner entry:
13) MARK OWEN – Four Minute Warning
I’m a bit fed up of this now, actually. So here’s a picture of Premiership champions Man Utd being outclassed by Paul Telfer –
Described by the BBC as being ‘all-action’. Damn straight.
12) JAIMESON – Complete
Now, why is it I quite like Barcelona, but don’t much care for this? Hmm. Possibly because the guitar lick on this... was probably described as a guitar lick by the guitar player. And is rubbish. Which of him and D. Kay & Epsilon would rather collaborate with Phil Collins, I wonder?
11) SHANIA TWAIN – Thank You Baby! (For Making Someday Come So Soon) (NEW ENTRY)
The sound of a thousand Heart FM DJ’s wet dreams... and to be fair, this is a good few steps up from her last single. Still rubbish, backing strangely reminiscent of If I Could Turn Back Time, and featuring some violins on power chords. Actually, I suppose it’s pretty bearable, probably because they seem to have mixed the instruments right over Miss Twain/Mrs Lange’s vocals. Might have something there...
And so here’s the top ten, still with five new entries to come by my estimation. One Big Weekend in Cardiff with JOIN ME SEB FONTAINE on Saturday, and lots of dull proper musicians on the Sunday. And NO STACIE ORRICO OR BLU CANTRELL FEATURING SEAN PAUL, NONE OF THAT FILTH REQUIRED ROUND HERE.
10) SPEEDWAY – Genie In A Bottle/Save Yourself (NEW ENTRY)
Scots, who in all probability do actually sound like Texas, cover the Freelance Hellraiser’s A Stroke of Genie-us bootleg in a very, very flat manner. Just like to point out that The Delgados are just as Scottish and have never got near the top 10, despite being the best band in the world ever. So there’s the plan, lady and gentlemen. I don’t think anyone’s covered Morse Gets Booty yet... you know what to do.
9) LUMIDEE – Never Leave You (Uh-Ooh)
Fifth week on, fifth week of me quite liking the chorus and not having much to say other than that. So here’s Ruud Van Nistelrooy (in the black) being so rubbish that even Fabrice Fernandes (far left) is thinking of tackling him:
8) GIRLS ALOUD – Life Got Cold
Listened to this album all week a fortnight ago, then listened to Sing Sing all last week. So in lieu of any comments more interesting than that, here’s a picture of Sing-Sing, wearing scarves:
7) LEMAR – Dance (With U)
Seriously, the man’s voice is just perfect for this song. Uses all the range exactly when he needs to use it, instead of just going “Look, Falsetto, Look!” Like that bloody Timberlake person. And I accidentally managed to segue Bring Me To Life into it whilst flicking between radio stations on the bus last week, and it was perfect. Sorry – that should read perfect, obviously.
6) KELLY CLARKSON – Miss Independent (NEW ENTRY)
Oh dear. Got sidetracked, I think, and now I’ve sort of forgotten... oh no, I remember now. It was rubbish, sort of sounded a little bit Avril, a little bit Osbourne, and it’s calling its kid The Ramones as a childish act of rebellion to those who might think it’d call its child The Corrs, or something... er, yes. Kids – don’t paraphrase Half Man Half Biscuit, because you will never be as good as them. Accept it, and walk away.
5) ABS ft. NODESHA – Miss Perfect (NEW ENTRY)
And writing all that means I’ve managed to flit through all this, but anyway, from what I could tell Abs has his Mr. Lover Lover pants on again, and he’s being a bit smooth and stuff. Except once more it blows up in his face – last time he got embarrassed by trying to impersonate Another Level over some Northern Soul, this time Nodesha reprimands him for being out at ten o’clock. Yes Mum. Sorry Mum. Won’t do it again Mum.
4) ULTRABEAT – Pretty Green Eyes
It’s the new In Da Club. Sigh. Anyway – new game – Guess The Euphemism with Michael Svensson:
3) SEAN PAUL – Like Glue (NEW ENTRY)
Now, Abs, this is how you do it. Sing about your insatiable sexual appetite very quickly and using as many woodwork metaphors as possible (“you get me woody woody”) and no-one will suspect a thing. Also, having the fantastic zig-zaggy electric wobble stuff in the background would hope. As would being Sean Paul. My, but he’s fantastic, isn’t he?
2) BLU CANTRELL & SEAN PAUL – Breathe
Ah well. The one month glass ceiling for number ones this year continues, as Blu & Sean cede to the inevitability of Elton John does disco being huge, probably. Which is a bit of a shame. But I’ll live, probably. Yeah.
1) ELTON JOHN – Are You Ready For Love? (NEW ENTRY)
And so Sir Elton Slays The Dragon (featuring Sean Paul). And it’s alright, really – the whole blanket coverage thing, particularly that godawful Sky Sports advert, doesn’t really help its case, but it’s actually a half-decent tune. I mean, as disco records go, I wouldn’t imagine it’s one of the all-time greats, but compared to most of Elton’s recent “I am an elder statesman, and here’s some ominous piano to prove it” records, and the distinct lack of him growling as he has been accustomed to do on more or less every song of his I’ve ever heard makes it all quite floaty light, and pretty agreeable, really. Hell, at least it doesn’t sound like Room 5.
But anyway, we all know that that pales into insignificance by comparison to this:
Beattie, 88th minute, 1-0, three points for us, and you can stick that up your bollix. I thank you.
(Answer to Guess The Euphemism - "shackles".)