Jurgen Vries vs. My Colon - Who Wins?
lbum Chart Notes: Umm, I’ve missed most of it. ‘Dry Your Eyes’, ‘Don’t Tell Me’ both played out. It’s still over a month till ‘Dry Your Eyes’ is out as a single. With that kind of build-up, it can’t fail to get to #2.
Killers new at #6, Supergrass Best Of new at #4. Mercifully, we get ‘Alright’ and not ‘Moving’. Actually, ‘Alright’ really is rather great, isn’t it? When they want to be, Supergrass really are capable of being very special indeed. I was gonna say that I personally prefer ‘Late In The Day’ and ‘Richard III’, but the slide-guitar bit in the middle has just come in. The adorable face of big, dumb guitar-pop? Oh, probably. “Lost control—hit a wall—But We’re Alright!”
Your new number one album, by the way, is Faithless. They play an album track of Sister Bliss’ choosing. ‘Jaimeson vs. Groove Armada’ is not overstating things.
(Elsewhere: Velvet Revolver new at #11, Thin Lizzy hits comp #13—possibility that I’ve missed Whisky In The Jar is a bit gutting, but tempered by the probability that they just played something off the Maroon 5 album instead)
New Entries Outside The Top 20: Linkin Park #39 (They rip off the intro to ‘Boys Of Summer’ and loop it. It’s bearable for a bit. Then he does his ‘pain’ thing, and it all turns to shit again); Speedway #31 (reliably unengaging); Mark Owen #30 (Now this, this is more like it. Yes, as some have pointed out, this sounds ‘a bit Britpop’. What they neglect to mention is just how few Britpop bands could sound this good. Little Mark’s voice actually works in his favour for very possibly the first time ever, the Northern warble sounding surprisingly effective when required to go all long and wobbly… hang on a second, they’re playing the Natasha Bedingfield single, lemme just turn it down and fire up the MP3… yes, that’s better. Mark attempts to pledge his love to his gal [rest assured that ‘gal’ is most definitely the word here], she responds by chucking water off the balcony in his general direction. Somehow he loves her more. There’s a piano clomping along on the verses, and this wholly agreeable vein of amiability runs right through. And anyway, if you think this is bad, imagine if Ronan Keating tried something along these lines. Actually, the Geneva Convention probably forbids that—but anyway, sod the hataz, this is gorgeous—the cool kids could stand to learn a bit off the wee man); and Jurgen Vries #23 (coincided with me really needing the loo. Probably not its fault, mind, even though it was sounding a bit generic Dave Pearce-type thing).
THE UK TOP 20 – DO THEY NOT REALISE SWITZERLAND ARE PLAYING CROATIA?
20) THE BEASTIE BOYS – Ch-Check It Out
Switzerland and Croatia are drawing 0-0 at time of writing, by the way, in the European Football Championship 2004 in Portugal. Yes, it’s a major football tournament, and if readers of this column weren’t aware of that before, then there’s some songs that are going to make it painfully obvious to you later on in this rundown. And oh, do I mean painfully…
19) JANET JACKSON – All Nite (Don’t Stop) (NEW ENTRY)
Contains a nice enough fadey synth fill in the chorus that sounds a little like ‘Lovely Day’ (the Bill Withers one), but aside from that, ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING ALREADY. Janet sees bandwagon for whispery vocals and breathy noises with minimalistic beaty bits a la ‘Dip It Low’ and bits of ‘Me Against The Music’. Janet leaps for it and whacks her chin on the tailgate. This is shit.
18) THE 411 feat. GHOSTFACE KILLAH – On My Knees
I’m hungry. And this is on. And I’m hungry. Oossss.
17) HOOBASTANK – The Reason
I still cannot bring myself to hate this. Yeah, it’s a bit pompy in a slightly rubbish manner… and he doesn’t mean it, course he doesn’t. There is the feeling that if one were to describe this as ‘Richard Marx with strings’ Hoobastank might be a bit offended, which is kind of amusing. That and this does sound an awful lot like ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ but without the vocals of Him Out Of Aerosmith. Steve something or other. Tyler? Steve Tyler, that the feller? Just sounds a bit like he should be live at Valley Parade where Bradford are entertaining Grimsby is all.
16) FAITHLESS – Mass Destruction
And well may you hate this. I’m not sure quite how blind I was to the sheer aura of smug on Maxi Jazz’s vocals here. But that one on the album chart, that was worse. Christ, at least the trumpets work on this.
15) ANASTACIA – Left Outside Alone
How long has this been around now, then? A: over two months, probably ten or eleven weeks… released 22nd March. Outlasted more or less everything, ever. Except bloody Eamon. Actually becoming kind of enjoyable having this roll round each week now. Why do you play her like a game? Why? You careless, helpless little man. Tsss.
14) CANDEE JAY – If I Were You (NEW ENTRY)
Ian Van Dahl finds a new octave but is somehow even less interesting for it. Switzerland and Croatia reach half-time and neither of them have scored.
13) PETER ANDRE – Insania
See, if Peter Andre had done the Mark Owen single, it’d have been shit. Whereas if Mark Owen had done this… oh yeah, ‘Four Minute Warning’, sorry.
12) SCISSOR SISTERS – Laura (NEW ENTRY)
But this, this is where I get REALLY fucking pissy. Right, is it enough that they decide to insert a jingle IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING SONG? Seriously—IN THE FUCKING MIDDLE? Yes, there’s a pause there, but it’s there because they WANTED A FUCKING PAUSE, not a jingle to remind people that it’s a NEW ENTRY IN THE TOP FUCKING FORTY ON RADIO SHITTING ONE YOU BUNCH OF COCKING WAGSTAFFS DIE DIE DIE. For FUCK’S SAKES.
And now on to the thing that really annoys me here. People that have decided the Scissors are all style over substance. Would you like me to scan my arse in so you can kiss it? Would you? Well I’m not going to, cos it’s my dad’s scanner and he’d get a bit narked. Yes, they tour incessantly (like Hundred Reasons and Feeder used to do, yeah), and they do get on the television rather a lot. And, as the boy Swales said, “I couldn’t bear living with them.” However, the boy Swales did also say that he rather liked their tunes, AND THAT IS THE FUCKING THING—the songs are brilliant (mostly). And it ain’t about being fucking fashionable, god no. Take ‘Laura’, wherein Jake Shears attempts to get himself some tail by ringing all the women he knows. And he fails. Christ, most of the stuff on the album is about being lonely (‘Mary’), loveless (‘Lovers In The Backseat’), crap with girls/blokes (‘Better Luck Next Time’—curiously titled ‘Better Luck’ on the album sleeve), in the closet (‘Take Your Mama’), getting fucked over by the music industry (‘Tits On The Radio’), finding the big city isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (‘Return To Oz’)… Let’s contrast that shit with Franz Ferdinand, who write songs about attempting to pull girls, one song about attempting to pull a man (EDGE! EDGE! EDGE! [N.B. no, not the wrestler Edge, nor the computer games magazine, nor the former Gillingham right back… ah cack]), and just generally being a cool witty debonair Scots gadabout with perfect hair whilst only being able to make the one noise with your guitar + ironic reference to Terry Wogan. Do they cop this ‘style over substance’ bullshit? No, they get called the future of music.
Well, fuck that. ‘Laura’ fucking bosses things. The piano riff is, yes, familiar. And the ground-organ riff, yeah, probably. But that’s cos they’re good, it creaks and cranks its way along the line, then Mr Shears drawls his way in: “Low-ra… can’t you give me some time? I got to give myself, one more chance… to be the man that I know I am…” And in the corr-roose, we get the theatrics: “C’M AWWN! C’M AWWWN! WHERRRE IS YAW LUV? DON’T YOU GIVE ME YAW LUV? WON’T YOU GIVE ME YAW LUV?” It is fantastic, this huge overblown three-and-a-bit minute pop-opera in one act (with pause). He sings like Elton John? And? Yeah, it sounds like the seventies. What the hell is your problem? Much lesser bands get away with much worse. This is how they sound, that is how they dress, this shit is who they are, and you can moan about how fucking over-marketed and over-hyped and over-dressed the people are, and you’re ignoring that the Scissor Sisters are a bloody fantastic pop group with heartfelt lyrics (not in the irritating way), warm tunes, and an album that appeals right across the spectrum, instantly warm and accessible, not this aloof emperor’s-new-clothes fashionista shit everyone has the Scissors pegged down as being. These are some of the best songs this decade has seen, and the people, they write about the haircuts. Fuck the people.
11) VS – Call You Sexy (NEW ENTRY)
It sounds a bit like their last one but with slightly beefier production and some references to ‘gangsta style’ dropped in like they think they’re Big Brovaz or something. I won’t miss you when you’re gone.
10) KANYE WEST ft. SYLEENA JOHNSON – All Falls Down (NEW ENTRY)
As Fluxblog regulars will be aware, this was originally based off a Lauryn Hill sample which didn’t get cleared, so it got re-recorded, and it’s suffered—Kanye does indeed have the air of a man who’s done this all before and can’t quite be bothered doing it all again. Still, it’s been a fair old while since there’s been a song about the feeling of going through uni for the sake of it or because it’s the done thing up this high in the chart, and it’s pretty OK, if rather underpowered.
9) TWISTED X – Born In England (NEW ENTRY)
So, yes, the football. Now, as you may have gathered from previous columns, I have a liking for the football. What I don’t have much liking for is the organisations that look for the associated cred that comes with the liking of the football. In the ad-breaks of the Euro 2004 coverage we get JVC adverts that feature people watching Mexican waves on JVC televisions and then joining in at home, because you see, JVC understands football. JVC loves football like you love football. Plus which, as the undertone of all these adverts goes, if it wasn’t for JVC’s money, the football would not be being brought to you. But anyway, the male media here in Britain has gone into its usual ‘ALL BLOKES TOGEVVAAA’ overdrive where we all love the football, unless we are women in which case we all hate the football and want to watch ‘Sleepless In Seattle’ instead. What this drive also brings is football singles, such as this one which got put together by London’s ‘alternative’ radio station XFM’s breakfast DJ Christian O’Connell. Firstly, a few words in the feller’s defence—he can put together a good feature, chiefly the one where he went about organising his producer’s entire marriage in Las Vegas via the internet (including getting himself ordained) and broadcasting live from the ceremony. This was a good feature too, where he bemoaned the shitness of recent football songs and wanted his listeners to do better. The result is ‘Born In England’, which does namecheck all the parts of the country and how there are players on the England squad representing all of them.
Unfortunately, it then goes off on the whole ‘we invented football, this is our game and the French can naff off’ tangent. Also, Christian O’Connell’s taste in music is quite shit, really, and he’s decided to make this song sound credible. This leads to the horrific spectacle of the singer out of the Delays amongst others attempting to lead a chant of “Come On England, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” A failure, but a faintly admirable one.
8) EAMON – Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)
Switzerland and Croatia drew 0-0. My dad reckons it was even worse than this made out.
7) CASSIDY ft. R KELLY – Hotel
Three weeks in and R Kelly is still the best thing about this by a street.
6) FRANKEE – Fuck U Right Back
Best thing about this—Frankee clearly has no idea what “Didn’t mean jack” actually means.
5) THE FARM vs. DJ SPOONY– All Together Now 2004
Found out this week that it’s been remixed by DJ Spoony out of Radio 1 UK Garage specialists the Dreem Teem. He’s done this by making the vocals fairly inaudible and putting some bits of (I think) Peter Drury’s commentary in. Mmm-hmm.
4) KELIS – Trick Me
Still the best in the top 10 by a fair ol’ way. Second best:
3) O-ZONE – Dragostea Din Tei (NEW ENTRY)
Yes, it’s this year’s “Ha ha, look at the rest of Europe, they still like David Hasselhoff or Johnny Hallyday or something” record. And, as is sort of the tradition (well, with Las Ketchup anyway), it’s better than that. The production is a bit underwhelming. The verses are sort of meh (the bloke who says ‘Picasso’ like it’s some kind of catchphrase is wrong), but the two choruses are the catchiest things since (insert inappropriate viral infection reference here). First time my brother and I heard it was when the video was on the music station in the hotel we were staying in. We spent the whole of dinner trying not to sing it and failing. Once dinner had finished we ran aback to the room in the hope it would be on. We got The Rasmus instead. Mai-ai-hii, mai-ai-huu, mai-ai-haa, mai-ai-haa-haa…
2) 4-4-2 – Come On England (NEW ENTRY)
In which shit football commentators fuck with ‘Come On Eileen’ by changing the lyrics to stuff about not letting the country down as sung by a man who doesn’t really sound like Kevin Rowland though he’s trying to and replacing one of the greatest intros ever with Alan Parry commentating on David Beckham scoring the free kick that got England into the World Cup two years ago. I want to bring hurt. This column is now adopting Latvia as its team of choice, and all future football songs shall be accompanied by photos of the Latvian squad being ace. This week, the Latvian Football Squad are ace at:
1) MARIO WINANS ft. P DIDDY & ENYA – I Don’t Wanna Know
Last year, R. Kelly held off Girls Aloud in his second week at number one. This year, Mario Winans is holding off the commentary team of talkSPORT. Still, the Girls Aloud single this year is even better…