Wes Hating : The International Edition
t is an honour for this shameless Anglophile to finally get a chance to run through the UK charts. I know the songs, but the show itself is a first-listen proposition. Is this the moment where Wes-hating becomes an International sport?
"The Libertine's brand new self-titled album is the new official #1 album!"
Oh god, thirteen words in and I hate this man more than any other radio host I've ever heard. He sounds like he doesn't care for anything but has been told to be enthusiastic because there are kids with ADHD listening. "Can't Stand Me Now" is played, and it's still a deeply terrible song. He calls Natasha Bedingfield "sweetheart". She says she doesn't care where her album charts. Dirty liar. Then again, I'd say any old crap to get Wes to stop talking to me. Her parents are there. Rather than using them as an excuse to hang up on Wes, i.e. "Ah, sorry, I've got to fuck off now, Wes, because my dinner is ready", Wes actually gets to talk to the parents. Rubbish.
She does "Single" which is still as crap as it ever was, but oh, that's her statement of intent so it doesn't matter if it's the worst song in her repertoire. She still sounds like Pink's rubbish sister on it.
New Entries Outside The Top 20:
Lots of rubbish indie chancers looked like making it, but in the event, only a few: Shifty #29 (Wes helpfully informs that Shifty was in Crazy Town who had "that butterfly hit", pleasantly summery but lacking anything in the way of a chorus), Pop! #26 (much better than their first song, but still not really that good. For them to be the new Steps, they really need a "Deeper Shade Of Blue", and despite having the same songwriters, they don't seem to even have a "Better Best Forgotten".), Ultrabeat #23 (Wes plays a tiny bit of their previous hits to drum up excitement, it fails. New song is worse), The Thrills #22 (quite decent. Even the montage of their previous songs sounds OK. "Not For All The Love In The World" is miles better, though. Wes thinks that Corey Haim's comeback is helped by this song. He is a pillock.)
More Natasha. Wes finds out she's single and asks what she wants. "Good sense of humour" she says, tactfully ruling Wes out. She does her next single, which is kind of OK, but you'd be hard pressed to know this without having heard the studio version. Which I have. Better than Daniel she may be, but that's a qualified compliment if ever there were one. Wes also goes on about the download chart. But I already know what it is, so I don't care. And neither should you.
THE UK TOP 20! MY FRIENDS ARE ALL IN LIMOUSINES. MY FRIENDS ARE ALL CELEBRITIES!
20) DIZZEE RASCAL - Stand Up Tall
First single of his I've liked, because it actually SOUNDS like all the superlatives thrown his way in the past, without the major problem "I Luv U" had, i.e. that the beat sounded like a character in an 80s video game jumping repeatedly as if your fire button was on autofire. Anyway, good, but likely to be the weakest thing for a few new songs....
19) THE PRODIGY - Girls (NEW ENTRY)
Wes attempts to create tension by saying we won't find out which song has entered at 19 until he presses a button. Does anyone have this man's address? I'm willing to fly to the UK just for the purpose of making him feel my pain. Anyway, this is dead good stuff. Primal Scream probably think they sound like this now. They so don't.
18) THE KILLERS - All These Things I've Done (NEW ENTRY)
They're doing alright, largely because they haven't slipped and released one of the not-good songs off their album yet. And believe me, they're there. This is not as good as "Mr Brightside", which is probably why it's not done quite as well. They're from Las Vegas. When I went there, all the casinos were pumping out No Doubt's "Hey Baby". I bet The Killers aren't being pumped out all over the Strip.
Anyway, this is good.
17) SUGABABES - Caught In A Moment
Underrated album track, a bizarre choice of single given that the fairly similar “Too Lost In You” was released way back in December. Much better than “In The Middle”, mind, but compared to the absolute genius of “Million Different Ways”, you wonder why they keep releasing bloody ballads. Piano. Gorgeous pre-chorus, lovely pensive strings, it's got the package. Sugababes still do the uber-ballad better than anyone.
16) KANYE WEST - Jesus Walks (NEW ENTRY)
Piss off. It's easier and more pleasant to be labeled an ignorant, knee-jerk hater of rap than to pretend to like this sort of nonsense. He's a decent producer, I just don't think he has anything to say to me. But hey, if this is your thing, it's your thing.
15) ARMAND VAN HELDEN - My My My (NEW ENTRY)
His best single since “You Don't Know Me”, or at least since “Koochy”. Or possibly “Blue Moon”, whichever was later out of those last two. Wes gives the impression that he's been silent since “You Don't Know Me”. His last comeback flopped, though, didn't it? Reminds me a bit of Cassius. I think. Can't remember which Cassius song, but it's them.
14) BUSTED - Thunderbirds
The only really good Busted song is "She Wants To Be Me" and they didn't make it a single. Why not? This gives the impression it was pieced together by robots in five minutes, but the template works, so there's no reason to hate it for its daftness.
13) MOUSSE T featuring EMMA LANDFORD - Is It Cos I'm Cool
This is certainly catchy, and wa-hey, incongruous guitar solos are always good, except in genres of music that are supposed to have guitar solos in them, in which case they are evil and must be stopped. The bass? Strutting, like Ms Landford. But a little unfinished sounding to these ears.
12) DARREN HAYES - Pop!ular (NEW ENTRY)
Darren Hayes was in Savage Garden, the most successful band to ever emerge out of Brisbane, Australia, the city in which your exasperated reviewer this week was born. Except I was quick to point out that they were actually formed in Logan City just down the highway. But now, I'm proud to hail from the same city as Darren. He once lived two streets away from me, apparently. And now I want everyone to know this! I am vaguely associated with Darren Hayes! And why? Because this is a smashing single. It's both what Madonna's “American Life” should have been, and it also works as a flipside to Rachel 'n' Richard's “Some Girls”. It's a mischievous bit of synth pop that's obnoxiously catchy and deserved a far better placing than this. I mean how often do you hear this sort of thing done with actual pop hooks and stuff? NEVER. Aargh. Typical. Former rubbish popstar makes good and the Great Single Buying Public flunks them. Raise your standards. Perhaps having to endure Wes every week is punishment enough, mind. Wes doesn't sound like he likes this. He probably thinks it isn't proper music and that it's for gays and stupid children. Well, duh, but that's because radio twerps marginalise it and don't play it when other people might hear it. The album is absolutely brilliant too, the missing link between Ray Of Light and Violator. Really.
11) PAUL WELLER - Wishing On A Star (NEW ENTRY)
I hate The Jam. I hate Style Council. I hate Paul Weller solo. The Changingman? This is me Changingchannels. Or would be if I weren't listening to this over the Internet. I hate him so much I don't even care that what I've written is a shit pun. This blight on the musical landscape, revered for seemingly NO GOOD REASON deserves nothing better. How has this man had 21 solo hits? OK, you like “That's Entertainment” and “A Town Called Malice”, that's fine. They're old, you're allowed to feel nostalgic or warm about them. This is now, and it's new, and it's unnecessary. Darren Hayes kicks his old arse any day.
10) GOLDIE LOOKIN' CHAIN - Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do
Harmless fun. Yes, I sort of mean it. The harmless I definitely mean. As for fun, your mileage may vary. You don't need to hear it more than once, though, so in the absence of a fresh perspective, I will take the job of filling in for Swygart seriously for one moment:
The Delgados, right? Their new single is OUT TODAY. It is called “Everybody Come Down” and it's absolutely lovely. It has HANDCLAPS, and a really quite good sing-along chorus. They're even playing pool in the video. What more do you want? The next chart comes out on September 12. That's one day after my birthday, and I would accept a Top 40 placing for the Delgados in lieu of large presents. Swygart would be happy too. So. You buy Delgados and fight the good fight for Proper Indie that is indie ONLY because it's on an indie label, not because of some bizarre ideological purity that says indie songs can't also be good pop, right?
No? Well do you want to live in a world where KEANE are more popular than this? Of course you don't. Or a chart where Maroon 5 are actually the most adventurous act in the top 10? Of course you don't. Speaking of which...
9) MAROON 5 - She Will Be Loved
"This Love" was good. Can't get into this. I saw it being sung by a fat guy on Australian Idol and now it just reminds me of that. Meh. One gets the impression that this has been their biggest hit by virtue of momentum rather than it being actually their best song. File under "trying too hard".
8) THE PIRATES etc - You Really Should Know (NEW ENTRY)
Since Eamon proved that a song need not be good to warrant an answer track, here's this. A load of tripe.
7) EMBRACE - Gravity (NEW ENTRY)
Ah, this takes me back. I was an indie kid once. I bought "The Good Will Out", you know. I even listened to it. Liked it, too. They gradually became less appealing to me, though "I Wouldn't Wanna Happen To You" is undeniable. Regardless of whether or not one is supposed to call "Gravity" a comeback, that's what it is. Chris Martin continues his quest to be the British Linda Perry, writing songs for everybody to show how productive and good he is despite that last Coldplay album being shit, except for the bits when it was embarassing. Clocks = overrated. But anyway, this single demonstrates what's good and bad about Martin's style of songwriting—a grandiose statement about gravity pulling on YOU AND I doesn't work, but when it stays in simple, heartfelt, if unoriginal territory like "Do you hear my heart beating? Can you hear that sound?" it works because Danny McNamara, who at least has never been guilty of loving his words to death, is able to sell it. The verses, then, are gorgeous. The chorus, nope, doesn't work. Everyone involved must know this because after the instrumental break, it's the second half of the verse that comes to triumphantly bring it home. It very nearly works, really. But not quite. I had this long bit prepared about how sad it would be that their biggest hit would end up being written by someone else when I saw this was #5 in the midweeks, but since they've had a #6 before, I had to scrap it. So I'll just say that at least Mr Coldplay has marginally better hair than Ms. 4 Non Blondes.
6) THE 411 - Dumb
Not getting the love for this. Doesn't have an unnecessary and stupid Ghostface cameo, which is a plus for me, but a minus for a lot of people. I'm still right though. Good chorus. Bad words.
5) 3 OF A KIND - Babycakes
The gap between a scene and its nostalgic revival is now so short, people's fond memories won't have been erased, thus making nostalgia much more time and cost-effective. Well done, 3 Of A Kind.
4) NATASHA BEDINGFIELD - These Words
LIVE AGAIN! FROM MAIDA VALE! Really quite like this, and she cuts it live. Or rather, her band and her backing singers do, and she's sort of there. Speaking wankily, it's supposed to be the juxtaposition of her apparently lucid thoughts in the verse with the babbling in the chorus that works but it's not really, it's just a good hook and I don't care that she doesn't know how to say "hyperbole" because even the vocabulary-enhanced of us must make a concession to a damn fine hook occasionally. Plus I didn't notice it until it was pointed out, because up until then I had no idea what the word was supposed to be. Anyway, this remains marvellous.
3) TWISTA - Sunshine (NEW ENTRY)
Rather better than “Overnight Celebrity”. It's just coming out of winter here, the sun actually is appearing and this sounds alright. I danced a bit in my chair.
2) JOJO - Leave (Get Out) (NEW ENTRY)
Does Wes always do this building tension thing? You'd think if he did it every week, he'd actually be good at it. But he is not. Yeah, it's weird to give this song to such a young girl, but it's a good song, isn't it? Well, not really. Still, better than average. I think Jojo does a good job with the song itself, lyrical themes and all, it just would have been better if rather than her trying to strain her persona to this song, they'd tailored it a little bit more to her age. I think she's got a future, really, if she continues to be able to survive potential train wrecks like this.
1) NELLY - My Place/Flap Your Wings (NEW ENTRY)
Nelly is my pop nemesis. “E.I.” was O.K. Everything else, no. This is a man who wears sticky tape on his face and wrote a song just so he could have a member of Destiny's Child say that she loves him over and over again. Just because I'd do the same thing in his position doesn't mean I can't tut disapprovingly. "Flap Your Wings" is played, and I really must protest this idea that rappers have that EVERY NEW PHRASE THEY COIN is a keeper. "Get your eagle on" is lame. And while not being a particular expert on original rap lyricism, this just sounds particularly tired. And he says "get your eagle on" far too many times, possibly because everyone involved forgot to mention how much it sucks because they thought someone else must already have done it.
Well, that's that then. You'll never get me to sit through another Paul Weller or Kanye West single, that's for sure. On behalf of all Australians, I would like to apologise for next week's likely new entries, Peter Andre and Jet. As if that's not bad enough (although it is), Papa Roach, The Music and Brian McFadden are also apparently out. I'm beginning to see why William's taken a month off...
By: Edward Oculicz
Published on: 2004-09-07