Wet Wet Wet Are Back. Why?
lbum Chart Notes: Ugh. Lots of new entries—Andrea Bocelli #19, The Verve are #15, The Manics are #13, and Busted's live album is #11. Busted are in the studio with Wes. By Christ do they ever sound posh. They play 'What I Go To School For'. Reassuringly toss. Phil Collins has a 'collection of love songs' at #10, The Bee Gees' #1 collection is at #7, Tina Turner's Best Of is #6, the Travis singles compilation is #4, and we get to hear 'Driftwood'. I do every now and then feel compelled to stand up for Travis, cos they have got the occasional good song. 'Driftwood', however, is shite. And on that note: Kings Of Leon are #3!
And at #1… it's popular 'Simon Cowell's opera boyband' Il Divo! They're on speakerphone with Wes! They're turning on the Christmas lights on Oxford Street! They sound fucking lobotomised! They play their version of 'Unbreak My Heart', which, because they are classy, they sing in Italian. Reassuringly, it is drivel. Somehow I've managed to completely avoid hearing almost anything about this lot, which makes me staggeringly grateful that I've not had access to a television in the past few weeks. But next week—Westlife go Rat Pack!
McFly are manning the phones this afternoon. Witty banter ahoy.
New entries outside the top 20: Chingy #34 (Somebody last week appears to have been concerned about my comprehensibility, possibly engendered due to some trans-atlantic cultural divide. So, I must ask: What's it like living in a country where Chingy is actually famous, then?); George Michael #32 (George reminisces about his childhood in North London, mumble-style. All quite 'tasteful'); The Strokes #27 (buggerdy organ rollicking averageness); Tyler James #25 ('Trick Me'-style rumba goodness—actually, VERY goodness… Hmm. Wes calls him "the UK's answer to Justin Timberlake". I think we might have won that particular argument, then); Candee Jay #23 (Ian van Dahl. It's the new thing); Kaiser Chiefs #22 (It's my new local heroes! Probably more about this later, because I rather like it); and Jo Jingles #21 (youth sing-song novelty hit cobblers).
THE UK TOP 20: THESE ESSAYS CONTINUE TO NOT WRITE THEMSELVES
20) ELTON JOHN – All That I'm Allowed (NEW ENTRY)
Syrupy ballad stuff that goes on for hours… yet in a not totally unpleasant manner. Elton's got some funny effect thing on his voice that seems to work quite well. After a couple of minutes your brain just automatically switches off anyway. I need to do some hovering later. Hmm.
19) DEEP DISH – Flashdance
I dunno whether it's by contrast with Elt or what, but this is suddenly much faster this week. It also has the whole sudden ending thing, too, which I'd not noticed before. Intriguing…
18) DANNII MINOGUE vs. FLOWER POWER – You Won't Forget About Me
OK, now sold on this one too. A modern way of getting the disco on, relentless stringy swirls, pumping onwards, as Dannii trills (there is no other way of describing it, really there isn't) "You, won't forget about me / As long as you live / As long as you live!" Like that Mantronix thing from last year, but just… better. I'm on form this week.
17) DANZEL – Pump It Up
And bugger me if this didn't too! More humping relentlessness, as Belgian Pop Idol failure is very much left for dead in favour of slightly lukewarm club noises, people trying to muster enthusiasm for Dave Pearce segueing from 'Castles In The Sky' to 'Take Me To The Clouds Above'. Yes, Dave, we do see what you've done there. "PUMP EDD UP! YOU GOT TO PUMP EDD UP!" Blimey. I might be in a good mood. Sweet!
16) DUNCAN JAMES & KEEDIE – I Believe My Heart
KAISER CHIEFS THEN. First top 40 hit by any band named after a South African football team. Much like The Zutons, I sense I'm the only person I know who really likes them to any great extent. Fuck them, I'm right. Lyrically, it's par for the course modern British filthy indie boy "the CITY is DANGEROUS at NIGHT/ I QUEUED for a TAXI and got in a FIGHT" bollocks—but there is something genuinely quite irresistible about this. I think it's almost certainly all in the "AHHHHHHHHH-AH-AHHHH!" bits before the chorus, the bit where all the not-that-good popular British guitar bands of the day get converged and… are suddenly fantastic. The Chiefs are just that little bit uncool enough, and that little bit pop enough to make this all work, there's a certain sense of abandon that you just don't quite get with yer Razorlights and Libertines and so on, a genuinely quite giddy sense of glee in that chorus, bounding along…
There's also the fact that they've got the city centre of Leeds about dead on, but hell, that's what happens when you let the students at yer drink promotions.
15) R KELLY – Happy People/U Saved Me
Phew. Good mood back on again.
14) WET WET WET – All I Want (NEW ENTRY)
They're back. They're shite. Hmmph.
13) JAY SEAN – Stolen
And so I remember why I didn't remember what this sounded like last week—it's really, really average. This is proper bog-standard radio ballad stuff, "You stole/My heart." His voice is in tune, yes, but rather indistinct apart from that, and it's all fairly restrained and so on, but… so? It's just completely unremarkable, it does most of the things you'd expect it to and nothing more.
12) DANIEL BEDINGFIELD – Nothing Hurts Like Love
This, of course, also does everything you'd expect it to, but that's somehow better, because He-Bedingfield is never restrained. Ever. The yodelling commences about twenty seconds in. In the back, a string section get to work spilling each other's pints. "Nothing hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrts so bad!!!" Yes. And at the same time, no.
11) KELIS ft. ANDRE 3000 – Millionaire
Wes interviews Destiny's Child over the top of this. They sound bored rigid.
10) KHIA – My Neck, My Back (Lick It)
Yeah, it's the bell. Definitely the bell.
9) JAMELIA – DJ/Stop (NEW ENTRY)
Live, Jamelia covers Linkin Park. On record, she covers daughter of olden times British rock 'n' roll film star Joe Brown/popular ginger-hatted Jools Holland collaborator, Sam Brown. Basically, Jamelia gets her lungs out. The song begs to be oversung. Jamelia obliges quite willingly. I seem to remember liking the original better, but then I would have been about 5 years old at the time.
8) ERIC PRYDZ – Call On Me
Not as good as Danzel.
7) MICHAEL GRAY – The Weekend (NEW ENTRY)
There's this bloke I know who gets really annoyed when people put vocals on top of house tracks in order to propel them chartwards. In this case, I'm with him. This track is very good, there's what some would have as a trumpet riff except the trumpet's been replaced with a morse-code machine. But it's a good riff. The bass is nice. The bleeps are nice. The thuds are nice. The vocals suck. Some anonymous person goes "I can't wait for the weekend to begin" all over the top of that lovely riff, and it's really very irritating.
6) JA RULE ft. ASHANTI & R KELLY – Wonderful
This really is dross, isn't it? At one point, Ja does actually sing "Who doesn't like me?"
Which pretty much says it all, doesn't it?
5) USHER– Confessions Part II/My Boo (ft. Alicia Keys) (NEW ENTRY)
"You know you got to rock away to this!" Well, no. We're treated to the twin icebergs of talent that are Usher and Alicia Keys crashing together. I prefer this to his previous couple of singles. Usher starts getting very horny towards the end. There's a bit where he starts talking all 'hard' and stuff. Surprisingly bearable.
4) CHRISTINA AGUILERA & MISSY ELLIOTT – Car Wash (NEW ENTRY)
"This is, A Shark's Tale, Exclusive."
Yep, that's the highpoint, the backing is all very Xeroxed disco, Christina gurns her way through it, Missy drops a rubbish guest verse somewhere towards the end; it's 'Car Wash', which is normally a good thing, but when it's all trussed up like this, it just feels a bit crap.
3) BRITNEY SPEARS – My Prerogative (NEW ENTRY)
I have to say I don't remember the original particularly, but did it always sound this much like The Backstreet Boys? Britney has her growl on, you see, and there are certain moments in this song that sound exactly like 'Larger Than Life' or 'Everybody (Backstreet's Back)', occasionally to quite frightening effect. This is probably a better thing than you've been led to believe. Britney does sound properly fucked off. There's a lot of moaning about being famous in this week's top ten, but this is probably the least bad example of it.
2) DESTINY'S CHILD – Lose My Breath (NEW ENTRY)
Also falling into the 'quite good' bracket, Destiny's Child have returned and are once more insisting that either they can't handle you or you can't handle them. There is grinding. There is flailing. Look, it's Michelle Williams, let's try and get excited. This is basically like Jentina's last single, just not as good (with the obvious exception of the 'rap breakdown' bit that she did. Oh, and that godawful video).
1) EMINEM – Just Lose It (NEW ENTRY)
This is the sound of a very fed-up man. Eminem is fed up of people expecting his comeback singles to be big, angry, exciting things, so he's decided to do a song featuring the rhyme "I'm gonna make you dance / It's your chance". It is very possible that no-one in the history of recorded sound has told people to "just lose it" with less enthusiasm. Maybe that's the point, though, Eminem's become that fed up of people going on about his genius (you never know, he might read The Guardian) he is now attempting to make them go away. Which, of course, leads to the key thing about this song—the "HAHAHAHAHA!!!" bits, almost like he's pissed off with being so bloody self-reflexive all the time so he inserts it at every point where he could be accused of being a bit 'clever', Vonnegut-style. Anyway, I quite like this as well. I'm feeling kind of passive this week. Dunno why. Still, next week—Westlife go Rat Pack! Bloody hell.