The Singles Jukebox
Lemar Got Soul, Sned Got Kicking

eva Cassidy is number one in the album chart. Are you thrilled? Why?

New entries outside the top 20: Grafiti #37 (The Streets fused with Flat Eric. Horrid); The Raveonettes #34 (surprisingly rather ace Danish guitar duo, bit Christmas single-y but that is no bad thing); Queens Of The Stone Age #33 (decent enough drawly metal); Billy Joseph #32 (rubbish Timberlake aping); Mark Joseph #28 (rubbish Ten Sharp aping); and Dave Gahan #27 (just rubbish generally).

XTM ARE NOT IN THE TOP TWENTY ANYMORE!!! But Wes plays it in full anyway and skips Evanescence. Like the shite he is.

But though we have lost them, we must still forge ever onwards...

20) RICHARD X ft. KELIS – Finest Dreams

This is sounding fantastic this week. I’m singing along to it. Kelis is great, isn’t she? Crikey. XTM leaving the top 20 must have had a massive liberating effect, like I no longer have to worry about its impending arrival in my ears... this is great. Brill.

19) BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB – Stop (NEW ENTRY)

Oh dear, no, it’s not working anymore. Rubbish-o drone-o... I quite liked their first album and everything. But after a while, it just bores you to bits – “We don’t know where to stop.” No, but that’s your problem, please don’t make it mine...

18) DANIEL BEDINGFIELD – Never Gonna Leave Your Side

Ah Jesus. It’s the Cheeky Girls next, isn’t it? Honestly, some weeks you wonder why you bother...

17) DIZZEE RASCAL – Fix Up Look Sharp (NEW ENTRY)

Brurrh. What happened there? On the one hand I feel I should be rather delighted that something this odd has made it into the top 20 (AND the b-list on Radio 1), and there’s no denying that the man has an amazing voice and that vocally this track is compelling as anything... but that beat feels like it’s utterly derailed it, all clodhoppery and stuff, makes it drag on a lot. Appreciated it, but not necessarily enjoyed. Hmm.

16) BEYONCE KNOWLES – Crazy In Love

And at the other end of the scale... I’m enjoying this this week. Why, I wonder?

15) CHEEKY GIRLS – Hooray Hooray (It’s A Cheeky Holiday)

Oh yeah, cos this was still to come. “It’s summer time and we feel great!” Sadism truly crosses into the mainstream, then.

14) D. KAY & EPSILON ft. STAMINA MC – Barcelona (NEW ENTRY)

Ooh. This is rather good, isn’t it? Sort of drum & bass lite stuff, that does actually sound properly sunny and everything. Vocals a bit anonymous, but that’s not really the point – he sings the hook well enough, it’s all clicking along very well in the background and should probably have been a lot bigger than this. But hey. Enjoy it while it lasts.

13) FO’REAL (for verily, he is the truth) ft. JAY-Z – Frontin’

New hilarity – about thirty seconds in, someone in the background whispers “So sexy” in this impossibly pervy manner. That’ll keep me giggling for a fair bit... and the tune’s a solid one too. It’s all lovely right now...

12) RADIOHEAD – Go To Sleep (NEW ENTRY)

Thom Yorke yodels the body electro. Bit of guitar solo, bit of jangle riff... actually, quite poppy, which is a bit of a surprise. Nothing like as horrid as it should have been.

11) THE LIBERTINES – Don’t Look Back Into The Sun (NEW ENTRY)

Also, this is tons better than it should have been too. True, you can spot the influences/burglees from a mile off (that riff sounds like it got nicked off the theme tune to the London Programme, if you remember that), but it all kicks along very well, very jangly, very summery, very singalong-y – the bits where he yelps are crap, though, and it loses it towards the end, but there are billions of songs a lot worse than this. Which reminds me – still got Busted to look forward to. Oh poo.

So here’s the top ten, and after all those new entries lower down, there’s only three left. This trailer helpfully reminds us that they include Good Charlotte. Bastards.

10) GOOD CHARLOTTE – The Anthem (NEW ENTRY)

Speak of the devil, and he doth appear. It’s about smashing the system, about not getting a proper job. It sounds like Sum 41 with electric bits. The man’s voice is the least bearable this side of Dryden Mitchell and Kelly Jones, probably even less so. They cleverly nick a Linkin Park riff, possibly for satire. See, cos Linkin Park are horrific also. Yes. Please, all this cleverness makes my head hurt...

9) STACIE ORRICO – Stuck

In a week in which most of the reliable old stagers take big falls, this goes up two. Which suggests it will be around ages. Which is fantastic, cos it sounds even badder, bigger, and betterer this week, with the chorus in particular kicking supreme arse. Maybe this week will turn out right after all, then.

8) MARK OWEN – Four Minute Warning

I’m not sure I like this anymore. I’m feeling weird this afternoon, but the lyrics are that bad that I’m wondering... seriously. “In his hand he was clutching a fable/Able.” And yet there’s something so likeable about it... gnrrrgh.

7) JAIMESON – Complete

Oh, I have a new hero. I still think the song is rubbish, but the interview beforehand just gave me such new respect for the man, if only because I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone have such utter distaste for Wes.

WES: “Jamie Williams, 27...”

JAIMESON: “You might wanna change that. I’m 28 now.”

WES: “So obviously we know you for True, and for your new hit, Complete...”

JAIMESON: “Yes, Complete, with the lovely Zara on vocals.”

WES: “Yes, so where did you find Zara?”

JAIMESON: “Well –“

WES: “Because on this track she does the, er, vocals.”

JAIMESON: (and you can practically see him trying not to punch Wes by this point) “Yeah.”

God love the man.

6) BUSTED – Sleeping With The Light On

And typing all of that meant I missed all of this. Dang.

5) LUMIDEE – Never Leave You (Uh Oooh)

You can practically set your watch by this happening now. Still, that chorus, though. Great. Won’t ever be this big again, probably, but never mind.

4) ULTRABEAT – Pretty Green Eyes

Now removed from its duties as the Martin Peters to Blu & Sean’s Geoff Hurst last week, this loses a wee bit of the lustre. And we realise it’ll probably be around for a fair while. Oh well. Still, ta for last week and all that.

3) GIRLS ALOUD – Life Got Cold (NEW ENTRY)

I’ve been trying to review this album. God, it’s tricky. There’s so much you could say... but not much of it concerns this song, really. Of their slower numbers, it would be the most obvious single, but it’s a bit dull. Lots of comment about how soulless modern life is and stuff, but I dunno. It’s OK, but their next single is Some Kind Of Miracle, and that really is something very, very special indeed. But this will do for now.

2) LEMAR – Dance (With U) (NEW ENTRY)

This, however, is brilliant. Lemar has pretty much worked this perfectly – he presumably got his record deal off the back of Fame Academy, but chose not to ride on its coat-tails, waiting a good few months before getting his single out. Think he’s the first of the former FA students to make the Radio 1 playlist too... and the song’s excellent as well, unashamed 80’s soul revival, throbbing bass, plucked guitars, and his voice is fantastic, smooth but with feeling, shifting up and down with astounding ease, nothing sounds strained, the ‘dance, dance, dance’ digitised vocal hook is catchy as anything, chorus is lovely... this is amazing. Get it.

1) BLU CANTRELL & SEAN PAUL – Breathe

And so it continues, bit less glorious than last week cos they are actually keeping a better record off the top... but they interviewed Blu beforehand, and it was yet another Wes squirmathon, as she purred “I’m sooooo surrrprrrisssed!” when he informed her that this was her fourth week at number one (didn’t inform her that Radio 1 still haven’t playlisted the song or such, though). And that made it far more enjoyable, really. Even caught myself singing along a bit. Still, next week it’s likely that it’ll all end, cos Elton John will probably be number one. But it was faaaabulous while it lasted...


By: William B. Swygart
Published on: 2003-08-25
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