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Pop Playground
The UK Corral : Rock vs. Baked Potato

lbum Chart Notes: The Ordinary Boys are new at #19. You can imagine my joy. Damien Rice climbs into the top 20 at about #14 or so, more on him later I’m afraid. Oh, and the Black Eyed Peas have climbed back into the top ten. So here’s ‘Where Is The Love?’ again.

And McFly are your new number one, displacing the Scissors after a week. They speak to Tom from McFly on the phone. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that he’s a prick. But hey, their singles thus far have been alright. There’s worse things in this world, such as The Ordinary Boys and Damien Rice. But like I said, more on him later.

New entries outside the top 20: Shystie #40 (Hackney girl has attack of the “only God can judge me”’s and comes off like a more irritating Rah Digga); Ghostface ft. Missy Elliott #34 (Missy turns Ghostface on. Ghostface is turned on. There’s some very nice trumpets. It’s rather good); Dogs Die In Hot Cars #32 (quality janglism, nowhere near the heights of ‘Godhopping’ or quite a few of their other songs, gets a little mired in the middle, but all good and catchy despite this distinct air of underachievement about the whole thing); Max Sedgeley #30 (theme tune to ITV’s Euro 2004 coverage. Sounds like one of those remixes of ‘Fool’s Gold’, except with Ian Brown replaced by some bloke going ‘Happy’ every now and then. Not particularly outstanding); Orbital #29 (Drifty techno for people in fields); The 5-6-7-8’s #28 (all-girl Japanese surf-guitar trio in charts—good; lager adverts propelling them into charts—shite); and Ian van Dahl #27 (missed this due to hosing dead spider down plughole = SHITNESS PROVEN BY SCIENCE, no?).


20) BASEMENT JAXX – Good Luck

Suddenly run out of things to say. Why is that? Well—

19) DAMIEN RICE – Cannonball (NEW ENTRY)

Yes, as you might have gathered, this is one of the singles I’ve been dreading hearing most this year. We have here some of that sincere modern troubadouring that has been drifting in David Gray’s wake for the past few years as Damo goes all folky-breathy-bollocks over instrumentation so fucking mawkish Garth Brooks’d blush, while intoning lyrics of the profundity of “Love… taught me to lie / Life… taught me to die” for ever and ever and ever. It feels like wading through particularly odorous glue, and I pray that I never have to hear it again.

18) KYLIE MINOGUE – Chocolate

This still sounds really good to me. There’s this one moment where there’s this tiny drifting sax note that is absolutely fucking divine, the whole hazy, dreamy structure of the song works wonderfully… it’s so very dark and moody, Kylie’s vocals so thin they’re hardly there. This really is very good.

17) BLACK EYED PEAS – Let’s Get It Started

This isn’t. Then again, you probably knew that.

16) BLUE – Bubblin’



Plus, I’m a bit deflated cos the Fiery Furnaces were set to enter low in the top 40 this week, and I was getting all excited about that cos I’d not heard it yet and instead I got Shystie shouting about how I don’t know her or what she’s been through. It wasn’t much fun.

14) GEORGE MICHAEL vs. THE ONES – Flawless (Go To The City)

I am now really coming round to this though, for the reasons I stated last week—George Michael gurning over the top of what is, to all intents and purposes, the exact same song that got to #8 a few years ago. The sheer misguidedness of it all really is a wonder to behold. It’s like the mid-life crisis you can dance to. Smashing.

13) THE HIVES – Walk Idiot Walk (NEW ENTRY)

Yes, essentially this is ‘Can’t Explain’ by the Who. Except—THUH HAAAAAAAAHVES!!! Dear me, I’d not realised I missed them till they came back, and they still sound more or less exactly the same as they always did, and still possess the most fantastic guitar faces in the whole world. The video features Howlin’ Pelle yelling as per usual, then he walks up the wall and puts his hand across his mouth to whisper into the drummer’s ear. And then continues yelling anyhow. Super-duper fun, just like they were the first time around.

12) KELIS – Trick Me

Goes back up the chart. Is rather delicious, if difficult to find anything new to say about… cos that backing, the bass, the jangle stab, the whoah-oahs, the chorus, the chorus, the chorus… since when has a record not providing much for people to write about ever been a valid criticism anyway? Fuck that. Swish.

11) OUTKAST – Roses

And this isn’t bad either. Nice chorus, even if Mr 3000’s lyrics are really leaning rather too hard towards cockfarmery, and Big Boi’s flow still really riles me for some reason. The backing music sounds very ‘Legend Of Zelda’ too, for some reason. Perhaps they’re in a dungeon. Listen hard and maybe you can hear Sleepy Brown smashing some pots.

10) McFLY – Obviously

Crisis for Swygart—dinner happened. But brother has gone to France for weekend and taken the walkman with him. This means a large swathe of the top 10 has been missed. Result = Eek.

9) O-ZONE – Dragostea Din Tei

But hey, at least this is going back up. It’s very bad to listen to when you’re trying to write about something else, as I have found out several times this week.

8) SHAZNAY LEWIS – Never Felt Like This Before (NEW ENTRY)

All Saints split, like, years ago, and Shaznay has waited and seen her former colleagues fail before stepping out with this. So, in all that time, what has she come up with? Trendy MOR slowness in combat trousers. She’s into you like a fat-ass/bad-ass tune/groove (I can’t remember the exact line. I was eating dinner. We were watching the javelin competition on the telly). It isn’t necessarily mutual.

7) MARIO WINANS ft. P DIDDY – I Don’t Wanna Know


6) NINA SKY – Move Ya Body (NEW ENTRY)

OK, so in lieu of hearing this I was eating beef and baked potato. I have now had to download it via illegalism. Mum, you are killing the music industry. I hope you’re happy.

But this is very smashing isn’t it? All sinuous and shifty—the obvious comparison is Lumidee, but that was all about the drums and the faraway-to-the-point-of-inaudibility vocals. Plus, as far as I know, this doesn’t have a rubbish remix featuring Fabolous. This here’s the bass, the clipping, the smooth-like-whiskey vocals looping over that little synth rise in the chorus, head nodding uncontrollably. Smooth as.

5) GIRLS ALOUD – The Show

Still hurrying. Basically, I was right last week, and I’m still right this week.

4) WILL YOUNG – Friday’s Child (NEW ENTRY)

World’s Most Credible Man returns. Yer key point of reference here is meant to be smooth, jazzy chillout stuff, but is actually Lenny Kravitz’s ‘It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over’. This turns out to be no bad thing. Obviously, what with Will now being a credible artist who wears a hat with a proper brim and everything, there is a fair degree of noodle, but it’s good noodle. If this year’s charts have got anything right, then it’s the overproduced MOR. This rides along on its borrowed bassline, with ‘air noises’ floating over as Will emotes like he usually does. There’s some strings, and they’re gorgeous. There’s some breathy backing vocals. There’s a flute, and it’s fantastic, rising and fluttering all over at the end. Music for the sun-setting on the A-road, pitched dead perfect.

3) ELVIS PRESLEY – That’s Alright (NEW ENTRY)

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Elvis’ first single, or something like that, his debut US single gets released for the first time over here. It’s such a strange feeling, a 50-year-old recording charting at #3—normally when they play the records on here they’re ones they assume everyone’s going to be familiar with and they talk about them as such. In this case, I dunno if this has even been played on radio at all—I doubt if it’s been actually put on regular rotation in any case. And so we just sit and listen to Elvis back where he started, pretty much as it must have sounded then, with the echo and scratch that comes with the age. It does all sound like it was recorded live in one take. There’s some feller unmistakeably twanging a double bass in the background. And Elvis, sounding like The World’s Most Confident Man, slicking over the top of the rock ‘n’ roll, “that’s all-a right now ma-mom-muhhh…” Just exceeding coolness. And it’s weird, cos this is in between Will Young and Britney Spears. The most famous man there ever was, restored to his natural habitat, and sounding utterly out of place. It’s such a weird feeling. Nice song, though.

2) BRITNEY SPEARS – Everytime

And you know what? This ain’t sounding that bad this week either. Maybe I was wrong.

1) USHER – Burn

This, though, I still don’t care for. Next week he gets to hold down Rachel Stevens and Jamelia. Hurr.

By: William B. Swygart

Log In to Post Comments
Posted 07/12/2004 - 04:57:06 AM by edwardo:
 If it will seal the deal, send me proof of purchase of the Rachel Stevens single and I will send you five pounds. Anything to stop Usher. (NB: Deal will not be honoured)
Posted 07/12/2004 - 06:13:09 AM by stagger_lee:
 If it helps, the next Usher thingie is quite a bit better.
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