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Pop Playground
The UK Corral : Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Smell of F***

lbum chart notes: Snow Patrol’s ‘Chocolate’ still isn’t very good. The Who’s thing sounds like it’s some kind of old hits compilation or something. Joss Stone climbs 13 to #7, but Mario Winans is our biggest climber, up 20 to #6. They play his single. It’s him being a bit vulnerable over the beat from ‘Ready Or Not’ with a bit of the old synth-strings. It’s also ever so slightly rather good in a Tony Rich sort of way. Then P Diddy drops a guest verse, and the bubble bursts a bit spectacularly. Oh well. The Streets are new at #2, and unsurprisingly they play ‘Dry Your Eyes’. You already know about this one, probably, but if not, then you soon will. And so Keane are new at #1. Swivel hip, thrust head, slap arse, lean a bit awkwardly, one hand on the mic stand at all times… they’re in the studio with Wes, forcing laughs at his comparisons of them to Bedingfield (male) and Blue. ‘Untitled 1’ gets played out. It’s all very spacey atmospheric-y and a bit like some song I either quite liked or quite hated. The production’s very like Sing-Sing, spec. the faraway bits on ‘Panda Eyes’, but not as good somehow. Keane didn’t used to be in Lush. It’s all a bit like those tracks that get playlisted on XFM and 12 months later are remembered by about two people, both of whom thought it was the best thing ever—do they ever meet? Find out only in theaters Fall 2005, when Josh Hartnett and Amanda Peet pop the question: ‘DO YOU REMEMBER THE VEGASTONES?’...

(a Fox Searchlight production)

New Entries Outside The Top 20: Pete Doherty & Babyshambles #32 (old-skool Dury-esque punk-blues rambling from World’s Londonest Man—messy, but rather enjoyable); The Charlatans #23 (very loud and fulsome indie-garage-style stomper, very heavy nods to the seventies, about as catchy as a house-brick, but when it’s on… well, it’s definitely on. I like it. You might not, though. Perhaps I’ll write more about it later); and Alan Is A Morrissette #22 (Alan lets Love Shine A Light. There’s a lot of indie bands in Britain nowadays who’d like to think they don’t sound like this, but they do—Haven, Longview, that kind of mob. This is bearable, which is a notch up from her usual notch).

This week the DVD chart is done live from Cannes. It sounds exactly like the DVD chart always does, except done down a phone line, from Cannes. Aha.


20) GOLDFRAPP – Strict Machine (NEW ENTRY)

You might remember this from last year. For no reason, it’s been re-released. This would normally lead to massive failure. However, in this case it’s charted inside the top 20, four whole places higher than where it charted last time, which somehow gives it point or purpose or something. I liked it last year, and I still like it now. Retro electro-disco noises mit purring and skronking. And probably a stylophone if you listen hard enough. It’s a good start anyhow.

19) KASABIAN – Club Foot (NEW ENTRY)

From Leicester, so there have been ironic references to Mark Morrison by various hilarious meejah types, which is to ignore the fact that ‘Return Of The Mack’ is one hell of a lot better than this. If A.R.E. Weapons had Steve Lamacq in a sort of svengali role, this is pretty much how it would sound. Goes for dark and atmospheric and HARD, and just winds up sounding either boring or silly depending on what your mood is. The “OOSH!” noise they make in the chorus is hilarious, though.

18) JOSS STONE – Super-Duper Love (NEW ENTRY)

There is just something wrong with the way she sings “Are you diggin’ on me?” Even disregarding who she is and where she’s from, it just sounds wrong—she’s got a very powerful, very loud voice, but it just feels like it’s being all randomly allocated here. Does she honestly think this love is super-duper? Then again, do you dare question her for fear that she will crush you by singing ‘My Heart Will Go On’ directly into your face? You sense she can do something really great one day. This really isn’t it, though.

17) METHOD MAN ft. BUSTA RHYMES – What’s Happenin’ (NEW ENTRY)

Oh, this is dead nice. Meth and Bus would like you to know that you very much don’t want to mess with them. There’s this noodly guitar twanging loop and arse-cheek-slap beat underneath jerking it along with a subtle urgency. Much yelling of “WHUH!” Busta is back on classic “Might be mental, might not. You want to find out?” form. Meth also sounds ever so slightly intimidating. Unfortunately, it only serves to amek me remember that this time last year it felt like ‘X Gon’ Give It To Ya’ was going to be in the top 20 forever… oh well. Maybe this’ll fluke another week.

16) KEANE – Everybody’s Changing

Yes, last week I said I had lots to write about this. That was last week, though. This week I think I might have forgotten it. But here goes: all the impulses make me desperately want to hate on this. The first time I heard it was when I saw the video, which is knickers. It shows Keane changing into other people whilst performing their song (i.e. an Eskimo, a doctor, an Aboriginal tribesman) because, you see, Everybody’s Changing. I hate the way the singer stands. I hate how people won’t shut up about them not having guitars. I really did not like ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. This, though… it’s the pianos that do it. That little loop, it’s just somehow irresistible. To me, anyway. And his voice is good on it too. It doesn’t sound annoying, it doesn’t sound precious—yeah, the lyrics are still a piece of crap, but it’s all somehow a bit blissy, kind of like a (severely) less brilliant version of ‘Ignition (Remix)’.

I so shouldn’t have just said that.

I like this though. It’s… nice in a nice way, which is better than nice in an apathetic way, and one frig of a lot better than ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ ever was.

15) USHER ft. LUDACRIS & LI’L JON – Yeah

This is a bit like ‘In Da Club’, really. Not actually much fun, and hanging around for a fair bit longer than is strictly necessary.

14) THE STREETS – Fit But You Know It

Will be surpassed by ‘Dry Your Eyes’ without doubt. I did think ‘Dry Your Eyes’ was brilliant, but I’m not that sure right now. I have been mumbling the chorus to myself a lot, though. Perhaps I’m emo after all. So why can’t I stand The Get-Up Kids? Oh, but it is a puzzler…

13) RONAN KEATING & LEANN RIMES – Last Thing On My Mind

Isn’t as bad as I thought it was last week. Still crap, though.

12) JAY-Z – 99 Problems/Dirt Off Ya Shoulder (NEW ENTRY)

I really need a bath. Anyhow—Jay-Z finds himself blessed with a titanically crashing beat, and a snappy one-liner for a chorus. Then he goes and does this massively long-winded verse about how he knows his rights with regards to having his car searched, and I lost interest.

11) D12 – My Band

Seriously, I am smelling horrible this afternoon. I’ll see if there’s any deodorant around here. Back in a bit…

Success—I now find myself smelling of wonderful wonderful Lynx Voodoo. Parents will probably complain that I’ve atomized the air in the bathroom, but they don’t have to sit around with my armpits all afternoon.

10) THE RASMUS – In The Shadows

Last year, the Scandinavian song that never left the top ten was ‘Move Your Feet’. This year, it’s this. There’s just something not quite right this year, somehow. This is OK, but I really, really can’t muster up any more enthusiasm for it than that, and I just can’t see that it deserves any. Perhaps if I listened harder… but I just can’t be bothered. It’s a bit depressing really.

9) MAROON 5 – This Love

I’ve been turning the radio off when Wes does his interview bits too. It feels like all the music media is ganging up to make everything bloody unbearable…

8) 2PLAY ft. RAGHAV & NAILA BOSS – It Can’t Be Right (NEW ENTRY)

They’ve got their beat, they have. It’s more or less exactly the same piano loop as on ‘So Confused’… in fact, this is basically ‘So Confused’ but with Naila Boss being a woman, which is better than Jucxi’s contribution to ‘So Confused’, but the piano is a bit half-cocked this time. It’s… alright. Just not as good as last time.


Wes interviews her. I can’t stand him anymore, so I turn the sound down then pop it back up for the song. Dunno why, cos I still don’t think much/anything of it.

6) ANASTACIA – Left Outside Alone

Perhaps I’ve got the radio on too quietly, so I turn it up a bit louder. I could have chosen a better time, to be honest.

My neck hurts.


Welcome unto the valley of the improbable statement: “You gave me a kiss and made me go ‘Oh, Oh’.” “I’ll have to kick your ass to make you never forget.” C’mon, it’s been a fairly boring afternoon, so a spot of eye-rolling for Miss Teen Scraggy 2002 is actually quite fun. It all clodhoppers about with about as much of a clue as Avwiw usually has— “rilly upset” gets echoed for no reason. The video ends with her standing like him out of the Darkness and rising off the ground like Kevin Rowland in the video for ‘This Is What She’s Like’. Billy Adams presumably wasn’t in attendance, but had he been I’d imagine he’d probably have looked about as nonplussed as he did when Kev did it.


Apparently I once had something to say about this. I don’t anymore. Desperately tries to be sexy, a la Beyonce. Is distinctly more successful. And yet somehow, it’s still rather boring. Oh well.

3) MORRISSEY – Irish Blood, English Heart (NEW ENTRY)

Is it wicked not to care, when you say that you are indie, but to you this ends up sounding just like Gene… I never hated Gene quite as much as everyone else used to, though. Yes, that is a fucking shock, isn’t it? Anyhow. It is quite novel to have a song dissing Oliver Cromwell in the top 3. And that guitar bit is really very good. It’s a good single. But not as good as the Smiths were. Better than Gene, though.

2) EAMON – Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)

Doesn’t actually say ‘Fuck It’ at any point in the song, from what I can make out. More top facts next week.

1) FRANKEE – Fuck U Right Back (NEW ENTRY)

See, chart battles, right, they only work when you could give a shit. As is, we have a shortarsed balding whiney swurple swearing a lot at his ex-girlfriend. And now we have a woman with Lizo Mzimba neck-action and a silly hat who may or may not be his ex-girlfriend swearing a lot at him over the exact same beat. She sort of sounds a bit like Shanice, if I’m remembering Shanice right. Her insults are alright the first time. This, for me, is the third time. GET A ROOM.

By: William B. Swygart

Log In to Post Comments
Posted 05/17/2004 - 08:17:40 PM by holystoning:
 Whatever happened to answer records? Ah well.
Posted 05/18/2004 - 04:35:53 PM by stagger_lee:
 Listenting to that very Jay verse on repeat would be a great way to develop within yourself a clue, as regards hip hop qua hip hop, rather than hip hop singles which happen to double as pop singles.
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