Here we present the playlist from last night's show. It's an opportune time to mention that:
1). We love listeners. 
2). We take requests. 
3). We love listeners who give us requests. 
4). We play songs and demos by unsigned bands, especially if they're British.
5). It's a really good show. Each week we play a carefully selected bunch of tunes, designed to represent the best new and old music from the UK. 
6). We debut a lot of tunes in America, I think. See the playlist below to get an idea. I've annotated it.

Dinosaur Pile-Up - Mona Lisa (DEBUT - new single)
Fujiya & Miyagi - Sixteen Shades Of Black and Blue (DEBUT - new single)

Billy Idol - Cradle Of Love (ancient song (1990) that fit in the set)
Big Deal - Locked Up (DEBUT - East London band currently unsigned)

British Sea Power - Zeus (Zeus EP) (DEBUT)
Kylie Minogue - Get Outta My Way (Aphrodite) (currently catching a lot of UK buzz)

Tears For Fears - Sowing the Seeds Of Love (request)
Procol Harum - Salad Days (Are Here Again) (Procol Harum) (piece of history!)

The Fab Four Freakout :

Beatles - Gimme Some Truth (Let It Be sessions) (I always start the Beatles set off with something unusual)
Beatles - Glass Onion (The Beatles)
Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever (Magical Mystery Tour)

KT Tunstall - (Still a) Weirdo (Tiger Suit) (DEBUT - new single)

Badly Drawn Boy - Too Many Miracles (It's What I'm Thinking Pt. 1) (DEBUT - new single)

Elizabeth McQueen & the Firebrands - Almost Blue (from an album of cover versions of British pub rock -thanks to Glenn Dale of Radio Trop Rock for the loan!)
Chad & Jeremy - Summer Song (Summer is truly over . . . our tribute)

Lloyd Cole - Double Happiness (Broken Record) (DEBUT)

Planxty - The Little Drummer (Cold Blow & the Rainy Night) (an attempt to inject some trad. folk into the show. I'm hoping to play this sort os music more often)
Raymond Froggatt - Callow La Vita (original version of song remade by the Dave Clark Five as "Red Balloon")

...and this week's top 5 songs in the UK (the BBC ends its chart show at 2:00 p.m. American Eastern Time. We have these songs on the air by 6:00 p.m. Yeah, we're good!)

5). Taio Cruz - Dynamite (-3)
4). Adele - Make You Feel My Love (new)
3). Labrinth - Let the Sunshine (new)
2). Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are (-1)
1). Tinie Tempah - Written In the Stars (new)

TOP 5 ANALYSIS and REVIEW

The British top 5 continues to morph into something new with each passing week. During the summer, it was all rap 'n' grime tunes. More recently, club bangers have filled the top of the chart. This week? It's all what urban stations in the USA call "slow jams", with the exception of the Taio Cruz song. 

Depending on your preferences, you may or may not like this latest iteration of British pop music. Of course, there's not a week that goes by that I don't read comments in some forum along the lines of "This week's chart suuucks, dude. When're they gonna put some real music in there?"

But the fascination of we British chart watchers is the impermanent nature of the thing; that's what makes it fun. And this year has been . . . fun.

Taio Cruz dips back to number 5 this week with "Dynamite", while in the same week RISING to number 5 in America. It already peaked in the USA at number 2 back at the end of August, but it just won't go away. 

Even though it's been in the British top 5 for 6 weeks now, the song has only slightly worn out its appeal. Whereas the ridiculousness of the lyrics (which have managed to transmute into all sorts of other parodies on Facebook - "Saying Ay-o, where's my mayo?")makes the song a bit silly, the inevitability of the tune continues to prop it up. 

Also, there's a certain honestly about the song, considering it was written and produced by Taio Cruz himself. That's not something you can say about 93 per cent of the current crop of songs. So we've gotta like Taio for fashioning his success the old-fashioned way.

I give "Dynamite" an 8 on the England Swings scale of 1-10.

I feel some vindication at the number four song on the charts. I don't often repeat songs on my radio show, but I'll bet I've played "Make You Feel My Love" 6 or 7 times in the past two years. I've always loved the tune. Written by Bob Dylan, with particularly poignant lyrics, Adele just sings the @#$! out of it. Accompanied by tasteful strings and a melancholy piano, I challenge you to listen to the song twice and not have it bouncing around your brain indefinitely. Nice to see it get the recognition it deserves, even if it took a dozen X Factor performances for people to pick up on it. Now it should conquer the States, right?

Adele gets a 9.

Another new entry at number three, as producer Labrinth breaks away from the mixing board and does a song that goes into that "slow jams" category mentioned above. The synths trickle through, the production (especially the handclaps and "whop-whop-whop part around the middle) is gorgeous. This is the sort of song that Simon Cowell needs to be forced to listen to before he puts out another grandiose, overblown ballad by an X Factor winner. Subtle. Effective. 

I give Labrinth an 8 for this song. 

Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" is a grower, and sounds better with subsequent listenings. It's dropped from number 1 to number 2 this week in the UK, but has maintained supremacy in the USA at the top of the charts. 

And you know, it's actually the bass that makes the song. It's not flashy, but it holds the composition together with panache. Bruno's voice is buttery and classic. Again, subtlety wins the day, and that marks the cleverest songs of the moment. Bruno fits into that disposition. I give this song an 8 this week as well.

It's a shame Tinie Tempah is so British, because he's got the talent to break out big time. That said, the new number one song "Written In the Stars", much like "Pass Out" and "Frisky", is smart stuff. There are little touches in all of Tinie's tunes that make them stand above the pack. Changes in voice filtering, a deep, deep (almost dubstep) bass, and even the addition of the cliched rap "Oh!"s work here. It's easy to say that "Pass Out" was the best song by Tinie so far, and perhaps it was, but there's still some tasty stuff going on here. I'm looking forward to hearing the entire album.

I'm giving "Written In the Stars" an 8 as well this week. 

Huh. I think this is highest overall rating I've given to a top 5 list in a long while. I guess the charts don't suuuck this week.

Dude.

A couple of album reviews coming in the next few days . . . 


 


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