Here's the playlist from last night's show : 

Grinderman - Heathen Child (Grinderman 2)
Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep (Losing Sleep)

Vic Reeves & the Wonder Stuff - Dizzy
Coral - More Than a Lover (Butterfly House)

Underworld - Bird 1 (Barking)

Count & Sinden ft. Mystery Jets - After Dark (Mega Mega Mega)

Wizzard - Angel Fingers
Pixie Lott - Use Somebody (live)

Phil Collins - Standing In the Shadows Of Love (Going Back)

The Fab Four Freakout : 

Michele Arnaud - Je Croyais (Yesterday)
Beatles - Chains (Please Please Me)
Beatles - Getting Better (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)

McFly - Party Girl
Danny Byrd - Ill Behaviour

Belle & Sebastian - Write About Love
Florence & the Machine - Dog Days Are Over (Lungs)

Electric Light Orchestra - Turn To Stone (Out Of the Blue)
Sounds Incorporated - Go 

...and this week's UK Top 5 : 

5). Olly Murs - Please Don't Let Me Go (-1)
4). Script - For the First Time (+1)
3). Katy Perry - Teenage Dream (-1)
2). Taio Cruz - Dynamite (+1)
1). Alexandra Burke - Start Without You (non-mover)

TOP 5 ANALYSIS and REVIEW

The dilemma that a person who blogs about the top 5 has is : what happens when the top 5 remains the same a second week? Since I'm the only person I know that blogs just about the top 5, then that dilemma has presented itself to me this week. The British charts have taken the unusual turn of barely changing at all, with the same five songs - slightly rearranged - remaining. 

So I'll have to find something new to say about each one of them. 

Okay . . . 

Olly Murs slides back a space to number 5 this week with "Please Don't Let Me Go", his reggaefied pop song that's guaranteed to offend no one, most especially those who were rooting for him on X Factor. I suppose a case could be made here for the blandness of the acts that have emerged from the show, but Olly seems to transcend that with this song. I think a case could be made that it's only the initial releases of the winners (Alexandra's "Hallelujah", for instance, and Joe McElderry's execrable version of "The Climb") that fit the definition of eXcruciating Factor. All told, there have been some not-bad-at-all songs from program graduates, and two of them are in the charts this week. 

Good things about Olly's tune : 
 - the scratchy vinyl beginning and ending
 - the competently tight musical backing
 - the theremin-like whistle
 - good vocals

I still can't quite get over the "da-da-deet-da-da" thing, though. I'm thinking that small moment should have been replaced with a half-second of silence. The kick-in of the next part would have more impact that way. 

Still, one can expect worse. I give Olly a 7 on the England Swings scale of 1 to 10. 

The Script have jumped up a place with "For the First Time" to number 4 this week, as their new album "Science and Faith" has topped the British charts. Here, I might say that the song follows the Coldplay/Snow Patrol template so closely that Chris Martin and Gary Lightbody should be seething. It's all there, from the double-tracked acoustic guitars in the verses, and the pumping piano and guitar in the chorus. We've even got one of those harmonized "ooh-ooh" things, which ends with a bent guitar note that sounds soulful and puts the perfect cap on it all. 

So I should absolutely hate the tune because of the lack of originality.

But, dammit. 

I like it! It is indeed all of the above, but it's so masterful that I almost don't mind. It's even got the right crossover appeal to be played on "adult contemporary" radio in America (I call it white woman radio). Against my better judgment, I give the Script an 8.

Katy Perry has now had the number one song in the USA for two weeks with "Teenage Dream", but the song has slipped back to number 3 in the UK. Putting aside the contradiction of a 24 year old singing this song, it's by far the best song on the latest album. Equal parts Pink and Joan Jett, the tune percolates through one's brain, so that (shudder) it's sometimes the first song you hear in your head when waking up in the morning. It's the "don't ever look back" part that does it, you know. 

I give Katy a 7.

Taio Cruz, purportedly the nicest man in show business, goes back up again with "Dynamite", landing it at number two. Interestingly enough, the song hit the top of the pop charts in America, but only managed a number two on the Hot 100. 

And let's face it, it's an absolutely ridiculous song. "I throw my hands up in the air sometimes/Saying Ay-o/Gotta let go"? I mean, c'mon . . . 

Of course, the semi-tranced out instrumentation is killer, and Taio, auto-tuned or not, sings it so that it sounds like fun. It makes you want to go there. Dynamite, yes! I give Taio an 8.

My cousin Alexandra is all ghetto and pumped on the song that manages to hold onto the number one position in the UK, a feat that has only happened two other times this year (Katy Perry's "California Girls" and Roll Deep's "Good Times"). There's a nice, deep sound to the track that belies the inanity of the kiddie-rhyme chorus. Of course, we've also got Laza Morgan doing a faux-Jamaican rap in the middle, which increases the street viability of the song. Sorta. 

Will this song be an American hit? I still doubt it, but you never know. Check back with me in eight months, which will probably be as long as it takes for it to insinuate into the American gestalt. 

I'm giving Alexandra a 6.5, because even though the track has stayed at the top for two weeks, it's going to wear out fast. It already is. 

Come back tomorrow for a dual album review!
 


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