Playlist and Top 5 : December 13, 2010 - England Swings - The BEST music from the UK
Here's the playlist from last evening's England Swings show :

Pendulum - Crush (Immersion)
Naked & Famous - Punching In a Dream (Passive Me, Aggressive You)

Badfinger - No Matter What
Edwyn Collins - Do It Again (Losing Sleep)

Avicii & Sebastian Drums - My Feelings For You
Jamie Woon - Night Air

Rod Stewart - Mandolin Wind (Every Picture Tells a Story)
Martin Simpson - The First Cut Is the Deepest
Fairport Convention - Rosie (Rosie)

The Fab Four Freakout : 

Ringo Starr ft. Paul McCartney - Walk With You (Y Not)
Beatles - You Won't See Me (Rubber Soul)
Beatles - You Really Got a Hold On Me (With the Beatles0

Clare Maguire - Hope There's Someone
Alistair Griffin - Just Drive

Fenech-Soler - Demons

T.C. Folkpunk - Zero To Hero (In Sixty Seconds (T.C. Folkpunk)
T.C. Folkpunk - Take a Look Around You (T.C. Folkpunk)

Goldie Lookin Chain - You'll Never Be Alone On Christmas Day (A Goldie Lookin Christmas)

...and this week's top 5 songs in the UK : 

5). Rihanna - Only Girl (In the World) (re-entry)
4). Rihanna ft. Drake - What's My Name (new)
3). Ellie Goulding - Your Song (-1)
2). Willow - Whip My Hair (new)
1). Black Eyed Peas - The Time (Dirty Bit) (new)


The Americans take over the top 5 again, with three new entries. Two of these have been American hits; the other has received a little less attention, but a fair amount of notoriety. 

We have a rare re-entry into the top 5 as well this week, with Rihanna's "Only Girl (In the World)" reaching number 5 after being absent for a week. The song has already spent 5 weeks in the top 5, with two of those weeks at number one. In the interim, the song rose for a week to number one in America as well. 

I think I've said all I need to about this track in previous weeks, but if you've forgotten, it's a pseudo-disco stomper over which Rihanna floats her thin voice. It was vaguely exciting the first couple of listens, but has now been overplayed to the point that I could easily go a couple of years without hearing it again. On the England Swings scale of 1-10, I give it a 5.5.

Of course, we have to give props to Rihanna for having TWO songs in the top 5 this week, which is something that I don't remember happening for quite a while for any artist. "What's My Name", at number 4, though, is a vast improvement on the club monsters that Rihanna has come out with in recent times. The song is truly catchy, beautifully produced, and Rihanna does a magnificent vocal on it. She slips into a slight Barbadian accent here, and it's charming. 

The track could have been easily done without Drake, though, who really adds nothing. It's the chorus that the listener remembers, not the ephemeral rap that the guest star provides. I give this song an 8. 

Ellie Goulding continues to stick around with "Your Song", which says something about the attractiveness of the tune. It received as little promotion as any song in recent memory, so it's a triumph for it to have been in the top 5 for four weeks now, and for it to be the only survivor of last week's top 5 as it has only slid back one place. 

There's a vulnerability to the song that harks back to the Elton John original. Ellie delivers an unaffected vocal, and the only consistent accompaniment is a piano and a cello. Simple, but effective - as the success of the song shows. I give it a 7.

If you're not familiar with the phenomenon of Willow, suffice to say that she is the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, and has been pushed into the showbiz life at the tender age of 10. Whereas her song has created some buzz in the USA, it hasn't hit the top ten there. 

In the UK, though, the song entered the chart at number two this week. It remains to be seen whether or not it will have any staying power, but I'm guessing that the UK looks at this as a novelty song, and that it will drop next week. 

Willow doesn't have a bad voice, but it's actually a bit hard to tell, since the track is vastly overproduced. It also sets a hyperactive pace, with SFX and "extras" jumping in and out of the song. 

And it's all about her hair. 

The track will be soon forgotten. I give it a 5. 

Depending on how you feel about the production tricks of, you'll either love or hate the new Black Eyed Peas track at number one this week. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" is a touch over five minutes of a cover ("The Time Of My Life" from Dirty Dancing) with a BEP-synthed overlay. The song represents new lows of lyrical stupidity, even for the Black Eyed Peas. It's another of their "party" songs, where everyone feels good and (cringe) pops bottles. 

It does have a killer synth line in the "dirty bit", but there have been better (and more murderous) lines in practically any Euro-Techno hit in the last ten years.

The song is slick, danceable, and sounds exactly like everything on the BEP's last album - especially the dreaded "I Gotta Feeling". 

In the USA, the song has climbed to number four on the charts so far, but it's not done yet. It won't stay at number one in the UK next week, either, for obvious reasons (okay, because it's time for the Christmas number one, and it looks like the X Factor winner might have it wrapped up). I wouldn't be surprised to see it climb back to the top in the UK after the holiday, though. 

I can't hate the song, but I can come close to it. I give it a 6. 

See you next week for some analysis of the Christmas top 5!

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