Playlist and Top 5 : February 28, 2011 - England Swings - The BEST music from the UK
Here's the playlist from yesterday's England Swings Show : 

Yuck - Holing Out (Yuck)
Radiohead - Morning Mr. Magpie (The King Of Limbs)

Joe Jackson - It's Different For Girls (I'm the Man)
Hurts - Sunday (Happiness)

Ida Maria - Cherry Red (Katla)
Miles Kane - Come Closer

Bee Gees - Lonely Days (2 Years On)
Dave Clark Five - Try Too Hard
Shadows - Rumble (Out Of the Shadows)

The Fab Four Freakout : 

Beatles vs. Beck - Tax Jam Pollution
Beatles - Birthday (The Beatles)
Beatles - Wait (Rubber Soul)

Jamie Woon - Lady Luck

Mogwai - Mexican Grand Prix (Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will)

JLS - Eyes Wide Shut
Housemartins - Caravan Of Love

Patrick Wolf - The City

Travis - Side (The Invisible Band)

. . . and this week's UK Top 5 : 

5). Chipmunk ft. Chris Brown - Champion (non-mover)
4). Adele - Rolling In the Deep (non-mover)
3). Rihanna - S&M (Come On) (new)
2). Jessie J ft. B.o.B - Price Tag (non-mover)
1). Adele - Someone Like You (non-mover)


Well, huh. After a couple of suspenseful weeks in the British top 5, this week is simply consolidation. Four of the five songs in the top 5 didn't move at all. The one new entry is already a fair American hit. 

One minor surprise was the fact that the Chipmunk song "Champion" remained at number 5 for another week. The new song by Alexis Jordan was supposed to have taken its place, according to the chart reports through Friday. Didn't happen. And that's too bad. 

I've already expressed a sort of blase dislike for the track. I think that the sincere-whiny style of grime is already on its way out, and Chipmunk can't seem to do anything else. The addition of Chris Brown is actually a plus and adds some interest, because his vocal is the only thing worth listening to here. While Brown warbles, Chippy moans. It all makes for an outdated mess. I give the track a 3 on the England Swings scale of 1-10 this week.

The continued reign of Adele isn't a surprise! "Rolling In the Deep" has stayed in the British top 5 for six weeks now, never reaching the pinnacle. There is something about the song that has given it staying power. It's retro-soul, with a thumping rhythm, and (of course) a great vocal. 

On the American charts, the song has taken another big jump to number 26. Not only that, but it's been consistently near the top of this week's iTunes chart, only surpassed by that Lady Gaga abomination. So I now predict a top ten hit for Adele in America this coming week. That will be her first, I think?

In any event, the song maintains its strength, and I give it a 7.5 on the scale.

Now here's Rihanna again, this time stepping over the line and talking all about her love for whips and chains, sitting at the number 3 position.

Yeah, right. 

"S&M" (euphemistically renamed "Come On" in the UK) manages to pinpoint everything that's right, and everything that is wrong with the Barbadian singer. The tune is irresistable, with it's "Nanana" ejaculations and a killer rhythm track led by a synth bass. As for the lyrical content, putting aside the question of appropriateness, it's vapid and insincere. If there's anyone out there that believes that Rihanna is into kinkiness, I've got a bridge to sell you. This is a marketing ploy to elevate the woman to being the premier sex symbol of modern music. Her performances, her less-than-coy songs that are all about how much she enjoys getting it on - all an act. And with this song, she's jumped the ledge and moved into unbelievability. 

She's using her status as Queen Of the Universe to make even more money for herself. I'll bet she already has the 2012 calendar on lock. 

Even the Americans aren't giving her that much credit; the song has not exceeded number 7 over here. 

So, as a song "S&M" isn't awful, but we'll need to take it as what it is - a commercial (that's "advert" if you're in Britain). For that reason, I give Rihanna a low 4 on the scale. 

Jessie J and B.o.B stay at number 2 this week with "Price Tag". This song I've discussed in some detail, but to sum up : it's clever enough, and bouncy enough, but so much so that maybe the Spice Girls could have made it in 1996. It almost falls into that "optimistic" branch of British pop, along with the Steps, the True Steppers, and S Club 7. Somehow I'm thinking that's not what Jessie was going for. 

I'll be interested to hear her new album this week, but for now, I'm dropping in my estimation of this track and giving it a 5.

Well, Adele's certainly proven herself as a lasting performer, hasn't she? Ascending in America, but not quite in the public consciousness, and in Britain, well. She's taken over. "Someone Like You", by far the best track on her new album "21", remains at number 1 for another week. 

There's been some debate about the live version of the tune versus the studio. Let me come down firmly on the side of the studio recording. The live recording from the Brit awards is remarkable, but she only stretches into those upper reaches on the album version. The only real bit of trickery is a double-tracking of her voice at one point, and that's an enhancement. 

She'll eventually come to the USA and do this live on some venue or other; will it resonate with the Americans as it has done with the British? I hope so, but we're not big on ballads. Doesn't fit the youth market.

I love the song. I'll give it an 8.5. 

Album review later this week, tune back in!

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