Playlist and Top 5 : January 24, 2011 - England Swings - The BEST music from the UK
Here's the playlist from last evening's England Swings show : Glasvegas - The World Is Yours (2011)Wire - Adapt (Red Barked Tree) (2011)Electric Light Orchestra - Living Thing (A New World Record) (1976)Pete & the Pirates - Winter 1 (2011)Noah & the Whale - Wild Thing (2011)Anna Calvi - Suzanne and I (Anna Calvi) (2011)Alan Parsons Project - Days Are Numbers (Vulture Culture) (1984)Spencer Davis Group - Gimme Some Loving (1966)The Fab Four Freakout : Beatles - How Do You Do ItBeatles - Wild Honey Pie (The Beatles) (1968)Beatles - The Long and Winding Road (1970)Beatles - I'm Down (1964)Hadouken! - Oxygen (2011)Broadcast - Come On Let's Go (2000)Dukes - Friday On My Mind (1965)Sam Harrison - Just the Way You Are (2011)Those Dancing Days - ****arias (2011)Monotonix - Before I Pass Away (2011)...and this week's top 5 songs in the UK : 5). Wretch 32 - Traktor (new)4). Diddy-Dirty Money - Coming Home (new)3). Jessie J - Do It Like a Dude (-1)2). Adele - Rolling In the Deep (new)1). Bruno Mars - Grenade (non-mover)TOP 5 ANALYSIS and REVIEWTwo Thousand Eleven has finally arrived, as the deadwood in the top 5 is cleared out to make room for three new entries. All told, there were six new entries in the top ten, so I think we can infer that the record-buying public is saturated with Matt Cardle and Rihanna, and is ready to move on to new horizons. Coming in at number 5 this week, Germaine Scott - better known as Wretch 32 - has his first top 5 hit ever with "Traktor". The song is way cool, in my opinion. It has a sort of sliding, reggaefied rhythm that catches the attention. The rapping is right on cue. There are all sorts of Easter eggs as well, including a vibrating bass line, a screech that sounds like an attenuated crow, and the vocals of "L" carrying the song through the middle. I'm thinking that the uniqueness of the song shows the same sort of creativity that we heard last year around this time with Tinie Tempah. I like it a lot. I give it an 8.5 on the England Swings scale of 1-10.Sean Combs tries a new approach to his music with the Diddy-Dirty Money track "Coming Home", which hits the chart at number 4 this week. It might be new for him, but it's older for us - it has the same sort of structure as Eminem's "Stan", which featured the sample of Dido's "Thank You". That was many years ago, and Diddy doesn't really improve on the idea. That said, the song isn't bad at all, and features the sort of rap-antics that Eminem started and Kanye West has recently perfected. On top of all this, there are sampled strings that add some depth to the tune. I'm not sure that it should have done better than Wretch 32, but it's more than tolerable. I give it a 7.Jessie J slides a space to number 3 this week with "Do It Like a Dude", a song which I still find hilarious. What's amusing me in particular this week is the choppiness of the lyrics, where there's hardly a sentence completed. I mean, "Stop stop I've arrived"? Wow. Not only that, but there's an essential Britishness about the whole thing that cracks me up as well - she adds the word "then" to "I can do it like a man". Jessie has created a song for the ages, or at least for this month. I give it an 8. Hey, there's the new Adele at number 2! "Rolling In the Deep" is about as far removed from her other number 2 single - that's "Chasing Pavements" - as it can be. The tune has a blues feel, whereas "Pavements" was pure pop, complete with swooping strings. Adele is a lot more energetic here, and the vocals are well done indeed. Adele was always the true star of the glut of post-Winehouse females that filled the market a couple of years ago. She does nothing here to diminish her reputation. The song has some subtleties as well, including the the handclaps and the background vocals. Nice. I give it an 8.5. I'll own up to the fact that Bruno Mars' "Grenade" is finally beginning to grow on me. There's no way that the song has the universal appeal that "Just the Way You Are" had, but it's a slick and well-produced piece of pop. Bruno is definitely the voice of the present, and this song is nothing if not well-sung. At first impression, the song seems sparser than the previous hit, but there's actually some cool stuff going on here. My favorite at the moment : the double tracked "Mad woman/Bad woman" bit. So the charts are getting interesting again. What will next week bring?

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