Playlist and Top 5 : March 14, 2011 - England Swings - The BEST music from the UK
Here's the playlist from last evening's England Swings Show : 

View - Grace (Bread and Circuses)
Everything Everything - Final Form (Man Alive)
Zombies - She's Not There

Marsha Ambrosius - I Hope He Cheats On You (With a Basketball Player) (Late Nights & Early Mornings)

Guillemots - Walk the River
David Guetta ft. Rihanna - Who's That Chick (One More Love)

Def Leppard - Bringing On the Heartache (High 'n' Dry)
Clash - London Calling (London Calling)

The Fab Four Freakout : 

John Lennon/Elton John - I Saw Her Standing There (live)
Beatles - Blackbird/Yesterday (Love)
Beatles - For No One (Revolver)

Elbow - Lippy Kids (Build a Rocket, Boys!)

Birdy - Skinny Love

Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - I'll Take Care Of U (We're New Here)
Breakage - Fighting Fire

Anne Briggs - She Moves Through the Fair
Nick Drake - Northern Sky (Bryter Layter)

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

5). Wiz Khalifa - Black and Yellow (new)
4). Lady Gaga - Born This Way (non-mover)
3). Rihanna - S&M (Come On) (non-mover)
2). Jessie J - Price Tag (non-mover)
1). Adele - Someone Like You (non-mover)


This is the most static I can remember the British charts being since I can't remember when. Four non-movers this week, and only one new entry. It's looking like the American charts!

Except for the new track, I can't add much to what I've already said about this week's Top 5, but I'll try : 

Let's start with Wiz Khalifa. Cameron Thomaz (his real name) doesn't sound like he came out of the rusting town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Instead, I would have sworn he was from Atlanta. This is mostly because this week's number 5 in the UK, "Black and Yellow", could have been placed next to Nelly's "Country Grammar" in 2000 without missing a beat. Even though the song is imitative of a style that's been done many times over in rap, it's still a bouncin' tune. The song reached number one in America a little over a month ago, but - unlike many songs on the American chart - it hasn't stuck around. 

The key to the tune is a kicking deep bass drum, along with the vocal harmonies. It's all ephemeral, but it does the trick. It's all bragging, as usual ("got a watch so full of rocks I can't tell what the time is"), but there's a friendly feel to the tune that pulls the listener in. On the England Swings scale of 1-10, I give it a 7.5.

Now we come to the non-movers. The first was supposed to be the release of the year, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way". The song sits atop the USA charts for yet another week, bringing the total to four. 

And it's the Lady's worst track. It's busy, it's scattered, and it's vaguely annoying. Where is the clever arrangement that was there in "Poker Face" and "Telephone"? Someone was asleep at the switch. I give the song a 5 on the scale. 

Speaking of being asleep, the non-mover at number 3 is Rihanna's "S&M (Come On)". There's no doubt that this song is one big hook, but I mean . . . come on. I'm thinking Rihanna is probably spending more time on burnishing her public image as a sex queen rather than actually BEING a sex queen. And - I hate to bring this up, but - this was the woman who experienced getting beaten up by Chris Brown, and now she's singing about how much she loves getting beaten up? Why didn't she just stay with him, then? I know that Brown has been made the villain of that particular little piece, but seeing how Rihanna puts herself up to the public, I begin to have my doubts . . . 

Hey, the song ain't bad. It's just the depravity of the situation that rankles. I give the song a 5. 

Jessie J, after "rocking" Saturday Night Live last weekend, remains at number 2 for the four-hundred-thirty-fifth week. The song's fortunes are beginning to rise in the USA - it has risen to number 78 this week. 

The problem is that Americans are not big on optimistic Spice-Girlish songs. They'd much rather be miserable with Eminem and Rihanna, or with Nirvana and derivatives. If they can't suffer in their songs, then forget it. Jessie is trying to whoop it up and her heels are not so high that she can't have a good time. I predict that this song just MAY get into the top 20, but no farther. 

Whereas the British just eat this stuff up, don't they? Jessie won the Brit Award, and her album would have reached number one if it weren't for Adele. 

Me, I wouldn't rather be miserable, but I have to look askance at the sheer blah-ness of the tune. I give it a 5. 

Lotsa 5s this week, I know, so you'll be pleased to hear that I think more highly of Adele, whose "Someone Like You" maintains the number one position for the fourth week in a row. This is a feat not achieved since Lily Allen's "The Fear" back in 2009. 

But what a gorgeous tune. Understated, classy, and worthy of its time at the top. I give it an 8 yet again this week. 

There'll be a review of the new Elbow album a little later this week, so come back and visit us, won't you?

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