The playlist from last night's show : 

Blood Red Shoes - Light It Up (Fire Like This)
Pulled Apart By Horses - Yeah Buddy (Pulled Apart By Horses)

Supertramp - Bloody Well Right (Crime of the Century)
Nadine - Insatiable (Insatiable)

Beady Eye - Bring the Light
Cribs - Men's Needs (Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever)

Olivia Newton-John and ELO - Xanadu (Xanadu OST)
Jackie Trent - Where Are You Now

The Fab Four Freakout : 

Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand (live, Washington, DC, Feb. 11, 1964)
Beatles - Hey Jude
Beatles - Twist and Shout

Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith - Not In Love
James Blake - Limit To Your Love

Krokus - Long Stick Goes Boom (One Vice At a Time)

Petula Clark - Don't Sleep In the Subway
Julie Driscoll & Brian Auger - This Wheel's On Fire

Louise - Stuck In the Middle With You

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

5). Katy Perry - Firework (-2)
4). Rihanna - Only Girl (In the World) (-3)
3). Ellie Goulding - Your Song (new)
2). Take That - The Flood (non-mover)
1). JLS - Love You More (new)


The balance of the top 5 switches to Britain this week, as two new entries by home country artists crash into the chart. Last week's big hits are relegated to the bottom portion of the top 5. 

And Take That doesn't move at all.

Katy Perry's "Firework" is becoming a bonafide hit in the USA at this point, slowly creeping up to number 9 on the American charts this week. In the UK, though, it reverses its fortune, sliding from number 3 to number 5. The law of diminishing single returns says that the third song from an album usually doesn't rise quite so high, and that's the case here. 

Even though it has that super-processed Katy Perry sound to it, the song is one big hook. The part where the cellos kick in before the chorus - cool. Katy's yelping "Oh, oh, oh!" - even cooler. As much as I hate to admit it, I really like the song. I give it a 7.5 on the England Swings scale of 1-10. 

Rihanna's "Only Girl (In the World)" drops back to number 4 this week after spending two weeks at the top of the British charts. That's a peak that's only been achieved by a select few songs this year; the switch at the top has been more common than anything else. The song has a old-fashioned disco beat, an only slightly auto-tuned vocal, and the synths don't come in until the chorus. That's restraint. 

That said, I don't think the tune is wearing that well. I know it's been hanging around for weeks, both in the UK and America (where it's managed a rise to a peak of number 2). It's good, but it's not great enough to become such a perennial. Time to move on, I wager - I give it a 6.5.

Well, our rather quirky Ellie Goulding has managed to have her biggest hit by doing a song that's not hers at all. At number 3, her version of Elton John's "Your Song" still maintains the oddity in some respects, but in my estimation it's the straightest thing she's done so far. Her unusual vocal tone is still there, but all the flashy production from her album seems to have been shoveled away from this song. 

I like that she keeps a strong accent for the song - and that's a sign that she doesn't care about the American market very much. I like the arrangement of the song, for the most part. It's low-key, effective, and pretty. 

Admittedly, the vocal performance takes some getting used to, but after a few listens it sounds more natural. I give Ellie a 7.5 for this. 

I'm no closer to figuring out what the *@#@! Robbie Williams is talking about in "The Flood", which - based mostly on an X Factor performance - has managed to hang onto the number 2 position for another week. The vocals can't be faulted, except to say that sounds like Robbie and a backup band. The song is pretty, but it's also odd enough to create some cognitive dissonance. 

Why do Robbie Williams' lyrics make me think that he's the Neil Diamond of the 21st century? 

I'm anxious to hear the rest of the album now; I'll hopefully review it a little later this week. In the meantime, we've got this anomaly of a song. I give it a 7.

JLS manage to top the chart with "Love You More" which - of course - they performed on X Factor last week. I'm not surprised that it went to the top, but I don't think it's their best song. It's got drama, and it's got a hook, sure, but the vocals are a little over-indulgent, and the song doesn't have sticking power. It's a bit frothy and insubstantial. Of course, one could say that about everything JLS has done, but this one is even airier. It reminds me a bit of early 21st century British boy-band "with an edge" songs, like the ones done by Blue. Except the knife could maybe use a little more honing. 

I give it a 6.

I'll be a bit late with an album review this week, but it'll be here sooner or later. Check back, and don't forget to listen to the England Swings Show!

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