Last night's show was dedicated to my cousin Sarah, who is critically ill. For more information, check out . 

Here's what we played : 

Nero - Me & You
Take That - SOS (Progress)

Foghat - My Babe (Fool For the City)
Example - Two Lives (Won't Go Quietly)

Duffy - Endlessly
Rumer - Take Me As I Am (Seasons Of My Soul)

Vanity Fare - I Live For the Sun
Crispian St. Peters - The Pied Piper
Searchers - Sweets For My Sweet

The Fab Four Freakout : 

Paul McCartney & Wings - Jet (alternate version) (Band On the Run)
Beatles - Let It Be (Let It Be)
Beatles - Act Naturally

Patrick Wolf - Time Of My Life

Jessie J - Do It Like a Dude

Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water (dedicated to Sarah)

Gyptian - Hold You

Frank Ifield - Confessin'

Cheeky Girls - Cheeky Song

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

5). Rihanna - Only Girl (In the World) (-1)
4). Olly Murs - Thinking Of Me (new)
3). JLS - Love You More (-2)
2). Ellie Goulding - Your Song (+1)
1). X Factor Finalists 2010 - Heroes (new)


A couple of new entries, both X Factor related, enter the top 5 this week, while Rihanna and JLS predictably drop. A bit more unpredictably, Ellie Goulding rises a place. 

I think we need to resign ourselves to the fact that the British top 5 will feature a healthy wallop of fluffy pop until the end of the year. Come the last month before Christmas, and all of the trends - grime, "new" R&B, dubstep - are swept out the door to make room for gloopy pop songs. In recent years, not only has X Factor controlled the Christmas number one (with the notable exception of last year), but has tightened its grip on the weeks preceding it. 

At number 5, Rihanna's "Only Girl (In the World)" barely holds onto the top 5 for another week. No other song has been in the top 5 longer this week; all the rest are new or only a week old. 

And - while I have no doubts about the hit power behind the tune - Rihanna's "What's My Name" is a much better song. It may not rise near the top, though, with so much else going on. 

"Only Girl" bounces along, disco infused and powerful. The song finally managed to climb to a number one position in America this week, after flirting with the top for quite a while. 

On the England Swings scale of 1-10, I give this song a 6.5.

Olly Murs (say that in your X Factor announcer's voice, please)! Much like his earlier hit, this new song is a reggae based, breezy little tune. It's slightly more annoying than "Please Don't Let Me Go", though, and that can mostly be attributed to a chirpy little synth flowing in and out of the mix. Someone should have told them. 

Olly seems to have found his niche here, doing reggae-lite and trying to style himself as a British Jack Johnson. That's okay, though - the song works. I give it a 6.5 this week. 

"Love You More", JLS's latest tune, drops from the top to number 3 this week. Last week, I dismissed it as as ephemeral and inconsequential. Around about Tuesday this week, I finally "got" it, and the song bounced around in my brain for the remainder of the day, and even through part of the week. I still have issues with the twee nature of the vocals occasionally, but I've begun to appreciate the tune for what it is. I wouldn't call it classic, but it's got a . . . .something going on. I hereby upgrade my appraisal to a 7.5 this week. 

And I'll go in the opposite direction with Ellie Goulding's "Your Song", which rises to number 2. If you think about it, the song manages to strip out most of what's interesting about Ellie, and turns her into a slightly quirky cover artist. She's better than that. The song has an innate charm, but it's not proving to have any lasting power. I downgrade it this week to a 6. 

Now comes the big banana, the bully that pushes all the other children out of the sandbox. It's a charity single, of course, but I've learned over time that that's no real excuse. 

This year, the X Factor finalists (with the glaring absence of Wagner - was he sick that day?) had Simon Cowell choose David Bowie's "Heroes" for them. 


Well, because the charity this year is "Help For Heroes", which offers assistance to injured soldiers. 

But one gets the impression that Simon just did a song search on his iTunes for "hero", and this was the only thing that came up besides the Mariah Carey song, which was the X Factor charity single two years ago. 

So we have this sanitized version of a song that perhaps should have remained inviolate - I'm sure that there are legions of Bowie fans burning Matt Cardle in effigy at this point. 

Not to mention the fact that the song is actually an ANTI-hero song, and that the words have been trimmed for this new version. I guess "You, you can be mean/and I/I'll drink all the time" didn't quite fit the paradigm. 

As usual, the track starts fairly decently, but has a thousand strings and voices piled on by the end, turning it into the sort of pseudo-gospel tripe that's the standard. Then, the arranger has the nerve to paste on a martial drumbeat at the end. 

My advice? Buy it for charity if you must, but maybe the message to Those Who Inflict This Sort Of Thing On Us should be, "Sure! Do a charity single! But at least make it interesting, or I won't be interested!" 

It should come as no surprise that I offer up a measly 3 on the scale for this one. 

There are definitely album reviews coming this week. I don't have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. See you then!

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