Playlist and Top 5 : October 25, 2010The playlist from last night's show : 

Vaccines - Wrecking Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
Vaccines - Blow It Up

Bullet For My Valentine - Fever (Fever)

Faces - Stay With Me (A Nod's As Good As a Wink...To a Blind Horse)
Joy Formidable - Don't Want To See You Like This

Take That - The Flood
Joe McElderry - Ambitions

Mooche - Hot Smoke and Sassafras
Action - Follow Me
Hollies - Bus Stop

The Fab Four Freakout : 

Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas - Do You Want To Know a Secret
Beatles - She's a Woman
Beatles - Only a Northern Song (Yellow Submarine)

Rye Rye ft. MIA - Sunshine

Elton John & the Leon Russell - If It Wasn't For Bad (The Union)

Diana Vickers - My Wicked Heart
Dusty Springfield - Wishin' and Hopin'

Kate Rusby - The Cobbler's Daughter (Sleepless)
Robin & Barry Dransfield - Scarborough Fair (The Rout Of the Blues)

...and this week's UK Top 5 : 

5). Katy Perry - Firework (new)
4). Cee-Lo - Forget You (-3)
3). Duck Sauce - Barbara Streisand (non-mover)
2). Wanted - Heart Vacancy (new)
1). Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are (+1)


A couple of new entries near the top of the charts this week, and the remarkable climb of a former number one to the top of the pack again. 

Two of the  songs can be attributed almost exclusively to the effect of X Factor, the British singing competition run by Simon Cowell and his cohorts. It's hard to underestimate the influence of the show at the time of year when it's running on the television; it seems like each week an old song returns to the charts, or a new one by a performer who did a guest stint on the show manages to turn up. Even though X Factor missed out on the vaunted Christmas number one last year, it makes up for it each week as songs connected with the show leap up the charts. 

Number 5 this week, to no one's surprise, was performed by Katy Perry on last weekend's show. "Firework" is not quite as full of SFX as Katy's two previous tunes, but it does feature a competent (if occasionally out of tune) vocal and a semi-catchy hook. Lyrically, it compares her lover to a display of the title object, which makes it all a bit cliched. All said, though, it's not awful. I give the song a 6.5 on the England Swings scale of 1-10.

Taking a somewhat surprising deep dive, Cee-Lo's "Forget You" goes from the top of the chart to number 4 this week. A soul extravaganza, the track was at number one for two weeks. It features a performance from Cee-Lo himself that's a bit cracked, but works beautifully most of the time (I take exception to his baby-cried "Wwhhhyyy!" part). The song is slowly creeping up the American charts as well, but I'm not sure how much farther it will go (it's at number 17 this week). Make no mistake, it's a great song, but Americans have shown only mild interest in retro-soul concoctions. Even Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" only made it to number 10 in the USA. I'd like to see it succeed more, but it may not. 

I like it. I give it an 8. 

The only non-mover in the top 5 this week is Duck Sauce's "Barbara Streisand". The song is irresistable, with beautiful production, a twisted surf guitar riff, and a plethora of "oooh"s. The kicker, of course, are the seriously intoned words of the title. A bit more commercial than much of what Armand Van Helden's done in the past, this song sets the pace for modern techno. And it's fun! I give it an 8.5.

The new track by the new prefab group The Wanted comes in at number 2 this week. Not nearly as successful as "All Time Low", it sounds sketchy and unpolished. I'm thinking that there's a massive surge of physical sales with a track like this, bought by the fans, and then . . . not much else. I'm thinking it will take a precipitous drop next week. For those of you who haven't heard it, it's a mostly acoustic number that goes into a ballady thump with the chorus. Not so great. 

I give it a 5, and I'm a bit disappointed. 

Bruno Mars reclaims the top spot, and it's mostly due to a performance by one of the X Factor finalists last Saturday. Oddly enough, the song has dropped from number 1 to 2 this week in America, displaced by Far East Movement. This is the only time this year, I think, that a song has returned to number one in such a manner. The song is now everywhere, so I won't bother describing it - just turn on any radio anywhere and you'll hear it. 

It's turning out to be one of the biggest hits of 2010; I give it a 7.

Album review here tomorrow, so tune back in, huh?

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