Playlist & Top 5 : January 17, 2011 - England Swings - The BEST music from the UK
Last night on the England Swings show, in addition to our mix of new and old tunes, we presented songs by several unsigned performers from the UK. Those are noted below, along with information about them : 

Vaccines - If You Wanna
Frankie & the Heartstrings - Hunger

Rolling Stones - Beast Of Burden (Some Girls)
Jamiroquai - Lifeline (Rock Dust Light Star)

Kamakaze - What I Need
Kamakaze - Give It To Me 
 - This unsigned foursome hails from Birmingham. You can find free mixtapes from them by googling kamakazeuk. They also have videos available on YouTube, and their music is distributed digitally by HMV, among others.

Wretch 32 - Traktor
Chase & Status - Blind Faith

The Fab Four Freakout : 

Danielle Denin - Je Lis Dans Tes Yeux
Beatles - Happiness Is a Warm Gun (The Beatles)
Beatles - Step Inside Love (Los Paranoias)
Beatles - Being For the Benefit Of Mr. Kite (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)

Jodie Connor - Now Or Never
Eliza Doolittle - Rollerblades (Eliza Doolittle)

Free - Wishing Well (Heartbreaker)
Amen Corner - If Paradise (Is Half As Nice)

Sam Harrison - Sticks and Stones
 - Sam is from Sheffield, and was in the finals of "Live and Unsigned 2010". You can reach him on Facebook, or view videos on YouTube, by looking for "SamHarrisonOfficial". 

Stormy Monday - Beat Of the City (Almost Souled Out)
 - Stormy Monday comes from Newcastle, and contains Tom Johnson of Hexachord Hex as songwriter, guitarist, and keyboard player. Check out for more information.

Chilly Gonzales - You Can Dance

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

5). Matt Cardle - When We Collide (-3)
4). Katy B - Lights On (non-mover)
3). Rihanna - What's My Name (-2)
2). Jessie J - Do It Like a Dude (+3)
1). Bruno Mars - Grenade (new)


Yet another change at the top marks this week's top 5, as Bruno Mars' second single (not including his guest appearance with B.o.B) sells over 150,000 copies - an unusual occurrence in the depths of January. 

Matt Cardle, X Factor 2010 winner, has had one of the biggest hits in the show's history with "When We Collide". The song hangs in the top 5 this week, dropping three places to number 5. 

Chalk it up to wise song choice on the part of the television show moguls. Whereas "When We Collide" is not a perfect adaptation of Biffy Clyro's "Many Of Horror", it is adequate enough to provide pleasant listening even after five weeks in the top 5 - three of which were spent at number one. On the England Swings scale of 1-10, Matt gets a 7.

Katy B doesn't budge from the number 4 position this week, which is as high as it's gotten. The song is inconsequential and fizzy, making it the sort of tune which will be forgetten in six months time. I think we could expect better from Katy, and perhaps we'll get better in the future. For now, though, even the Ms. Dynamite appearance on the tune doesn't really elevate it. I give it a 6. 

Rihanna's "What's My Name" broke records last week by being the fifth consecutive number one by the singer in as many years. Easily the best track that she's done since "Umbrella", the song seems fated to be a one-week number one on both sides of the Atlantic, as she drops to number 3 on the UK charts. 

The track remains bright and hooky, with beautifully pitched production. I give it a 7.5 on the scale. 

The first star of 2011 continues her rise, as Jessie J's "Do It Like a Dude" ascends three places to land at number 2 this week. Criticism of the track seems to center on the idea that it may not be representative of Jessie's talents, being filtered and autotuned to the point that it's hard to discern what sort of singer she is. 

This is all true, but as a novelty the record succeeds admirably. It has a rough, original sound to it, and one can distinguish the rise of a major talent. There's little doubt that Jessie will release songs in the future that are, perhaps, more indicative of her status as a performer. "Do It" does cement her as a strong songwriter. 

Here's Bruno Mars, the sensation of 2010, back again with the second major single of his career. "Grenade" stands in sharp contrast to "Just the Way You Are", though - it's not sweet or pretty. It would fall under the category of "R&B angst" songs instead. The storyline is that there's a fellow who would risk anything for his love, but it's not reciprocated. This sets the stage for vocal histrionics and some gross lyrical imagery - "I'd catch a grenade for ya/Throw my hand on a blade for ya". Ugh. 

I profess not to like the song as much as "Just the Way You Are", although it might be growing on me. I give it a 6. 

Yes, there's a new album review coming this week!

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