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Apr 22

Charts – 21 March 2013

Posted on Monday, April 22, 2013 by Paul in Music

After the excitement of last week, the mainstream media have packed up and gone home, and we’re back to business as usual.  Which means midweek releases, odd classical crossover acts, and three records by  One of them is “Scream and Shout”, still hanging in there at 35.

34. (featuring Miley Cyrus) – “Fall Down”

And one of them is this, which isn’t officially on YouTube, but you won’t have too much trouble finding it if you want to hear it.  It’s one of his less obnoxious songs, with a catchy whistling hook, though it still ultimately ends up in the territory of Flo Rida with added electro and orchestral pretensions.  The last minute or so is completely off the deep end.  Weirdly, this isn’t being downloaded as an album track – he simply released two singles in the same week and only promoted one of them.

28.  Mat Zo & Porter Robinson – “Easy”

Trance, with a hint of Daft Punk (coincidentally enough).  Or maybe it’s just the anime video, a gentle tale of a supermodel and her…. uh, well, I guess it’s a  floating blue thing.  This is the debut hit for Zo, an English producer who’s been around for a couple of years.  Collaborator Porter Robinson has been in the chart before – his single “Language” made the top 10 last year.

26.  Emeli Sande – “Read All About It Part III” 

Back yet again, after it was used on Britain’s Got Talent last week.

23.  Little Mix (featuring Missy Elliot) – “How Ya Doin'”

Little Mix’s fifth single, which was only officially released on Wednesday – before that, you could buy the album version, but that doesn’t have the guest verse by Missy Elliot.  It’s been climbing steadily since this version came out.

It’s sort of a mash-up.  The chorus is lifted from “Name and Number” by Curiosity Killed the Cat, a number 14 hit from 1989.  There’s also a sample from “Act Like You Know” by Fat Larry’s Band, a 1982 single which didn’t chart.

God only knows what Missy Elliot is doing on this single.  She hasn’t been in the top 75 since 2009 when she appeared on the Pussycat Dolls’ “Whatcha Think About That”; she hasn’t had a single of her own since “We Run This” scraped the bottom end of the top 40 in 2006.  And yet she breaks her silence to do a guest verse for Little Mix, of all people?  Perhaps she’s raising her profile again in preparation for finally releasing that album she’s been promising for years.

17.  Clean Bandit – “Mozart’s House”

Clean Bandit are a genuine oddity – a dance act based around a string section. Actually, different web sites give slightly different information about who’s officially in Clean Bandit – the word “collective” tends to get bandied about.  As near as I can figure, the core membership is the cellist, one of the violinists, the drummer and the producer, but they regularly call on a range of singers plus the other half of the Chatto Quartet.

Combining classical music and electronica isn’t unprecedented, but many of the precedents are decidedly dodgy – Hooked on Classics hasn’t aged well.  And as the title might suggest, “Mozart’s House” veers somewhat into novelty territory; essentially they’re just live-playing a sample here.  But this was their debut single from 2010, I assume it’s being reissued in an attempt to establish their schtick to a broader audience.  Their other songs are decidedly less gimmicky.  For example, here’s “Telephone Banking”.

And yes, they were making videos like that as an unsigned band.  That’s presumably because they also run a film-making business on the side, so it’s all going towards the showreel.

12.  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Can’t Hold Us”

This has been floating around the lower end of the charts for a couple of weeks, but it now leaps 21 places to the upper reaches, presumably because the video is out and the promotion is getting into gear.  And the video – which has quite a bit of money thrown at it, even if it credits Lewis as its co-director – is clearly intended to send the message that Macklemore is not a plucky underdog who struck lucky, he’s a star, and he’s got no intention of politely going back to the underground.

At the very least, they’ve clearly established that they’re not one hit wonders.  Talking of which…

10.  Psy – “Gentleman”

Psy isn’t the first artist who’s had to wrestle with the question of how to follow up a surprise hit – see immediately preceding entry – but he really has had the problem on a different scale.  “Gangnam Style” may only have spent a single week at number 1 in Britain, but it was in the top ten for seventeen weeks.  That’s more than just novelty-hit territory.

What he’s made here is… well, basically “Gangnam Style II”, which is obviously a deliberate choice given that his back catalogue shows a lot more range than this.  Even the video references “Gangnam Style”.  But it’s different enough to avoid allegations of outright repetition, and he’s wisely decided to stick with performing in Korean.  Yes, there are snippets of English in here, but this is probably the best way of bridging the gap between his domestic and foreign audiences.  Especially since his interviews make clear that he sees his lyric writing as one of his strengths, and something he simply can’t replicate in English.  If the English lyrics would just be generic placeholders, then hell, you might as well just write them in Korean, right?

It’s not as good as the previous hit, and it’s probably not going any higher than this, but it’s going to hang around long enough to legitimately make him more than a one hit wonder.  One hit a lot bigger than the other, maybe, but that’s not the same.

And hell, he was doing perfectly well with his career in Korea.  At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter whether he can sustain his success abroad; he’s going to be fine.

3.  Daft Punk (featuring Pharrell Williams) – “Get Lucky”

This was released on Friday in response to leaks, giving it only two days’ sales towards the chart.  In that time, it managed around 50,000 sales, which is remarkable.  (That’s still less than half the number 1 single, but with a whole week of sales they’d clearly have been in contention.)

Daft Punk’s retro obsessions now seem to have taken them all the way back to the 1970s; this isn’t an update of disco so much as a faithful recreation.  It’s surprising to see the single being greeted as quite such an event, since none of the singles from their previous album made the top 10.  Mind you, that was in 2005.  Their biggest UK hit remains “One More Time”, which reached number 2 in 2000.

(Oh, and that’s not just a static picture above.  They dance briefly at 2:20.)

2. (featuring Justin Bieber) – “#thatPOWER”

No proper video for this either.  From the man who thought “” was a play on words so excellent as to be worth using every day of his life, here comes a single with a hashtag in the title (from an album which also has a hashtag in the title).  Someone had to do it, and it’s depressingly predictable that it should be him.

1.  Rudimental (featuring Ella Eyre) – “Waiting All Night”

Rudimental’s debut single “Feel The Love” went to number 1 in June, but the follow-up “Not Giving In” only got to 14.  For whatever reason, that turns out to be a blip, as “Waiting All Night” returns them to number 1 with their now established formula of rousing soul anthems over breakbeats. The video – which is about amputee BMX rider Kurt Yaeger – may be shamelessly sentimental, but it’s the sort of sentimentality that Rudimental tracks can carry off.

Ella Eyre is apparently a singer-songwriter, but thus far there’s nothing on her YouTube channel beyond appearances to promote this single.

There are no major new releases this week, so Rudimental have a reasonable shot of spending a second week at the top – though they’re currently behind the Daft Punk juggernaut.

On the album chart:-

  • Michael Buble, “To Be Loved” at number 1, which is no real surprise.
  • Fall Out Boy, “Save Rock & Roll” at 2.
  • The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Mosquito” at 9.  I assume they’ve given up promoting singles and decided to go with being an albums act.
  • Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses), “The Low Highway” at 30.  Americana, I’d assume.
  • Kid Cudi, “Indicud” at 32.  Remember this guy?  Had a big hit with “Day ‘n’ Nite” five years ago, and pretty much nothing else?
  • Angel, “About Time” at 33.  Similar story here.  He did have a top 10 single with “Wonderful” last year, but that’s about it.
  • Major Lazer, “Free The Universe” at 34.  Major Lazer is basically Diplo plus whoever.
  • Kacey Musgraves, “Same Trailer Different Park” at 39.  Do you really need me to tell you she’s a country singer?
  • Iron & Wine, “Ghost on Ghost” at 40.  Iron & Wine is Samuel Beam, a folk songwriter.  His previous album scraped the bottom end of the top 40 too.

Bring on the comments

  1. Nick says:

    Re: Little Mix.

    De La Soul – Ring Ring Ring

    Which is far, far better.

  2. Im confident to the goods and confident to myself!

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