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Sep 23

Charts – 22 September 2013

Posted on Monday, September 23, 2013 by Paul in Music

We have a new number one – and it’s not very good!

39.  Jason Derulo – “The Other Side”

Re-entry, as a spillover effect from the promotion of the new single, which we’ll be coming to.  Originally a number 2 hit in June.

38.  Chvrches – “The Mother We Share”

Chvrches are as a Glaswegian synthpop trio, who’ve been tipped for a while but have not previously poked their head into the top 40.  This single originally came out last November, but it’s being repromoted now with a video for the first time.   The band name is pronounced “Churches”, but evidently they don’t like people who hear their records on the radio being able to find them on iTunes unless the DJ carefully spells out how to search for them.  It’s a great little song, though, and deserved to go further.  (It’s not going to.)

34.  Linkin Park vs Steve Aoki – “A Light That Never Comes”

Linkin Park need no introduction; Steve Aoki is a DJ who’s had a couple of middling hits before (“I’m in the House” in 2010 and “No Beef” in 2011, bot of which landed in the 20s).  This is the lead single from Linkin Park’s upcoming remix album, though it’s an original collaboration, not a remix.  Apparently it’s used in a Facebook game, which will have shifted a few extra copies.  It’s less of a horrendous style clash than you might have expected, possibly because most of the band seem to have been given the afternoon off rather than being clumsily worked in to a dance track.

23.  The Wanted – “We Own the Night”

How odd.  This plunged out of the top 40 two weeks ago, but for some reason it’s staged a resurgence.  I’m not aware of any reason why.

21.  Katy Perry featuring Juicy J – “Dark Horse”

Ah.  This is an album track which won a vote on MTV to become Perry’s next single.  It’s not officially on YouTube, but you won’t have too much trouble finding it.  It’s actually pretty good, and a surprising song to have won, since it’s a bit of a diversion from her usual bubblegum style.

Chart debut for Juicy J, who’s a member of Three 6 Mafia.  Neither he nor the group has had a hit outside North America, though some readers of his blog may vaguely recall them as the people who did Mark Henry’s theme music.

16.  Birdy – “Wings”

A third hit for Jasmine van der Bogaerde, who reached number 17 with a cover of “Skinny Love” in 2011.  She was 14 then, she’s 17 now, and since “Skinny Love” also did business internationally, she’s now something of a priority for her record label, hence the coffee table epic vibe of this track.  It’s co-written by Birdy, but it’s co-written and co-produced by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, doing his very best Coldplay.  But for all that the tricks are familiar, it knows what it’s doing and it’s pretty much laser-targeted to make it work.  Having rolled my eyes the first time I heard it, I find it’s growing on me.

If it’s not a bigger hit this time round, expect it to make a comeback when X Factor starts using it to soundtrack heartwarming outbursts of audition-passing joy, and then again next year when people use it as an audition piece.

13.  Ben Pearce – “What I Might Do”

Climbing 12 places as the exposure from the Tesco adverts grows.

11.  Christina Perri – “A Thousand Years”

Yet another return to the chart for this Twilight soundtrack song, which seems to have a resurgence every few months when (a) something Twilight-related happens, or (b) someone does it on a reality TV show.  This time it’s (b).  Surprisingly, considering how long it’s hung around on the chart, this is its highest place to date; it previously peaked at 13.

5.  Avicii – “You Make Me”

Avicii’s 5th top ten hit, promoting the album “True” which also came out this week.  I’ll give Avicii this, his music may not have much in the way of emotional range – you’ll have your celebratory ecstasy and you’ll like it – but the sound of his records varies a lot more than many of his contemporaries.  The loping piano line is the distinctive bit on this track, and it works.

The singer – uncredited even though he’s prominent in the video – is Salim al Fakir, who also appeared uncredited on Avicii’s “Silhouettes”, and who really ought to have his name on these records.

3.  Jessie J – “It’s My Party”

Jessie J also has a bit of range in her sound, to be fair.  Problem is, that often just means she tries a bunch of different styles without being particularly good at them.  This, for example, is essentially a Pink B-side.  And that’s unquestionably different from the previous single “Wild”, which was a dodgy semi-grime record, but neither of them is very good, and it falls into Jessie J’s perennial trap of feeling insincere and over-polished.  I can’t help feeling that a better production could have made this work.  Or at least not seem quite so twee and squeaky.

1.  Jason DeRulo featuring 2 Chainz – “Talk Dirty”

It’s tempting to say this is an easy win for worst number one of the year, but actually, it’s probably a toss-up with the Bingo Players from January.  Even so, this is just dreadful.  The basic conceit here is that Jason Derulo is a world-class playboy who tours the world having sex with women whose language he does not speak.  For some reason he still enjoys it when they talk dirty, though how exactly he can tell is not fully explored.  2 Chainz then pops in for a verse in which he rhymes “genius” with “penis”.  And there’s a comedy giggling Asian who doesn’t speak English at the end.  (That’s on the record too, by the way.)

So, yeah.  Even if it wasn’t a mildly troubling record for all the obvious reasons, there would still be a fundamental problem in the very idea of Jason Derulo trying to convince me of his world-dominating sexual charisma, considering that thus far in his career he’s shown the level of personality that tends to suggest he reproduces by a system of injection moulding.

It does have a quite a good beat, but then that’s basically just a steroid version of  “Hermetico” by Balkan Beat Box, where you can enjoy most of the good bits of this track without the dodgy lyrics.

The album chart sees a busy week:

  • “AM” by the Arctic Monkeys at 1.
  • “True” by Avicii at 2.  As already mentioned.  His first hit album, following on his number 1 singles “I Could Be The One” and “Wake Me Up”.
  • “The Diving Board” by Elton John at 3.  Leaving aside a greatest hits remix album from last year, this might be one of his highest chart placings in a while – check, though, since he made 6 not that long ago  Single: “Home Again”.
  • “Rewind the Film” by the Manic Street Preachers at 4.  The eleventh studio album for the indie perennials, now in their 23rd year.  Like many bands of that vintage, they’re now exclusively an albums proposition, and their style has shifted to the point where they’re barely recognisable as the same act who made “You Love Us”.  There’s a video for the title track (which features Richard Hawley).
  • “Ketevan” by Katie Melua at 6.  Her sixth top ten album.  Ketevan is her real first name.  She doesn’t have hit singles any more either, but to be honest, she was always a more album-oriented act whose occasional appearances in the singles chart seems a bit anomalous.  Single: “I Will Be There”.
  • “From Here to Now to You” by Jack Johnson at 7.  Another surprisingly high placing – the Hawaiian songwriter has not previously made it above 24.  Single: “I Got You”.
  • “Old Souls” by Deaf Havana at 9.  Indie band from Norfolk.  This is their third album, but they’ve never previously made the top 40 in either albums or singles.  Bluntly, this is kind of an illustration of what it takes to make the albums top ten these days.  Single: “Mildred (Lost a Friend)”.
  • “The Temperance Movement” by the Temperance Movement at 12.  Debut album from a British trad blues rock band.  The bassist used to be in Jamiroquai, believe it or not.   Single: “Midnight Black”.
  • “Loud Like Love” by Placebo at 13.  From the “crikey, are they still going?” file come 1990s alt-rockers Placebo, who haven’t released an album in four years, but have still been touring.  Lyric video for the title track.
  • “Wise Up Ghost” by Elvis Costello & The Roots at 28.  Somewhat unlikely collaboration with the hip hop act who apparently now work as the house band on Jimmy Fallon’s late night chat show.  (The whole concept of the late night chat show is a bit of a mystery to us in Britain.  Don’t you people go to bed at a sensible hour?)  Lyric video for “Walk Us Uptown”.
  • “Music to Make Boys Cry” by Diana Vickers at 37.  Second album from the X Factor alumnus, three years after the last one.  She got dropped by her first label, which might explain why it’s taken until now to release an album including songs she first put out on her website in 2011.  Video for the title track.

Bring on the comments

  1. Joe S. Walker says:

    Re late night TV chat, creating a British David Letterman used to be a thing. Remember the Jack Docherty Show on Channel 5?

  2. clay says:

    The whole concept of the late night chat show is a bit of a mystery to us in Britain. Don’t you people go to bed at a sensible hour?

    It’s mostly for college kids, and teenagers who *wish* they were in college, and 20-somethings who wish they were *still* in college.

    So no. They don’t.

  3. Paul says:

    I think everyone tries to forget the Jack Docherty show, not least Jack Docherty, who doesn’t seem to have done any significant TV work since, and who was regularly outdrawn in the ratings by his holiday stand-ins.

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