Sunday, June 18, 2006

Top of the Pops

Music! It makes the people come together - it makes the bourgeoisie and the rebel.

The UK singles chart is an organic beast, and something that I have loved deeply since I was a little idlemichael. Holding a tapedeck next to a transistor radio copying the songs on a Sunday evening (or lunchtime if I was in Ireland) so I had stuff to listen to for the next week. Obviously now I'm older I can afford to buy music *ahem*, and my tastes have widened to lots of different genres and stuff. While I will always have a place in my heart for whining guitars, wistful indie boys singing of lost love and the odd thundering drum solo, there is also a small part of me that clamours for the latest offering that the world of Pop presents for our delight.

Currently at number one in the UK (for the second week) is Nelly Furtado, with "Maneater" - not a cover of the Hall and Oates classic. Nelly used to be like a bird; now she is like Courtney Cox crossed with a lapdancer. Seriously, this is one hell of a makeover from the slightly rubbish folky crap she used to do. The song's produced by Timbaland, who in between making shoes actually comes up with some great work. The vocals are a bit nasal, but still work well - but the real power is the bassline. It makes you want to shake your arse bigstyle, and that's a Good Thing.

Shakira (featuring Wyclef Jean, who was a Fugee) is our highest new entry for the week, with "Hips Don't Lie". Having not heard this song, I can only assume its about transexuals, and people pointing out men pretending to be lades who can't be ladies because they are too thin and hips don't lie. See? That's the kind of song that should be in the top 10.

The Automatic's "Monster" is at number four. It is a wonderful song, and we'll all be sick to death of it by the end of the summer. Until then, however, enjoy it, and campaign to make it the new Welsh National Anthem. Bon Jovi are at five with some dreary shite that kept me awake last weekend because they were playing live down the road VERY LOUDLY. They've done nothing good since "Livin' On A Prayer"! Who keeps buying this?!

"Paris To Berlin" is by Infernal, and is in at six, like an old woman from the supermarket. And it is fucking shit. And yet people love it. It confuses me, though I'd have probably danced my ass off to worse stuff when I was young and bangin'. Ahem. The rest of the top ten is pretty much football songs to celebrate the World Cup, the only good one being the Lightning Seeds' "Three Lions", which seems to have been reissued every two years since 1834. Still good to sing when drunk though. And I do hope England win their group.

Outside of the Top Ten (which is pretty much ALL THAT MATTERS) Brittany Murphy has a song with Paul Oakenfold called "Faster Kill Pussycat" at 13, which I rather like. Actor / music crossovers are usually doomed to disaster, but this is actually rather splendid. A real doof-doof stomper of a tune, and the video is very shiny. This appeals to my magpie-like tendencies, and I am hypnotised when it comes on the music channels on the telly. Very good. 8/10.

There's also Primal Scream's "Country Girl" (23) which really should be The Big Summer Tune at all of the festivals. It's AMAZING, completely ridiculous, very shouty and just about perfect. It's got all the fun and games of stuff they did years ago like "Jailbird" and "Rocks", but without any of the "desperately trying to sound like The Black Crowes" rubbish. They have grown up, and fair play to them. Meanwhile, the rest of the Top 40 is actually pretty dull - mainly as summer's a dire time to release new stuff - aside from Eurovision winners Lordi, who's "Hard Rock Hallelujah" is hanging on at 36. Everything else is either a very poor football song, a reissue (Armand van Helden's "My My My" for the umpteenth time, anyone?) or has been around since the beginning of time and we're bored of it. Stand up "Dani California" and the Red Hot Chili Peppers! Bah.

Ahhhh, the charts. I remember a time when I'd only pay attention to everything outside of the Top 20, because everything Up There was a sell out. I was young and naive. I'm sorry. And now I'll shut up. Toodles til next time.


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