ChartChatUK

talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 751 – W/C 13.04.14

Chart Chat Edition 751 – Week Commencing Sunday 13th April 2014 

Introduction

Welcome to edition 751 of Chart Chat, the music review site which has been running for over fourteen years.  You can find us on Twitter as @ChartChatUK so feel free to follow us and pass comment on the weeks new releases yourselves.  As always we will take a look at the current top forty followed by some reviews of the weeks new releases.  There is a new edition published weekly so if you are new here then I hope you will choose to revisit.  

Chart Review

There were eight new entries, six climbers, twenty six songs going down and no non movers on this weeks chart.  The top two were both new entries with Sigma going straight in at the top with their single ‘Nobody To Love’ while The Vamps had to settle for a new entry at no.2 with ‘Last Night’.

Aloe Blacc went down two to no.3 with ‘The Man’ and John Legend also fell two to no.4 with ‘All Of Me’. Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX got a new entry at no.5 with ‘Fancy’ and Duke Dumont featuring Jax Jones went down three to no.6 with ‘I Got U’. Pharrell Williams fell one to no.7 with ‘Happy’ and Route 94 featuring Jess Glynne went down four to no.8 with ‘My Love’.  Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne fell one to no.9 with ‘Rather Be’ while Katy Perry featuring Juicy climbed back up one to no.10 with ‘Dark Horse’.

There were three climbers and one new entry to be found in what remained of the top twenty. Idina Menzel climbed six to no.11 with ‘Let It Go’ while the highest climber of the week went to Tove Lo featuring Hippie Sabotage with ‘Stay High (Habits Remix)’ who went up twenty one places to no.12.  Paloma Faith went back up seventeen places to no.18 with ‘Can’t Rely On You’ following her performance of the track on The Voice and The Saturdays got another hit under their belt as ‘Not Giving Up’ went straight in at no.19.

There were four new entries and two climbers in the lower half of the chart. David Guetta & Showtek featuring Vassy went straight in at no.22 with ‘Bad’ while Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn & Idina Menzel climbed ten to no.30 with ‘Do You Want To Build A Snowman’. Kaiser Chiefs went straight in at no.31 with ‘Coming Home’ and Avicii climbed back up four places to no.34 with ‘Hey Brother’.  Idina Menzel & Kristen Bell got a new entry at no.38 with another Frozen song ‘For The First Time In Forever’ and Paolo Nutini went straight in at no.40 with ‘Better Man’.

New Releases

Daniel J – ‘A Girl Like You’

First up this week is Daniel J who already has over 130k followers on Twitter but this week we will see if he can translate that into downloads with the release of his debut single ‘A Girl Like You’.  The digital download has seen bonus track ‘Up All Night’ available already while this week sees the main track released alongside the Castro Remix and an Instrumental Remix.  His cover versions on YouTube have been picking up critical acclaim with his takes on Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’, Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’ and Passenger’s ‘Let Her Go’ all notching up over 1m views. Ironically this has performed less well for him so far, with the official video only receiving 236k views since its original upload on 21st March.  I think this will secure him a top forty hit but he faces strong competition from Elyar Fox in the battle to be this weeks highest charting boy!

Darlia – ‘Candyman’

Blackpool based trio Darlia certainly have their share of plaudits, but whether they can translate that into sales remain to be seen. Some journalists are suggesting their music is a revival of 1994 when Nirvana where at their peak, and while the influence is undoubtedly there, they are very much their own group. This week sees the release of their new EP which contains three tracks; ‘Candyman’, ‘Animal Kingdom’ and ‘Blood Money’.  It’s the follow up to their ‘Knock Knock’ EP which won them many fans at the end of last year.  They are due to appear at a number of festivals over the Summer including the Great Escape (Brighton), Dot To Dot (Manchester / Nottingham), Truck Festival (Oxford) and the Sound City Festival (Liverpool).  I’m not sure they lend themselves to the singles chart but their live following will grow in the coming months and an album later could do well for them.

Elyar Fox – ‘A Billion Girls’

British singer Elyar Fox kicked off his top forty career with ‘Do It All Over Again’ reaching no.5 earlier this year and now he will be hoping to at least match that success with his follow up ‘A Billion Girls’. He was the opening act for The Wanted on their tour in March and April and will also perform as support for McBusted at their open air Hyde Park concert in June.  He is certainly living up to the hype surrounding him since he finished second in MTV’s Brand New For 2014 vote, where he lost out to boyband The Vamps.  His album is due for release this Summer and he has teamed up with a variety of famous writers including Cutfather (who has worked with One Direction), Karen Poole (Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson) and Wayne Hector (The Wanted and Westlife). Watch out for this featuring high up inside the top ten next Sunday afternoon. 

Javeon – ‘Intoxicated’

Next up is Javeon, another artist who hails from Bristol.  This week sees the release of his latest single ‘Intoxicated’ as a one track download on the Virgin EMI label. The video which accompanies the track is the third of a series of five interconnected videos directed by Ben Strebel and follows on from earlier singles ‘Lovesong’ and ‘Give Up’. It received over 27k views during its first week of upload. March has seen him support Ella Eyre on her UK tour and he also gained critical acclaim from Zane Lowe when ‘Intoxicated’ became his Hottest Record In The World for week commencing 6th March.  He has started to carve himself a reputation amongst critics but he now needs to translate that into download sales.  He has the voice and the talent, so fingers crossed this will see him reach a much wider audience. 

Kelis – ‘Rumble’ 

Kelis hasn’t been seen inside the top forty since ‘4th Of July (Fireworks)’ which charted back in 2010.  That was her eleventh top forty hit, although she has never reached the top spot with her two biggest hits ‘Milkshake’ and ‘Trick Me’ both stalling at no.2. Her only top forty album remains 2003’s ‘Tasty’ but she will be hoping that her new long player ‘Food’ can become her second. This week sees the release of ‘Rumble’ as the first single to be taken from that album and the digital format features three brand new mixes; the Breach Remix, the Breach Extended Mix and the Breach Extended Dub. A video to the track ‘Jerk (Ribs)’ from the album was released as a taster in February and the promo film to this single was uploaded on March 24th.  This is a fine vocal performance and it will be great to see her back inside the top forty where she belongs.

Kiesza – ‘Hideaway’

She may also be a trained ballerina but it is as a singer songwriter that Kiesza is plying her trade.  Hailing from Canada and now living in New York, she releases her debut single ‘Hideaway’ this week.  She is a former Navy reservist, and appeared in London in 2010 where she performed in honour of Canada Day. The official video to the track was shot in one take and picked up over 900k views during its first six weeks of upload. The track received its first UK play on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show as part of her Macs Special Delivery segment. She has achieved over 7,000 Like’s on her Facebook page and with her reputation set to grow over the coming weeks that is sure to increase significantly. Pre-sales of the single have been very positive and it looks like this could be a strong contender for the top spot next Sunday afternoon.

Meridian Dan featuring Big H & JME – ‘German Whip’

Meridian Dan’s dance track ‘German Whip’ first surfaced last year but now gets a full release on the PMR label, home to Disclosure and Jessie Ware.  Although this is the first single where he has played the lead role he has already performed on tracks by fellow artists Paper Pabs, Mike GLC and Milli Major.  This time around he teams up with Hackney born rapper JME and Edmonton based Grime MC Big H. The original accompanying music video was first uploaded at the end of September 2013 and has notched up over 1.9m views since then although a brand new version was uploaded in March 2014 quickly picked up over 100k views during its first two weeks.  It has been on Radio 1Xtra’s playlist and was Charlie Sloth’s Record Of The Week. This looks set to be one of those dance tracks which is able to make the transition over to the mainstream.

Shift K3y – ‘Touch’

Lewis Jankel is just 20 years old, and goes by the stage name of Shift K3y.  This week sees him release his new single ‘Touch’ which comes released on a digital format with the new song ‘Make It Good’ alongside four new mixes of the main track; the Radio Edit, the Chris Lorenzo Remix, the Oxford Remix and the Three Bar Remix.  Journalists have drawn comparison between him and Craig David with his music being reminiscent of his garage-pop sound which was so popular in his early career. He has also found himself in demand as a producer whereby he has worked on remixes of songs by Iggy Azalea, Aluna George and Tinie Tempah.  The accompanying music video was uploaded to his Vevo account at the start of March and it notched up over 300k views in its first month. Watch out for this appearing somewhere inside the top forty.

Showtek & Justin Prime featuring Matthew Koma – ‘Cannonball (Earthquake)’

Dutch electronic dance act Showtek consists of brothers Sjoerd and Wouter Janssen who have been making music together since 2001.  Last year saw their We Are Loud! and Sonny Wilson collaboration ‘Booyah’ reach the top five and now they are teaming up with Justin Prime and Matthew Koma on their new single ‘Cannonball (Earthquake)’. The single has already made the top five in Belgium and their native Netherlands so it will be interesting to see if it will replicate that success in the UK. There are a total of six new mixes available on the digital format of the release; the Radio Mix, the Brooks Remix, the M&F Remix, the Yellow Claw Remix, the Kryder Remix and the Extended Mix. The official music video to the track was uploaded in early March and it received over 800k views during its first three weeks.  I think this will be a new entry for them next weekend.

Also released this week are ‘Hustle’ by 50 Cent, ‘Back In The World’ by David Gray and ‘The Sound Of Strength EP’ by Laura Wright.

Next Week…

My money is on Kiesza to debut at the top with ‘Hideaway’ but expect high new entries from Elyar Fox, Shift K3y and Meridian Dan featuring Big H and JME. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include Dominique Young Unique, The Kooks, Mr Probz and Neon Jungle.  Until then have yourself a good week.

 

Ian Anderson

13 April, 2014 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Album Review : Ian Anderson – ‘Homo Erraticus’ (14.04.14)

Chart Chat Album Review : Ian Anderson – ‘Homo Erraticus’ (14.04.14)

This week sees the return of Jethro Tull mainman Ian Anderson (no relation) with his brand new album ‘Homo Erraticus’. Once again Gerald Bostock forms part of the proceedings, a character that Anderson fans will be well accustomed to.

The character of Gerald Bostock was first explored on the ‘Thick As A Brick’ album in 1972 when he was just a young boy.  Exactly what happened to Gerald was then revisited on the sequel ‘Thick As A Brick 2’ which saw the light of day in 2012.  This time around Bostock has uncovered a book entitled ‘Homo Erraticus (The St Cleve Chronices)’ which was written by the equally fictional Ernest T Parritt (1865 – 1928) and details key historical elements of British civilisation and then looks to the future and what it might hold. The premise of the album is that Bostock has written some lyrics around this book and sent them to Anderson.  Let the story commence…

The album is divided into three parts :

Part One : The Chronicles

Doggerland

This is quite a rocky number, backed with John O’Hara’s hammond guitar and Anderson’s trademark flute.  Fans of progressive rock will be delighted with this opening, but it is far more modern than the origins of that genre which were laid in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It sets the scene for the stories ahead with lyrics including “all across the Doggerland / all across before the tides / across with boar and elk and wolves / take the highlands near and wide”.  It begins in 7000 BCE, covering Neolithic man and Beaker People.

Heavy Metals

Despite its title this is a beautifully composed acoustic number, though weighing in at just 92 seconds long it serves more as a link to the story than a track in its own right.  It sees the story move towards the present day, now bridging the gap from 750 BCE to 43 CE which covers the Iron age and the birth of the plough, the axe and the sword.

Enter The Uninvited

Released on the internet as a form of teaser for the album, this sees the topics move through the Romans, Saxons and Vikings and on to the American influences on the world which range from “Playboy, Newsweek, Time and Life” through to “Elvis hips and Monroe lips” before name checking “Apple Mac and iPhone App”.  Even the Somerset Levels get a mention – residents of that area could not have anticipated just how famous their area would become in 2014, though none would have welcomed the floods that brought them to the front pages. It’s a catchy number and one of the songs I have been quick to revisit after my first listen.

Puer Ferox Adventus (Wild Child Coming)

At just over seven minutes long this is closest this album comes to an old fashioned epic.  It kicks off around 313 CE when Christianity first came to dominate Europe after Emperor Constantine The Great permitted and promoted the religion across the Roman Empire. It’s certainly a track where you have to follow the lyrics to gain full understanding of what is going on.  For me this is a good thing, taking me back to the days of my childhood where I would expectantly put the needle on the latest LP I had purchased while sitting down with the sleeve notes and lyrics in my hand.

Meliora Sequamur (Let Us Follow Better Things)

Another Latin named track, and this one is set in the 12th Century and focuses on Grammar School education.  Anderson paints a picture describing “Motarboard, gown, hood and lace come / guide me in learning, in ascension” against an acoustic backdrop.  It is perhaps one of the tracks that passes me by initially but may grow upon subsequent plays of the album.

The Turnpike Inn

The tempo moves back up from folk into rock mode for this track.  As the title may suggest, lyrically this centres around the mid 1750’s when highwaymen would be feared along the paths travelled by horses and their rich passengers.  I love this track and at just three minutes long it would probably sit quite well on the radio although I believe this album is best enjoyed in its entirety rather than being chopped up into singles as and when the record label deems fit.

The Engineer

Time now to fast forward to 1847 when engineering was beginning to make dramatic advancements.  Events noted here include Brunel’s tunnels, tracks and bridges alongside the railway and steamships sailing to the Americas. Lyrics include “Hard, cast in iron, that engineer : God bless Isambard / Piston scraping, furnace-busting / (he) plays the winning card”.  It leads nicely on to the last track in the first part of the album.

The Pax Britannica

And so the first part of the album draws to the close with this, the eight track. This takes the listener through the century from 1815 to 1914, taking in Albert, Victoria, Commerce and trade while hinting at the power and corruption to follow.  “Pax Britannica, Pax Britannica, rules the headland and the wave / Hansa spirit will enrich us, keep us from an early grave / Sweet Victoria, Mother England, gracious queen whom God will save” come the lyrics telling of the time when the British empire was in its prime. 

Part Two : Prophecies

Tripidium Ad Bellum

This starts in 1914 at the start of World War I and oncludes in 1939 just as World War II is to begin.  Musically there is a full on flute solo as this track introduces the second section of the album.  It’s somewhat shorter than the first, consisting of just three tracks which add up to barely ten minutes of playing time.  There are no lyrics here, instead the listener is invited to enjoy the rich tapestry of music on offer here.

After These Wars

This track opens beautifully and gently moving the story on to the 1950’s which saw the arrival of the television and new prosperity as the effects of World War II started to ease.  The British empire was in decline as the world went through a period of genuine transition. The track contains the finest guitar solo on the album although as you would expect Anderson’s flute can also be heard. My favourite lyrics have to be “We thanked the Yank and thanked the Lord / for sparing us from dark invasion.  Now to liberate, rebuild and balance Europe’s new equation”.

New Blood, Old Veins

The second part draws to a close with a nod to the 1960’s where package holidays first started to take off, introducing Europe to the Brit abroad on holiday.

Part Three : Revelations

In For A Pound

Fast forward to 2013, and this is a 37 second track which opens the third and final part of the album.  “I’ve started to I’ll finish.  I’m here, so I’ll stay” declares Anderson as the listener is about to go through the present and into the future.

The Browning Of The Green

Finally we reach the present day and the topic of overpopulation comes up as the chorus notes “it’s the browning of the green / we’ll be tight as canned sardine”.  Again it’s a little more rocky, but with generous helpings of keyboards and flute along the way.

Per Errationes Ad Astra

Just as Tripidium Ad Bellum has no words, this track has no music.  Set in 2024 the sleevenotes describe it as a “warning from the far, alien side” although it namechecks Neil, Buzz and Michael from the 1960’s Apollo mission to the moon.

Cold Dead Reckoning

Now the album concludes as we head thirty years into the future with turmoil, tempest, sea-level rise and the end of the old order. Musically it very much follows the rest of the album and it seems a fine way to end proceedings.

This album is entertaining from start to finish. Listeners should take time to read Anderson’s foreword and the notes from Gerald Bostock as it has been developed as a complete package.  I managed to get my hands on a deluxe edition which also contains an additional DVD featuring a “Making Of” piece and a 5.1 Surround Sound version of the album. His last outing on ‘Thick As A Brick 2’ saw him back inside the top forty album chart and I think that this could do even better for him.

Finally people often ask me if I was named after Ian, but my parents were unaware of the delights of Jethro Tull.  However given my taste in music I am very happy to share my name with the legendary performer!

 

Ian Anderson (not the same one)

@chartchatuk

13 April, 2014 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment