ChartChatUK

talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 755 – W/C 11.05.14

Chart Chat Edition 755 – Week Commencing Sunday 11th May 2014 

Introduction

Welcome to edition 755 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 five new entries, one re-entry, nine climbers, twenty three songs going down and two non movers on this weeks chart. There was a change at the top as Mr Probz went back up one to no.1 with ‘Waves (Robin Schulz Remix)’ while Calvin Harris dropped a place to no.2 with ‘Summer’.

Kiesza was a non mover at no.3 with ‘Hideaway’ but John Legend climbed back up one to no.4 with ‘All Of Me’. Sigma fell one to no.5 with ‘Nobody To Love’ and Pitbull featuring G.R.L. got a new entry at no.6 with ‘Wild Wild Love’. Paloma Faith climbed thirteen places to no.7 with ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’ and Tove Lo featuring Hippie Sabotage went down one to no.8 with ‘Stay High’. Cash Cash featuring Bebe Rexha fell three places to no.9 with ‘Take Me Home’ and Iggy Azalea featuring Charlie XCX completed the picture going down down one to no.10 with ‘Fancy’.

One other new entry was to be found in the remainder of the top twenty which was Foxes with ‘Holding On To Heaven’ which went straight in at no.14.

Justin Timberlake climbed one to no.21 with ‘Not A Bad Thing’ while Gary Barlow re-entered at no.22 with ‘Let Me Go’ follow his When Cordon Met Barlow interview.  DJ Snake featuring Lil Jon climbed one to no.23 with ‘Turn Down For What’ and Michael Jackson climbed three to no.24 with ‘Love Never Felt So Good’.   Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn & Idina Menzel went up one to no.28 with ‘Do You Want To Build A Snowman’ and Pharrell Williams climbed ten to no.30 with ‘Marilyn Monroe’.  Alicia Keys featuring Kendrick Lamar went up eight to no.31 with ‘It’s On Again’ while Molly went straight in at no.33 with ‘Children Of The Universe’. Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg got a new entry at no.34 with ‘Wiggle’ and Katy Perry went straight in at no.38 with ‘Birthday’.

New Releases

Conchita Wurst – ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’

This started to sell following its Eurovision Song Contest victory, and with a full week of sales this week it is sure to go higher. For those unaware Conchita Wurst was the Austrian entry who gained considerable press attention for teaming his beard with a dress and full make up. The song was a runaway winner, and received 12 points from UK viewers. Other Eurovision tracks picking up downloads in the UK have included ‘Cliche Love Song’ (Denmark), Undo (Sweden), ‘No Prejudice’ (Iceland) and ‘Coming Home’ (Malta). Those of a superstitious nature have been quick to point out that the last time Austria won this contest was the year that England won the football World Cup. However I think that it is unlikely we will see that combination again this year!  This is a decent ballad which will no doubt be a big hit across the whole of Europe.

Dan Sartain – ‘Pass This On’

American rock n roll musician Dan Sartain releases his new single ‘Pass This On’ this week.  While he hasn’t troubled the top forty as yet he has enjoyed some success on the Indie chart where ‘Flight Of The Finch’ was his biggest hit, peaking at no.16. The single is taken from his forthcoming album ‘Dudesblood’ and is released on a digital format containing the bonus track ‘Dust’.  As yet he doesn’t have any confirmed live appearances coming up but it is hoped that he might be on the bill at some of the big festivals later this Summer.  Reaction to the official video has been quite slow with just 2,400 views picked up during its first three weeks of upload. You’re unlikely to hear this on your local commercial station which is jammed full of bland music by numbers, but that’s not an excuse not to listen to this as you might just discover something new.

Jake Bugg – ‘Messed Up Kids EP’

Jake Bugg has nine top 100 singles to his name but just two have made the top forty.  ‘Lightning Bolt’ was the biggest of those, and it also gained him a wider listenership when it was used in a British Airways advert at the end of last year.  His two albums ‘Jake Bugg’ and ‘Shangri-La’ both made the top three with the former topping the charts upon its release in 2012.  His new single ‘Messed Up Kids’ is taken from his ‘Shangri-La’ album and is the lead track of his new EP which also contains three other tracks; ‘A Change In The Air’, ‘Strange Creatures’ and ‘The Odds’.  He recently completed a tour of Japan and will tour the US over the Summer before heading back to the UK to appear at established festivals Glastonbury and T In The Park.  History suggests this will struggle to make any signficant inroads into the top forty but fans will be keen to hear the new material.

Katie Sky – ‘Monsters’

British singer / songwriter Katie Sky releases her brand new single ‘Monsters’ this week.  You may already have heard the version Katie recorded with Timeflies which picked up an impressive 400k views on their Vevo channel during the first two weeks of upload, but this particular take is Katie’s alone.  It is more acoustic that the Timeflies version but that certainly does not necessarily detract from it. Her previous singles ‘Sweet Sweet Melody’ and ‘Only You’ picked up 200k views on YouTube and she is slowly building a solid fanbase.  She will need to sell well over 10k downloads if she is to appear inside the top forty, but at present she has 5k followers on Twitter and just over 8k Likes on Facebook so she will need some mainstream airplay to help her along.  It’s a great song and it would be great to see her inside the top forty next weekend.

Kylie Minogue – ‘I Was Gonna Cancel’

At terms I have been uncertain regarding the promotion of the current Kylie album.  ‘Into The Blue’ was the opening single, and despite being in the top ten at the midweek point the biggest selling single track download was withdrawn and the track made no.12. Then came a video to ‘Sexercise’ but no official single release was declared, with a decision to follow up with ‘I Was Gonna Cancel’ which has been produced by the man of the minute Pharrell Williams.  Fans can download an EP of remixes including the Presets Remix, the Maze & Masters Remix, the Moto Blanco Remix and the KDA Remix.  This should go on and give her a fiftieth top forty hit, a tally which has included seven no.1s and eleven no.2s. Despite being denied the top spot by George Michael’s ‘Symphonica’, her ‘Kiss Me Once’ album has been well received.  Hopefully more hits can be taken from it in the coming months.

Nick Mulvey – ‘Meet Me There’

Former Portico Quartet member Nick Mulvey releases his debut album ‘First Mind’ next weekend and while I had little doubt regarding the success of him with the longer format I was pleasantly surprised to see his last single ‘Cucurucu’ chart inside the top thirty.  Now he is aiming to make it two hits in a row with the release of his new single ‘Meet Me There’.  It is released digitally with a live version of ‘Cucurucu’ recorded at the Emanuel United Reform Church in Cambridge as the bonus track.  Last week saw him appear at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival while he is set to support London Grammar on their UK tour in June. A live version of the track was uploaded to his Vevo account and picked up over 45k views in its first three weeks.  I am expecting the album to make a top ten debut next weekend and let’s hope that this will give him a second top forty single.

Paloma Faith – ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This (Remixes)’

Although this has already reached the top forty due to fans downloading the album track, this week sees the official release of Paloma’s new single ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’.  It is released digitally and features two new mixes; the Adam Turner Remix and the MS MR Remix. It marks her sixth top forty hit and comes from her album ‘A Perfect Contradiction’ which has already yielded the Pharrell Williams produced top ten hit ‘Can’t Rely On You’. The official video was first uploaded at the end of April and it received 200k views during its first week.  She has a series of live performances planned for this year including two nights at The Roundhouse in Camden later this month and an appearance at The Royal Albert Hall in September.  This is a great single and hopefully will continue to climb up the charts next weekend.

Rita Ora – ‘I Will Never Let You Down’

Rita Ora has already set some pretty high standards very early in her career.  Her first three tracks all went to the top of the charts (including her guest appearance on DJ Fresh’s ‘Hot Right Now’) and her debut album also made no.1.  A further two top twenty singles came from the album and now comes the first taste of some new material in the shape of ‘I Will Never Let You Down’.  It is set to feature on her forthcoming album ‘O’ and if her Vevo account is anything to go by it is set to be a monster hit as it received 6.5m views during its first three weeks of upload. It has been written and produced by Calvin Harris and he is a man who it seems can do no wrong right now. It certainly stands out as the only real contender for the highest new entry next weekend and my prediction is that it will go straight in at the top of the charts. 

Saint Raymond – ‘Ghosts EP’

Next up this week is Nottingham based singer / songwriter Callum Burrows (aka Saint Raymond) who releases his brand new EP ‘Ghosts’ this week on the Warner Brothers label. Alongside the title track it contains three other new songs; ‘Everything She Wants’, ‘Brighter Days’ and a live version of The Jam track ‘English Rose’ recorded at the Maida Vale Studios for Radio 1’s Zane Lowe.  He released his first EP ‘Escapade’ last year, and followed that up with another EP ‘Young Blood’ earlier this year.  Fans wishing to catch him live will be able to do so next week when he appears at the Scala in London on 14th May while anyone wanting to hear more can pick up a free acoustic track by signing up to his mailing list on Facebook.  In his career so far he has yet to see one of his tracks appear inside the top forty but that will come in time.

Also released this week are ‘Winners Circle’ by 50 Cent featuring Gurodan Banks, ‘I Wish I Could Break Your Heart’ by Cassade Pope, ‘In The Quiet’ by George The Poet & Nick Brewer, ‘Real Girls Eat Cake’ by The Janoskians, ‘G.U.Y.’ by Lady Gaga, ‘Midnight On The Hill’ by Maximo Park, ‘Tension’ by Mike Delinquent Project featuring Terri Walker, ‘Satisfy’ by Nero and ‘Don’t You Dare’ by Taio Cruz.

Next Week…

It’s hard to see anyone stopping Rita Ora from becoming next weeks no.1 but Mr Probz won’t give up without a fight.  Eurovision runners up The Common Linnets could also score a surprise high new entry so anything is possible. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include Bombay Bicycle Club, Eminem featuring Nate Ruess, Grouplove and Jedward. Until then have yourself a good week.

 

Ian Anderson

11 May, 2014 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Album Review : Michael Jackson – ‘Xscape’ (12.05.14)

Chart Chat Album Review : Michael Jackson – ‘Xscape’ (12.05.14)

When I was young I remember rushing into town to queue up to pick up a copy of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ as soon as it was released. Even now there is something exciting about a new Michael Jackson album, even if in this instance that excitement was tempered slightly by the disappointment of ‘Michael’, his first posthumous release.

While many feel ‘Michael’ was rushed, this latest release has more of a labour of love feel to it with the likes of Timbaland, Stargate and LA Reid & Babyface lending their talents to ensure that the result does the King of Pop’s memory justice.

What follows are our thoughts on the new ‘Xscape’ album track by track :

Love Never Felt So Good

The Justin Timberlake version features later on the albums track listing, and this is just Michael on his own.  I really like this, and the sound achieved is very reminiscent of the early 80’s ‘Off The Wall’ Michael Jackson.  My only slight concern is that this was first recorded in 1983, so Michael had not chosen to include this on any of his albums released in the intervening twenty six years before his death.  The question is that if he wanted us to hear it why did he not choose to release it? We will never get a chance to fully answer that question, and if we disregard that argument then it is a fine pop song although it hasn’t performed as well in the charts as I thought it might.  This version also shows that it probably didn’t need to have Justin Timberlake on it at all!

Chicago

This is a more up to date song, having first been recorded in 1999. The track was written by former Sony VP Cory Rooney and we are told that Michael fell in love with it the first time he heard the scratch demo version. It certainly sounds more modern than ‘Love Never Felt So Good’ and perhaps should have featured on his 2001 album ‘Invincible’. It was initially known as ‘She Was Loving Me’ but later changed to simply ‘Chicago’, though as the sleeve notes mention it is not to be confused with ‘Chicago 1945’ which was an unreleased track from the ‘Bad’ recording sessions.

Loving You

This track was actually written by Michael alone, and so it’s interesting to hear it in a completed format here.  It was recorded around the time of the ‘Bad’ sessions, but with the standards so high (remember the album contained nine top twenty singles in the UK) it didn’t make the cut back then. It does have almost a Motown feel to it, but Timbaland has done a great job in terms of his production to give it a 2014 feel to it.  I don’t think I would pick this one out as a possible future single but it’s a decent song nonetheless.

A Place With No Name

Just as his cover of Eric Clapton’s ‘Behind The Mask’ was a curious inclusion on ‘Michael’, this update of America’s 1972 hit ‘Horse With No Name’ is an unusual choice here. If you listen to the original version (which can be found on the deluxe format), the similarity is a lot more apparent but Stargate have done a good job as producers to bring the track up to date.  Strangely enough the updated track has an intro which is reminiscent of ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’. On balance I think that it is good that only eight tracks have been selected for the album when the temptation would have been to pad it out with a few fillers.  However it is much more exciting to hear his own material rather than covers of other artist’s songs so it would have been my choice to leave this one out.

Slave To The Rhythm

Not to be confused with the Grace Jones track of the same name, this is classic Michael Jackson.  It was written in 1991 around the time of the ‘Dangerous’ album and is certainly of good enough quality to have made it onto that album. It would sound great with some additional dance remixes, and would compete well with many of today’s contemporary artists. It was co-written by the LA Reid / Babyface production duo who have been behind so many great r’n’b tracks over the years.  I would love to see this get a full promotional video and to see it released as a single because I think that it would do well.

Do You Know Where Your Children Are

This began life during the ‘Bad’ sessions, and continued to develop during ‘Dangerous’.  With its lyrics which touch on the sexual abuse of children (“She wrote that she is tired / of step daddy using her / saying that he’ll buy her things / while sexually abusing her”) there may well of been one or two executives worried about releasing that at a time when accusations against Michael were being made.  While he was found innocent, this track would certainly have received its fair share of press attention.  It’s actually one of the better songs to be found here though, and if this was an LP I would say that the second side is better than the first.

Blue Gangsta

Arguably a distant relative of ‘Smooth Criminal’ this is a track which takes me back to the Michael Jackson sound of the late 1980’s / early 1990’s.  This was one of three tracks Michael worked on with Dr Freeze back in 1999 with only one (‘Break Of Dawn’) actually making it onto ‘Invincible’ while the other two (this one and ‘A Place With No Name’) surface here. Timbaland’s work on transforming the track shows exactly what is possible with some of Michael’s later material.  You can imagine this could have had a great video to accompany it and would have been a top five hit in his heyday.

Xscape

Rodney Jerkins first presented Michael with a demo of this in 1999, and he was instantly excited about it apparently proclaiming “wait till the world hears ‘Xscape'”. What happened in the next two years remains a mystery as why tracks such as strong as this were held back from the disappointing ‘Invincible’ album is anyone’s guess.  It’s good to end the main album on a high when so many LP’s tend to fade out.  Again this would certainly have been a successful single earlier in his career and earns its place here.

Bonus ‘Deluxe Version’ tracks

The deluxe version features the original version of each of the tracks, along with the Michael and Justin Timberlake duet version of ‘Love Never Felt So Good’.  It’s very interesting to give fans a glimpse of how these tracks started out, and what they became. There is also a DVD containing a “Making Of” documentary which provides even more detail about how the album was compiled.

Overall I am a little undecided on the album as a whole.  There are glimpses of Michael’s genius, and there are enough moments here to justify their release.  However with just eight songs I would have left the ‘A Place With No Name’ cover off, and the question still remains over the fact that Michael did not choose them for any of the albums released in his lifetime.  So are they simply cast offs? No, I believe they are better than that.  We know that the producers have taken their job very seriously in picking out songs for this album, and only Michael himself could say if he was happy with this result.  I don’t think fans will be disappointed, but I can’t help thinking that ‘Michael’ and ‘Xscape’ could have been crunched together as one much more cohesive album. 

 

Ian Anderson

 

11 May, 2014 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment