ChartChatUK

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Chart Chat Edition 792 – W/C 25.01.15

Chart Chat Edition 792 – Week Commencing Sunday 25th January 2015

Introduction

Welcome to edition 792 of Chart Chat, the music review site which has been running for over fifteen 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 was one new entry, eight climbers, twenty three songs going down and eight non movers on this weeks chart.

Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars held on for a sixth week at the top with ‘Uptown Funk’ as the track set yet another new streaming record with 2.562 million streams being achieved during the week. They held off a strong challenge from Meghan Trainor who went straight in at no.2 with ‘Lips Are Movin”.

Hozier held steady at no.3 with ‘Take Me To Church’ while Philip George went down two to no.4 with ‘Wish You Were Mine’.  Olly Murs featuring Demi Lovato dropped one to no.5 with ‘Up’ and Ed Sheeran went down one to no.6 with ‘Thinking Of You’. Alesso was a non mover at no.7 with ‘Heroes (We Could Be)’ and Avicii climbed eight to no.8 with ‘The Nights’. Taylor Swift fell three to no.9 with ‘Blank Space’ and the top ten was concluded by Ben Haenow who went down two to no.10 with ‘Something I Need’.

A further three climbers were to be found in what remained of the top twenty. Sia climbed two to no.11 with ‘Elastic Heart’ and Echosmith went up eleven places to no.17 with ‘Cool Kids’. The final climber went to Taylor Swift who climbed seven places to no.19 with ‘Shake It Off’.

There were four climbers to be found in the lower half of this weeks chart. George Ezra climbed one to no.24 with ‘Blame It On Me’ and James Bay went back up two to no.29 with ‘Hold Back The River’. Jeremih featuring YG climbed one to no.31 with ‘Don’t Tell Em’ while Sigma featuring Paloma Faith went up one to no.36 with ‘Changing’.

New Releases

Alle Farben featuring Graham Candy – ‘She Moves’

First up this week is the German DJ Alle Farben who teams up with Graham Candy for his new single ‘She Moves’ which is released this week. It comes released as a single track download and a digital bundle which features a total of seven new mixes; the Hippie Sabotage Remix, the Bakermat Remix, the Lexer Remix, the Goldfish Remix, the Mazego & Vitesse Remix, the Felon Remix and the Club Mix.  He does not have any confirmed appearances yet for 2015 but did play gigs on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day in his native Germany.  The promotional video which accompanies the track was first uploaded on the 10th November and quickly notched up over 200k views during its first month. Alle is a hugely popular DJ in other parts of Europe so now he will be hoping to translate that success into a first ever UK chart hit.

Emmy The Great – ‘S EP’

Singer, songwriter and occasional journalist Emmy The Great releases her brand new EP entitled S this week.  It features four tracks; ‘Swimming Pool’ (which features Tom Fleming), ‘Social Halo’, ‘Solar Panels’ and ‘Somerset (I Can’t Get Over)’.  A video to accompany the track ‘Swimming Pool’ was uploaded to her Vevo account back in November 2014 and it has been viewed over 30k times since. She has two UK dates coming up in London and Brighton before she jets off to the US. Although she claims to have no desire to move into journalism she has written a very interesting article in The Guardian this week regarding the future of pop music. She has over 18k likes on her Facebook page and fans will be keen to download this EP but unless the lead track picks up any mainstream airplay this won’t be appearing inside the top forty next Sunday afternoon.

Fergie – ‘L.A.Love (La La)’

The last time Fergie appeared on her own was back in 2007 when she saw ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)’ reach no.2 but since then she has guested on Nelly’s top twenty hit ‘Party People’ and David Guetta’s no.1 hit ‘Gettin’ Over You’. She did make a brief appearance in the lower end of the top 100 last year with ‘A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)’ which featured on the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby but now she is back with her new single ‘L.A.Love (La La)’ which has already charted around the world including in Australia, Belgium, Canada and the US. The promotional video was first uploaded to her Vevo account on the 10th November and it has picked up over 19m views since then proving that interest in her remains strong. This looks almost certain to be one of the highest new entries next Sunday afternoon.

Giorgio Moroder & Kylie Minogue – ‘Right Here Right Now’

Legendary Italian producer Giorgio Moroder is back in action this week with a little help from Kylie Minogue on his new single ‘Right Here Right Now’. It combines Kylie’s disco based sound with Giorgio’s synthesizers to great effect and it will surely be a big hit for him. He has worked with some of the biggest stars in the music industry during his career and is now about to launch a new album which is rumoured to include collaborations with Britney Spears, Sia, Charli XCX and Foxes. The last time we heard from him was on Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories’ album where he performed on the track ‘Giorgio By Moroder’. This track does not actually get its full release until Friday 30th January, and so may struggle to make too much of an impact on next Sundays chart due to only having the benefit of two full days of sales.

Iggy Azalea featuring M0 – ‘Beg For It’

Australian born rapper Iggy Azalea has shown a steadily improving chart position with each of her five UK hit singles released so far. They have reached no.17, no.13, no.10, no.5 and no.4 so I wonder if we will see her brand new single ‘Beg For It’ land inside the top three. That looks a possibility although I can’t see it replicating the no.1 success she achieved when guesting on Ariana Grande’s no.1 hit ‘Problem’. The track sees her team up with the Danish singer M0 and it will feature on her  album ‘Reclassified’ which is out this week and is effectively a repackaged version of her album ‘The New Classic’. An audio version of the track was uploaded to her YouTube account and it picked up over 2m listens during its first month so there is clearly considerable interest in the track. Watch out for this riding high on the chart next weekend.

Inspiral Carpets featuring John Cooper Clarke – ‘Let You Down’

Sounding every bit as good as they did twenty five years ago the Inspiral Carpets are back this week with a little help from the legendary John Cooper Clarke on their new single ‘Let You Down’. Clint Boon’s organ remains the distinctive sound, while original vocalist Stephen Holt is back at the front of the band. It is released as a download and 7″ vinyl featuring the radio edit and ‘It’s A Good Job Baby’ as the bonus track. It was recently reviewed on Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable show and got the thumbs up from Mark Nevan, Martyn Ware and Janice Long. It originally featured on their self titled fifth studio album which was released last year and made no.63 in the charts.  It would be great it this could secure them a return to the top forty but the odds are stacked against them.  As much as I love this it doesn’t quite top their collaborations with Mark E.Smith!

Karen Harding – ‘Say Something’

British R&B singer Karen Harding releases her brand new single ‘Say Something’ this week. It is released across three formats which contain a variety of brand new mixes including the hugely popular Zac Samuel remix. She appeared on last years series of X Factor, impressing mentor Nicole Scherzinger with her taken on ‘We Are Young’ by Fun but in the end she lost out on a place at Judge’s Houses to Irish singer Melanie McCabe. Many singers disappear following rejection from the show but Karen has dusted herself off and has got herself a recording contract. She lists her influences as including Mariah Carey, Sade and Whitney Houston and this comes across in her vocal style. The promotional video first appeared at the end of September, and since then it has picked up over 700k views. There is a real buzz around this single and there is every chance that it could make the top ten next weekend.

Moxie Kicks – ‘Soul For You’

Next up this week are Charlie Freeman and Jamie Brown, aka Moxie Kicks, who release their bright and breezy new single ‘Soul For You’.  It comes released as a single track download and a digital bundle which features six new mixes of the track; the Full Intention Remix, the Jose Nunez Remix, the Cutmore Remix, the Deckscar Remix and the Solo Suspex Remix. The promotional video which accompanies the track was first uploaded in June last year and it has picked up over 65k views since then. As such they have been building up to this release for some time and their record label is throwing a launch party this week completed with fire eaters and a plentiful supply of vodka! I’m not sure if this has the legs to reach the top forty, but the guys are in this for the long haul and will hopefully start to increase their following in the coming months.

Selena Gomez – ‘The Heart Wants What It Wants’

Although the American singer and actress Selena Gomez only has two UK top ten hits to her name she has managed to achieve four top twenty albums in her career to date. This week sees the release of the latest compiliation album ‘For You’ and from that comes her brand new single ‘The Heart Wants What It Wants’. The official video was first uploaded to her Vevo account on the 6th November and has achieved an incredible 100m views during its first two months while a version recorded live at the American Music Awards has received over 11m views. If it continues to be viewed at that rate it can go on to match the 306m views achieved by her earlier hit ‘Come & Get It’. While she remains a bigger star the other side of the Atlantic this should certainly do enough to see her back inside the top ten in the UK.

Also released this week are ‘Fire In The Dark’ by Dreadzone, ‘Rhymes’ by Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo, ‘Make Your Own Luck’ by Jedward, ‘FourFiveSeconds’ by Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney, ‘Sugar Man’ by Yolanda Be Cool & DCup and ‘Lost You’ by Zeds Dead featuring Twin Shadow & D’Angelo Lacy.

Next Week…

Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars have a strong chance of holding on at the top but Fergie could yet run them close. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include Fences featuring Macklemore & Lewis, Nick Jonas, Peking Duk featuring Nicole Millar and Sam & The Womp.  Until then have yourself a good week.

Ian Anderson

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25 January, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Album Review : Sleater-Kinney – ‘No Cities To Love’ (19th January 2015)

Chart Chat Album Review : Sleater-Kinney – ‘No Cities To Love’ (19th January 2015)

During their first reign Sleater Kinney were prolific, releasing a total of seven albums between 1995 and 2005.  Then in 2006 they split up and their story seemed to be over.  Fast forward to 2014 and they reformed to begin working on a new album which this week sees the light of day. There is a real buzz around both this album and their current tour which has seen them sell out a concert at London’s Roundhouse venue. The album is short by modern day standards, containing ten tracks which are all under four minutes, but that doesn’t detract from the end product.  There are no fillers here, and although this is a very 2015 album it is also distinctly Sleater-Kinney too.

Fans who are new to the band could do worse than to check out their career spanning seven disc box set ‘Start Together’ which was released last year. It features remastered versions of their studio albums collected in one place.

The album is released on Sub Pop, the label responsible for signing Nirvana, Mudhoney and Soundgarden amongst others. The label has continued with its punk roots and currently homes acts such as Foals, Fleet Foxes and The Shins. It is fantastic to see such excitement surrounding a release on the label so many years after it first came to the fore of the music scene.

‘Price Tag’ opens proceedings and at 3 minutes 54 seconds it is the longest track featured here.  Dealing with the topic of greed and capitalism, it still packs a big punch with lyrics such as “I was blind by the money / I was numb from the greed / I’ll take God when I’m ready / I’ll choose sin till I leave”. It gets the album off to a blistering start and sets the tone for what lays ahead.

‘Surface Envy’ is an early highlight and was one of two songs made available to download ahead of the albums release.  “We win / we lose / only together” comes the hook, and it’s one of the first tracks that I revisited after my first listen of the album in its entirety.

‘No Cities To Love’ follows closely behind and has been generating internet interest via a celebrity filled video which features them (along with the band themselves) singing along to the track. While I feel this album needs to be viewed as a complete body of work if ever there was a track which could be released as a single then this would be it.

‘Bury Our Friends’ arrived on the album at the end of the writing sessions. It comes with a hook line which will stick inside your head from the first time that you hear it. Lyrics include the lines “Exhume our idols / Bury our friends / We’re wild and weary / But we won’t give in” which displays their determination to deliver. Both Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker share the vocal duties and the results speak for themselves.

‘Fade’ brings the curtain down on the album just over half an hour after it started.  The final lyrics give a pause for thought “tell me what do you see in the last script / yeah its a trip – what’s it all for? / if we are truly dancing our swan song, darling / shake it like never before”.

Let’s hope this isn’t their final word, as after such a strong return there remains a promise that they could deliver yet more. The trio may be older than on their last outing but thankfully that hasn’t impacted their enthusiasm or determination to deliver. ‘No Cities To Love’ is creating a buzz in the music industry and quite rightly so.  A reminder, if it were needed, that the best music can often be found outside of the confines of the singles chart.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

24 January, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Album Review : The Charlatans – ‘Modern Nature’ (26th January 2015) (8/10)

Chart Chat Album Review : The Charlatans – Modern Nature (26th January 2015) (8/10)

This marks the first Charlatans album since 2010’s ‘Who We Touch’ and the first since the death of their drummer Jon Brookes. The inscription on the inside of the sleeve dedicates the album to him, and he would be proud to hear just what the band have put together after he passed. Tragically he became the second band member to die following on from keyboardist Rob Collins who passed away in 1996.  It’s hard to believe that it has been twenty five years since the release of their debut album ‘Some Friendly’ which became the first of three no.1 albums. Their last top ten album was ‘Simpatico’ back in 2006 but I think this has a real chance of becoming their highest charting album since then.

Talking In Tones

Kicking off proceedings is ‘Talking In Tones’, one of the four tracks which was made available to download prior to the albums release. It has a slow paced but hypnotic beat to it and the hookline soon gets inside your head after a couple of listens. “I don’t know how to act / When you pick up the phone / I’ll start filling in the gaps / Talking in tones” sings Tim Burgess over a mid tempo backdrop.

So Oh

This was one of the first tracks to be heard on the album with a video to promote the track being uploaded in mid November.  The title gets repeated throughout and that does become a little repetitive. The guitar which kicks in from the start reminds me a little of ‘Just When You’re Thinking Things Over’ and overall I would say it is one that grows the more times that you play it.

Come Home Baby

This has more of a vintage Charlatans feel to it and would make a great single. A video to promote the track was uploaded to their Vevo account on the 15th January, and that has picked up over 25k views during its first week. The track starts slowly but builds to its epic chorus “Come home baby, come home baby / Kiss me gently / I can’t wait / Don’t hesitate / Let’s be together”. It has an uplifting and optimistic feel to it and it’s certainly one of the albums highlights.

Keep Enough

This track is much less immediate than some of it’s counterparts.  The theme of moving on can once again be heard in the lyrics. “Is this the beginning / Cos it feels like a start / Remember where you were yesterday” precede the simple chorus “Keep it up / keep enough”.  It shows a more tender side to the band and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

In The Tall Grass

Another of the tracks that could have been downloaded prior to the albums release.  It starts with a simple keyboard pattern courtesy of Tony Rogers who also provides backing vocals to the track but then builds as the vocals kick in. “Felt free in the tall grass / Letting go of the past” sings Tim Burgess as he delivers

Emilie

For me this is one of the albums highlights. It’s certainly one of the catchiest tracks on here and would be another contender to be released as a single. It is also the shortest track on the album at just 3 minutes 20 seconds but it’s punchy enough to get its message across during that time.

Let The Good Times Be Never Ending

Again some fine keyboard work is in evidence here on a track which is almost half instrumental.  Dexys’ trombone player ‘Big’ Jim Paterson is a guest while it is one of three tracks to feature Factory Floor drummer Gabriel Gurnsey on percussion. While both of those musicians add some flavour to the track is quite lengthy with a running time of over six minutes. It’s upbeat and uplifting with the band casting an eye towards a positie future while still acknowledging the events of the past.

I Need You To Know

This is a fantastic song, a real smouldering slow burner. “I could have said / I should have said / It’s always the same / Can I tell you / Before it’s too late” are the lyrics at the start of the song, and whether they are linked to everyday relationships or life and death matters they are words that we can all relate to.

Lean In

By far the most straight forward and uptempo song on here, and that’s probably why it is my favourite.  At 3 minutes 47 seconds long it is perfect in terms of radio play and it would be great if this gave them their first top forty single in almost nine years. Factory Floor’s Nik Colk Void provides backing vocals here, and it’s one of the first tracks I returned to after giving the album its initial play.

Trouble Understanding

Another slower track but one which examines the vulnerability which affects us all. “Another minute / And it could be / A different ending / Another second / And it’s gone” reminds us just how fragile life can be.

Lot To Say

In some ways this is a strange choice to end the album with as for me this is one of the weaker tracks to be found here. Compared to some of the others on the album this is a light touch in terms of both the lyrics and instrumentation. It’s a shame because the album as a whole is very strong, and while this is by no means a bad track it’s just not as strong as it could have been.

Fans who purchase the deluxe version can also receive the tracks ‘We Sleep On Borrowed Time’, ‘Walk With Me’, ‘As Long As You Stick By Me’ and a demo version of ‘I Will Never Leave You’.

When I initially heard ‘Talking In Tones’ and ‘So Oh’ I wasn’t immediately struck by them, but both are growers. I was delighted with the album, particularly ‘Lean In’, ‘Emilie’ and ‘Come Home Baby’. It’s a strong collection of songs and for me this is their best album in several years. If you have been a fan of the band at any point during their career then I recommend that you buy this.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

24 January, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 791 – W/C 18.01.15

Chart Chat Edition 791 – Week Commencing Sunday 18th January 2015

Introduction

Welcome to edition 791 of Chart Chat, the music review site which has been running for over fifteen 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 two new entries, two re-entries, twelve climbers, nineteen songs going down and five non movers on this weeks chart. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars held on for a fifth week at the top with ‘Uptown Funk’ and thus became the act to spend most weeks at no.1 since Robin Thicke back in 2013.  They had to held off another challenge from Philip George who showed no signs of fading from 2nd place with ‘Wish You Were Mine’.

Hozier climbed two to no.3 with ‘Take Me To Church’ and Olly Murs featuring Demi Lovato held steady for another week at no.4 with ‘Up’. Ed Sheeran fell two to no.5 with ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Taylor Swift was a non mover at no.6 with ‘Blank Space’. Alesso featuring Tove Lo went back up two to no.7 with ‘Heroes (We Could Be)’ and Ben Haenow was a non mover at no.8 with ‘Something I Need’. Tchami featuring Kaleem Taylor fell two to no.9 with ‘Promesses’ and the top ten was rounded off by Sam Smith who went up three to no.10 with ‘Like I Can’.

There was one new entry and four climbers in what remained of the top twenty. Sia featuring The Weeknd & Diplo got a new entry at no.13 with ‘Elastic Heart’ and Blonde featuring Melissa Steel climbed four to no.15 with ‘I Loved You’. Avicii got a new entry at no.16 with ‘The Nights’ while George Ezra went up one to no.17 with ‘Budapest’. Sia was the final climber, going back up three to no.19 with ‘Chandalier’.

There were two re-entries and six climbers in the lower half of this weeks chart. Sam Smith went back up three to no.21 with ‘I’m Not The Only One’ and also climbed three to no.24 with ‘Stay With Me’. George Ezra went up one to no.25 with ‘Blame It On Me’ and Echosmith climbed eleven to no.28 with ‘Cool Kids’. James Bay went back up five to no.31 with ‘Hold Back The River’ while Jeremih featuring YG re-entered at no.32 with ‘Don’t Tell Em’. John Legend went up four to no.33 with ‘All Of Me’ and LILLYWOOD & Robin Schulz re-entered at no.38 with ‘Prayer In C’.

New Releases

Holly Johnson – ‘Heavens Eyes’

First up under review this week is former Frankie Goes To Hollywood vocalist Holly Johnson with his new single ‘Heavens Eyes’. It comes released as a digital bundle on the Pleasuredome label and features six new mixes of the track; the Radio Edit, the Cutmore Uplifting Radio Edit, the JRMX Club Mix, the Sharp Boys Dub, the E.N.V Remix and the Cutmore Uplifting Club Mix.  It has been over twenty five years since his last top forty hit ‘Atomic City’ but last year saw him back in the lower reaches of the album chart with his long player ‘Europa’. He still clearly has an ear for a good tune, and it would have been a big hit in years gone by. Sadly now it seems unlikely that he will be able to gain enough airplay on TV or radio to draw wider attention to this single. As such I suspect this will miss out on the top forty next Sunday afternoon.

Jess Mattic – ‘The Theme’

Jess Mattic are releasing one track per month from now until July with each one already available to preorder on iTunes. First up is the seventies funk infused track ‘The Theme’. The band are actually a duo consisting of Jessie Burner and Matt Fair “Matticulous” who claim to be creating a new vision of sound for dance music exploration. Future releases are set to include ‘Sweet Harmony’ (February), ‘Loopin” (March), ‘Cool-Aide’ (April), ‘The Experience’ (May), ‘Funkin Dance’ (June) and ‘Burnin Hot’ (July). Fans who are new to the duo can investigate the bands back catalogue which includes EPs numbered one to ten and singles such as ‘Coming From Space’ and ‘Too Many Pills’. Their electronic music and mixes do make them stand out from the crowd but they will need to secure some commercial radio airplay if they are to make the transition to the mainstream charts.

Laura Welsh – ‘Ghosts’

It’s a big week for Laura Welsh as she releases both her new single ‘Ghosts’ and her album ‘Soft Control’. To date her only appearance of note on the singles chart came when she guested on the Gorgon City top ten hit ‘Here For You’. She first uploaded the video to this track to her Vevo account on 11th December and it notched up just over 50k views during its first three weeks. Fans wishing to catch her live were able to do so last week when she played two dates at the Servant Jazz Quarters in London. With simulataneous single and album releases I would expect fans to lean towards buying the longer format. Others who remain to be convinced of her talents can choose to click Like on her Facebook page to receive a free download of the track ‘Cold Front’. For now I think the singles chart will elude her, but that is not a true reflection on her popularity.

Majestic & Jungle 70 – ‘Creeping In The Dark’

‘Creeping In The Dark’ is actually a track which first appeared back in 2013 but it has yet to become a chart hit. In fact it appeared on the 2013 Ministry Of Sound compilations Marbella Sessions and Addicted To Bass without troubling the top 40. It is released this week as a digital bundle on the Capitol Records imprints Speakerbox Media Limited and Blessed Records Limited featuring a total of six brand new mixes; the Original Version, the Armand Van Helden Remix, the Grant Nelson Remix, the Zinc & Colin Francis Remix, the Plastic Funk Remix and the Danny Byrd Remix.  A promotional video to accompany the Armand Van Helden remix was uploaded on their Vevo account at the start of December and it picked up over 160k views during the first month. I think that this will be able to crossover from the dance chart onto the the mainstream next Sunday afternoon.

Meghan Trainor – ‘Lips Are Movin”

For Meghan Trainor, following up a hit as big as ‘All About The Bass’ was always going to be difficult. It became the first track ever to chart based on streaming alone, was top of the chart for a month and the video has managed to achieve well over 464m views worldwide. It’s fair to say that this track doesn’t deviate too far from the winning formula which made ‘Lips Are Movin” such a monster hit and the video has already notched up 64m views. Her debut album ‘Title’ is set for release next week and it appears that for now at least she can do no wrong. I don’t expect this to reach the top spot, but a top five finish should be achievable. However she will need to come up with something a little more varied if she is to enjoy lasting success. However this has already reached the top five in Australia and the US so she doesn’t need to be worried just yet.

Orla Gartland – ‘Lonely People EP’

This week sees the release of Irish singer / songwriter Orla Gartland’s second EP ‘Lonely People’ on her very own label. It’s the follow up to her critically acclaimed 2013 EP Roots’ and contains a total of four brand new tracks; ‘Souveniers’, ‘Whispers’, ‘Get Back’ and the title track itself. The video which accompanies ‘Lonely People’ was uploaded at the end of November and has picked up Orla is about to undertake an eleven date tour of the UK and Ireland which includes two dates in Dublin on the same day (15th February). Her reputation was originally carved out via YouTube but she is quickly turning into a recording artist in her own right. This EP release may come a little early for her to reach the top forty but I predict a bright year ahead for her and hopefully she will be able to make a few festival appearances over the Summer months.

T’Pau – ‘Nowhere’

It’s hard to believe that it has been over twenty three years since ‘Whenever You Need Me’ became the last top forty hit for T’Pau. While other acts might be content to peddle greatest hits tours and repackaged albums they have written a new album entitled ‘Pleasure & Pain’ and this week sees the release of ‘Nowhere’ as the first single to be taken from it. The band are about to set off on a twenty date tour of the UK which will see them play their new material alongside their big hits. For now ‘Nowhere’ would sit quite easily on any of the bands earlier album as it is classic T’Pau. By that I mean that it starts slowly, and builds toward the chorus where Carol Decker’s voice is every bit as good today as it was in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It is released on Carol’s own Gnatfish Records label and is available to buy as a digital download.

Next Week…

It looks like being a close battle between Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars and Meghan Trainor.  Mark may find his chances impacted by sales of his new album, and so I expect Meghan to win out. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include Alle Farben featuring Graham Candy, Denise Pearson, Iggy Azalea featuring M0 and Selena Gomez.

Ian Anderson

18 January, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Album Review : The Waterboys – ‘Modern Blues’ (19th January 2015) (7/10)

Chart Chat Album Review : The Waterboys – ‘Modern Blues’ (19th January 2015) (7/10)

The beginning of The Waterboys can be traced back to 1983, some thirty two years ago.  Their first hit came with ‘Whole Of The Moon’ in 1985, a track that made no.26 then but returned in 1991 to reach no.3. Their peak in terms of commercial success came in the early 1990’s when both ‘Dream Harder’ and ‘Room To Roam’ albums reached the top five. This week sees the release of ‘Modern Blues’, their first album since 2011’s ‘An Appointment With Mr Yeats’ and fans will be keen to find out whether it lives up to expectations.

This album was never going to re-write rock history, but sometimes keeping things simple can be the right way to go. There are some wonderful melodies and fantastic lyrics on display over nine tracks with a running time just over 50 minutes. Let’s walk through each track as they appear in order.

Destinies Entwined

This was one of three tracks released to download ahead of the albums release and it’s arguably one of the most commercial on here. Uptempo and rocky with a memorable hookline it will take its place proudly amongst the bands existing catalogue. If there was to be a single chosen this would be among the front runners, but at just under six minutes it might need a bit of trimming and pruning to keep the daytime DJs happy.

November Tale

This is a mid tempo number which rises and falls with some fine melodies.  There ae some colourful lyrics on display too with “Her communique arrived with its expression of her feelings” chosen as the opening line. It’s a great song, and probably my second favourite on the album behind only ‘Rosalind (You Married The Wrong Guy)’ which features later on. It’s the kind of track which would sound fantastic on a Summers day driving in the car with the radio on.

Still A Freak

Arguably the first track which has a more significant blues influence, but it feels a bit light. I would have preferred this to have a slightly heavier production to it and the simple lyrics make it a bit of a throwaway song. It’s one of only two songs to clock in at less than four minutes and it feels like an idea that hasn’t been seen through to the end.

I Can See Elvis

Critics of the band would dismiss this as being too MOR, but you have to listen to tracks such as this in more detail.  Elvis isn’t the only singer to get a namecheck here with Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and John Lennon all getting a mention alongside James Dean, Keith Moon and Charlie Parker. Lyrically it  certainly paints a picture to the listener, and that is a skill not to be underestimated in 2015. This is certainly one of the more immediate tracks and on a personal level I love the organ towards the end.  Some neat guitar work is also on display here.

The Girl Who Slept For Scotland

A curious title and but the track doesn’t quite live up to that promise. It’s pleasant enough and isn’t a song you would necessarily skip but it isn’t one of my favourites either. A very small point is the inclusion of crowd noise, as if in applause, on the first mention of the “the girl who slept for Scotland” lyrics each chorus. It just seems a little out of place, but maybe that’s just me.

Rosalind (You Married The Wrong Guy)

This for me is the highlight of the album, a five minute blues epic which boasts rocky guitars and hammond organs from the outset. Lyrics here include “His courtliness is just an act / a sea of hubris lies behind his tact / when you least expect it he’ll attack / get out with your self-worth intact”.  It’s exactly the kind of song that will sound great live, and it’s also a track that I could imagine the late great Joe Cocker singing. It uses Certainly the first track i revisited after the initial listen of the album.

Beautiful Now

Perhaps the moral here is that the band are better at those slightly longer tracks as this is the one of just two songs which come in at under four minutes and both are the weakest tracks here.  It’s bright and breezy enough and perhaps the closest the album comes to being radio friendly. I don’t dislike it, but when you see what they can create in terms of songs such as ‘Rosalind’ this ends up feeling a little bit second best. It fades with the refrain “I’m going to wrap my love around you” and that’s where we leave it.

Nearest Thing To Hip

Continuing the blues theme the lyrics to this track namecheck Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Miles Davis.  There is indeed some fine trumpet playing on this, and the lyrics reminisce about great shops and cafes which have disappeared from Britains towns and cities. As the third verse charts “I remember an old fashioned bar I once knew / with an old fashioned barman wearing old fashioned clothes / but when I get there it’s been bulldozed”. It’s sung from the heart and is one of the tenderest tracks on here.

Long Strange Golden Road

As many great albums do, this one plays out with a full on epic which is over 10 minutes in length. Mike Scott is on full on storytelling mode on a track which also includes samples by Jack Kerouac and Kondo Tomohiro. The chorus “Keep your eye on the road / remember what you told her / this is all in code, my dear” will certainly stick in your head while the musical backdrop is as rich as the rest of the album. It’s a fine way to sign off, and a reminder that this band still has plenty left in it.

For me this is a welcome return for Mike Scott and the band.  It’s a slightly different sound to that which graced ‘Fishermans Blues’ back in 1988 but it certainly has a place in 2015.  The band have live appearances due in Warwick and London in early February, and on this showing it is well worth getting a ticket. If you are a fan then you won’t be disappointed in ‘Modern Blues’, but at the same time I’m not sure how many new converts it will end up winning over.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

18 January, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 790 – W/C 11.01.15

Chart Chat Edition 790 – Week Commencing Sunday 11th January 2015

Introduction

Welcome to edition 790 of Chart Chat, the music review site which has been running for over fifteen 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 two new entries, two re-entries, eleven climbers, twenty one songs going down and four non movers on this weeks chart. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars retained the top spot with ‘Uptown Funk’ for another week, and once again their nearest challenge came from Philip George who was also a non mover at no.2 with ‘Wish You Were Mine’.

Ed Sheeran was a non mover at no.3 with ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Olly Murs featuring Demi Lovato went back up two places to no.4 with ‘Up’. Hozier climbed five to no.5 with ‘Take Me To Church’ and Taylor Swift fell one to no.6 with ‘Blank Space’. Tchami featuring Kaleem Taylor went straight in at no.7 with ‘Promesses’ and Ben Haenow fell four to no.8 with ‘Something I Need’. Alesso featuring Tove Lo got a non mover at no.9 with ‘Heroes (We Could Be)’ and the top ten was concluded by Meghan Trainor who fell three to no.10 with ‘All About The Bass’.

There were four climbers to be found in what remained of the top twenty. Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynn went up three to no.11 and Sam Smith climbed three to no.13 with ‘Like I Can’. One Direction went up five to no.14 with ‘Night Changes’ and Blonde featuring Melissa Steel climbed twelve to no.19 with ‘I Loved You’.

There was one new entry, two re-entries and five climbers in the lower half of this weeks chart. David Guetta featuring Sam Martin went up one to no.21 with ‘Dangerous’ and Sia climbed two to no.22 with ‘Chandelier’. Sam Smith went up two to no.24 with ‘I’m Not The Only One’ and Kanye West featuring Paul McCartney climbed seven to no.28 with ‘Only One’. Sigma featuring Paloma Faith went up one to no.32 with ‘Changing’ and Beyonce re-entered at no.33 with ‘7/11’. James Bay re-entered at no.38 with ‘Hold Back The River’ and Echosmith got a new entry at no.39 with ‘Cool Kids’.

New Releases

Gwen Stefani – ‘Baby Don’t Lie’

Gwen Stefani released this single in other territories last October, and as such I am unsure as to why she delayed its UK appearance for so long. The promotional video has already picked up over 11.8m views around the world and there is every indication that this will add to her growing tally of UK hits. She has achieved nine top forty hits as a solo artist with six of those going on to reach the top five although she has yet to reach the top spot.  For now her highest charting single remains ‘The Sweet Escape’ which peaked at no.2 back in 2007. It has been over seven years since she last appeared on the chart on her own with ‘4 In The Morning’, but she did return to the album chart in 2012 as part of No Doubt with their comeback ‘Push & Shove’. This is certainly the biggest release of the week and is on track to put in a challenge for the top spot next Sunday afternoon.

Jessie Ware – ‘You & I (Forever)’

Although ‘Devotion’, the debut album by Jessie Ware, reached the top five, none of the singles taken from it managed to reach the top forty. Her fortunes seem to have changed now with her last two singles ‘Tough Love’ and ‘Say You Love Me’ reaching the top forty. Both featured on her recent top ten album ‘Tough Love’ and this week sees the release of her brand new single ‘You & I (Forever)’. It is available as a digital bundle featuring three brand new mixes; the Kidnap Kid Remix, the Shift Key Remix and the SG Lewis Remix. The track has got off to a great start with the promotional video notching up over 1m views during its first month of upload to her Vevo account. Given the relative lack of new releases at this time of year I think that this will do well for her and it should become her first ever top twenty hit at the weekend.

Laura Doggett – ‘Old Faces’

This week sees singer Laura Doggett release her new single ‘Old Faces’ on the Sony label. It’s the follow up to her critically acclaimed single ‘Moonshine’ which she performed live on this weeks Andrew Marr BBC show. If you thought this tune sounded familiar then you have probably heard it underneath the trailer to the ITV series Broadchurch. She is scheduled to appear live at Shakespeares Globe next week but she also has March dates planned in Bath, Bristol and Exeter.  She cites her influences as including Tracy Chapman, Annie Lennox and Imogen Heap and each of those is in evidence here. Now that she has three singles under her belt we can hope to see an album from her before the year is out. For now this is her best chance of securing a debut hit single so I’m sure she will be keeping a keen eye on the top forty next Sunday afternoon.

Kant vs MK – ‘Ey Yo’

Next up under review is ‘Ey Yo’ by Kant which has already appeared on several different compilation albums but has not yet become a chart hit in its own right. This week could see all that change as it gets a full release on the Warner Brothers label as both a single track download (featuring the Radio Edit) and a digital bundle which contains four brand new mixes; the Kant vs MK Mix, the Original Mix, the Grades Remix and the Crookers Remix. MK has had considerable success as a remixer and has worked on tracks by Rudimental featuring Becky Hill, Lana Del Rey, Paloma Faith, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding and Wankelmut & Emma Louise to name but a few. Whether his magic can help this to make the transition over to the mainstream chart remains to be seen but I certainly think that it stands a very good chance next Sunday afternoon.

Rae Morris – ‘Under The Shadows’

Blackpool based singer Rae Morris releases her brand new single ‘Under The Shadows’ this week and it is available as a digital bundle which also contains the Waze & Odyssey Remix as the bonus track. The single will feature on her forthcoming album ‘Unguarded’ which gets its full release in two weeks time. She is about to undertake a twelve date tour during February which concludes in Norwich on the 16th February. Although she is only just releasing her first long player this is actually her eighth single release and it could be the first to reach the top forty. The promotional video to the track was uploaded at the end of November and has picked up well over 125k views during its first month. Overall my expectation is that fans will choose to wait for her album rather than downloading this as a standalone track.

Also released this week are ‘Only The Lonely’ by Indiana and ‘Rabbit Hole’ by Jamie T.

Next Week…

It’s hard to see any of this weeks new releases ending Mark Ronson’s reign at the top so he should add another week to his growing tally. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles are set to include Holly Johnson, Jess Mattic, Laura Welsh and Meghan Trainor. Until then have yourself a good week.

Ian Anderson

11 January, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 789 – W/C 04.01.15

Chart Chat Edition 789 – Week Commencing Sunday 4th January 2015

Introduction

Welcome to edition 789 of Chart Chat, the music review site which has been running for over fifteen 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 two new entries, five re-entries, nine climbers, sixteen songs going down and eight non movers on this weeks chart. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars held on at the top with ‘Uptown Funk’ and in doing so set a new record for most streams in one week (2.56m). Their closest rival was Philip George who went straight in at no.2 with ‘Wish You Were Mine’.

Ed Sheeran found himself with a non mover at no.3 with ‘Thinking Out Loud’ while Ben Haenow went down two places to no.4 with ‘Something I Need’. Taylor Swift fell one to no.5 with ‘Blank Space’ and Olly Murs featuring Demi Lovato also went down one to no.6 with ‘Up’. Meghan Trainor got a non mover at no.7 with ‘All About The Bass’ and Take That also stayed the same at no.8 with ‘These Days’. Alesso featuring Tove Lo fell three to no.9 with ‘Heroes (We Could Be)’ and Hozier finally made the top ten as ‘Take Me To Church’ climbed thirteen places to no.10 on its 23rd week on the chart.

A further three climbers were to be found in what remained of the top twenty. Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne went up two to no.14 with ‘Real Love’ and George Ezra climbed four places to no.17 with ‘Budapest’.  George was also responsible for another climber as ‘Blame It On Me’ went back up four to no.20.

There was one new entry, five re-entries and five climbers in the lower half of the chart. David Guetta featuring Sam Martin climbed four places to no.22 with ‘Dangerous’ while Sia went back up five to no.24 with ‘Chandalier’. Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne re-entered at no.28 with ‘Rather Be’ and Calvin Harris featuring John Newman went up three to no.29 with ‘Blame’. Blonde featuring Melissa Steel climbed four to no.31 with ‘I Loved You’ and Mr Probz went back up seven to no.32 with the Robin Schulz remix of ‘Waves’. Sigma featuring Paloma Faith re-entered at no.33 with ‘Changing’ while Pharrell Williams also re-entered at no.34 with ‘Happy’. Kanye West featuring Paul McCartney went straight in at no.35 with ‘One Day’ and LILLYWOOD & Robin Schulz re-entered at no.39 with ‘Prayer In C’.

New Releases

Fuse ODG featuring Killbeatz – ‘Thinking About You’

Next up this week is Fuse ODG who has teamed up with Killbeatz for his new single ‘Thinking About You’. It is released as a digital bundle which features five mixes of the track; the Radio Edit, the TS7 Remix, the Kamaura Radio Edit, the Benny Page Remix and the APEXX Radio Edit. Since first arriving on the scene back in the Summer of 2013, Fuse ODG has managed four top ten hits with his biggest being ‘Dangerous Love’ which peaked at no.3 and saw him team up with Sean Paul. All of those singles along with top thirty hit ‘Azonto’ have featured on his ‘T.I.N.A.’ album and ‘Thinking About You’ will become the sixth single to be taken from it. He is due to undertake a UK tour during March and April next year and will hopefully be working on some new material during 2015. I’m not sure whether this will suffer from the success of the album but it should still reach the top forty.

Kanye West featuring Paul McCartney – ‘Only One’

This week sees the American rapper Kanye West release his Paul McCartney collaboration ‘Only One’ and it looks set to be a huge hit around the world. Kanye already has an impressive 32 top forty hits to his name including his no.1 hit ‘Stronger’ which topped the charts in 2007 and his appearance on Jay-Z’s chart topper ‘Run This Town’. Although his last album ‘Yeezus’ went straight to the top of the charts it only yielded one top forty hit ‘Black Skinhead’. In fact it has been over two years since his last top ten hit ‘N***** In Paris’ which spent 45 weeks on the chart, peaking at no.10. This track was actually recorded early in 2014 but has been released digitally this year with very little notice. This looks certain to be one of the highest climbers on Sunday and it should see Sir Paul back in the top ten for the first time in over twenty five years.

Kindness featuring Robyn – ‘Who Do You Love?’

Kindness, aka Adam Bainbridge, is back with his new single ‘Who Do You Love?’ this week. He has teamed up with Swedish singer Robyn who already has nine UK top forty hits to her name including her 2007 no.1 hit ‘With Every Heartbeat’. It is taken from his current album ‘Otherness’ which also sees collaborations with Manifest and Kelela. The single is released as a digital bundle containing three new remixes; the Jam City Mix, the Joakim Remix and the Jeremy Sylvester Bump Mix. Fans wishing to catch him action live can do so next week when he plays at Electric Brixton in London before jetting off for an extensive tour of the US. The promotional video to the track was first uploaded on the 11th November and it is currently on course to reach 250k views during its first two months. I’m not sure if this will pick up enough airplay for it to become a hit next weekend.

Olly Murs featuring Demi Lovato – ‘Up’

While it has already become a top five hit, this week sees the release of the EP version of Olly Murs current Demi Lovato collaboration ‘Up’. It is made available as a digital bundle which features the Live Acoustic Version, the Wideboys Radio Mix and the Max Sanna & Steve Pitron Radio Mix alongside a live performance of ‘Dear Darlin”. Few could have predicted just how big Olly would become when he finished as the runner up in the 2009 series of X Factor and since then he has notched up thirteen top forty hits already including four number ones. I’m not sure that the release of these new mixes will do much to propel it back up the top ten but stranger things have happened. The video that accompanies the track has already received 4.6m views and so Olly can already be very pleased with the success rate of this single.

Ray Foxx featuring Rachel K Collier – ‘Curious’

This particular duo first teamed up to good effect on Ray’s single ‘Boom Boom (Heartbeat)’ which made no.12 last year and now they are aiming for a second crack at chart glory with their latest track ‘Curious’. Ray is an English DJ and producer while Rachel is a singer hailing from Swansea in Wales. Ray’s last single was his collaboration with J Warner ‘Fireworks (Bang Bang)’ which missed out on the chart last year while Rachel’s 2013 single ‘Predictions’ picked up some airplay from Radio 1Xtra thanks to the Sarah Jane Crawford show.  The video to the track was uploaded on 22nd July only picked up just over 64k views during the months since then thus suggesting that it hasn’t quite managed to crossover onto the mainstream as yet. Ray’s reputation should ensure that this is a big hit in the clubs but unfortunately I wonder if it is destined to stay just there.

Tchami featuring Kaleem Taylor – ‘Promesses’

‘Promesses’ is another track which has been around for some time. An audio version of the track first appeared on the Fools Gold Records YouTube channel back in July 2013 and it has been played over 1.2m times since. Tchami is a Parisian producer who has teamed up with the West London born vocalist Kaleem Taylor to record it. As a producer he remixed the DJ Rob Base & EZ Rock classic ‘It Takes Two’ while also working on tracks by AlunaGeorge, Janet Jackson and Jay Hardway & Martin Garrix. Although this week marks the tracks first release as a single the Dub Mix has already appeared on the 2015 Ministry Of Sound Album while another version was on the Certified Jackin : Underground House Music compilation. This could be one of those tracks that makes the transition from the dance charts to the mainstream, but we will see next weekend.

Tulisa – ‘Living Without You’

Tulisa has been one quite a journey in recent years. She was voted FHM’s Sexiest Woman in 2012 and when her debut solo single ‘Young’ topped the charts it seemed she could do no wrong. However later that year she moved on from her role as judge on the X Factor, and her debut album ‘The Female Boss’ struggled in the charts peaking at just no.35. She found herself in the press for the wrong reasons, with two separate trials dominating the headlines.  Now it looks like she has put all that behind her and is hoping to start 2015 in style with her new single ‘Living Without You’.  The promotional video to the track was uploaded at the end of October and notched up 600k views in its first two months.  She has been performing this track on the TV over recent weeks and I hope that it will see her back inside the top ten next weekend.

Next Week…

I expect Tchami to be the weeks highest new entry, but Tulisa should also make the top ten while Kanye West featuring Paul McCartney should climb substantially from their no.35 place this week. However I expect Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars to hold on for another week at no.1. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include Gwen Stefani, Jamie T, Jessie Ware and U2. Until then have yourself a good week.

Ian Anderson

4 January, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment