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Chart Chat Edition 791 – W/C 18.01.15

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


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