ChartChatUK

talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Album Review : Black – ‘Blind Faith’ (Released 13th April 2015)

Chart Chat Album Review : Black – ‘Blind Faith’ (Released 12th April 2015)

This week sees the release of ‘Blind Faith’ by Black. Excluding the 2013 repackage of ‘Wonderful Life’ and the 2011 compilation ‘Any Colour You Like’ this marks his first studio release in over five years. He will be remembered by many for his 1987 hit singles ‘Sweetest Smile’ and ‘Wonderful Life’ but fans will know that he has a much richer back catalogue that just those two songs.

Although he has recorded consistently during the intervening years, singer Colin Vearncombe dropped the Black name between 1993 and 2005 having become disillusioned with certain aspects of the music business. This new album came as a result of a Pledge Music campaign which saw Colin interact with fans, who in turn helped to fund the recording process. He was pleasantly surprised with the fans raising more than double than the original target. He is heading out on his longest tour for sometime this April alongside his musical parter Callum MacColl and so hopefully things are looking up for him once more.

Onto this new album, and ‘The Love Show’ opens proceedings, and it is classic Black. Parts of it remind me of Divine Comedy, but then you could argue that it might have been Neil Hannon himself who was influenced by early Black material. In contrast to some of the albums we have reviewed recently this is the longest track and it doesn’t even make it to four minutes. Everything here is finely crafted, but straight to the point too.

‘Don’t Call Me Honey’ is a little more uptempo in the same way that tracks such as ‘I’m Not Afraid’ and ‘Everything Is Coming Up Roses’ were back in 1987. If artists such as Colin still received recognition on the mainstream radio stations then this would have made for a great single. Sadly the musical landscape has shifted and airplay on the radio is now much more aligned to record label marketing budgets and not simply down to what the public might want to listen to.

‘Good Liar’ comes complete with beautiful orchestral backing, and the refrain “I’m a liar when I’m in love” will stick in your mind after the first listen while ‘Sleep Together’ is a more laid back affair. I particularly liked the line “two fools wishing on a long dead star”, and it’s a track I really like.

‘Womanly Panther’ again uses orchestral backing to its advantage, and it conjurs up images of couples performing the tango and other ballroom dances, such is its almost quickstep beat. For me it is one of the standout tracks on the album.

‘Sunflower’ may only last for just over two minutes, but its backdrop of a simple piano against Colin’s vocals works very well. ‘Not The Man’ follows on, picking up the tempo a little “I am not the man you want me to be / I am not the man you want” sings Colin in the chorus, and it’s an immediately catchy track.

‘Ashes Of Angels’ builds slowly from an acoustic start to a catchy chorus while ‘Stone Soup’ is a much slower affair. ‘When It’s Over’ is another highlight, a track which could easily have appeared on his 1988 album ‘Comedy’.

‘Beautiful’ keeps things simple, just Colin and an acoustic guitar, and then the album is brought to a close by ‘Parade’. This is a haunting song, but a fine way to end the album.

The important thing about any music is that it is really down to each individual listener what it means, and how it is interpreted. What I have given is my opinion, and for me I have really enjoyed rediscovering the joys of Black. Colin Vearncombe still sings as he did at the start of his career, and while there is a nod to the past there can be no doubt to the listener that this is a brand new Black album. Making the initial step to partner with Pledge Music was a brave one, but one which paid off and one which I hope he may visit again in the future.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

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12 April, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 801 – W/C 05.04.2015

Chart Chat Edition 801 – Week Commencing Sunday 5th April 2015

Introduction

For those reading this for the first time, Chart Chat has been in existence for over 15 years. We completed eight hundred editions reviewing the weeks charts and new releases before deciding it was time for a change of format.  Now we will be looking at new music ahead of its release, and it won’t always feature tracks released as singles. I have learned in recent years that the best music does not always make the charts, and to renew my love of music I have had to look to broader horizons.

Anyway here are this weeks list of new singles, albums and EPs to draw to your attention. They should all find themselves released very soon, if they are not available already.

Alexandra Burke – ‘Renegade’

Although her second album ‘Heartbreak On Hold’ failed to repeat the commercial success of her first outing ‘Outcome’, Alexandra has continued to carve out a successful career with her performances in the stage version of The Bodyguard receiving complimentary reviews. ‘Renegade’ is the lead track from her new EP of the same name which is released as a free download from her website www.alexandraburkeofficial.com on 27th April, but a clean edit of the track can be downloaded now via her Soundcloud page. It builds nicely to a dramatic chorus, and the vocals are in keeping with Alexandra’s recent declarataion that she is back with “my music, my rules”. The EP promises a selection of tracks including ‘Ain’t That Right’, ‘Don’t Make It Easy’ and a collaboration with Shakka entitled ‘Get Down’. On this showing it will be well worth a listen, and if it’s free to download you have no excuse not to do just that!

Aron Chupa – ‘I’m An Albatraoz’

We have been waiting for this to be released for quite some time, but the latest estimates show that this should be out in the UK on the 19th April.  This has been a monster hit around Europe, and the video has received over 120m views since it was first uploaded back in October last year. It has topped the charts in Sweden and Denmark while reaching the top five in Australia, Austria, Netherlands and New Zealand. It is a very simple track lasting just over two minutes, but the title of the track will soon stick in your head. It starts off with a simple piano before launching into a full on dance track, and although some of the lyrics might need to be censored for the radio it should still become a big success. It is sung by Aron’s sister Nora Ekberg who also appears in the song’s video and I think that overall it achieves Aron’s desire to mix old fashioned1920’s swing music with a modern club beat.

Blow Monkeys – ‘OK! Have It Your Way’

Dr Robert and the band are back with a brand new album ‘If Not Now, When?’, the follow up to their 2013 release ‘Feels Like A New Morning’. Those who remember the band from their mid 1980’s hits ‘Digging Your Scene’ and ‘It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way’ may be surprised by the sound of their latest material. ‘OK! Have It Your Way’ was one of the first tracks to appear, and it sounds more like ‘Nutbush City Limits’ than anything from their extensive back catalogue. The band are about to undertake a tour of the UK which concludes at the Under The Bridge club in London on 25th April. It seems somewhat frustrating that a band whose current output is this good can be defined by a handful of hit singles, but hopefully their new album will do enough to remind existing fans just how exciting they can still be while giving a nudge to some of the older fans that they are still going strong.

Faith No More – ‘Superhero’

You would have to trace back to 1997 to find the last time Faith No More appeared on the chart, or released any original material. They formally split in 1998 but reformed again eleven years later. Initially that reformation was just for a reunion tour, but eventually rumours surfaced that they would be writing and producing new material. Fast forward to 2015 and we now have a brand new album entitled ‘Sol Invictus’ which sees the light of day in mid May. For fans who can’t wait until then there are two tracks which can be downloaded from the album, one being ‘Mother******’ and the other being ‘Superhero’. The latter has been played almost half a million times and has also been released as a limited edition 7″ vinyl single. The sound of these new songs can be linked back to their earlier material and fans can be very confident of the long player which lays ahead.

Lucy Spraggan – ‘Unsinkable’

Lucy released her first album ‘Top Room At The Zoo’ back in 2011, and following her success on X Factor the record made no.22. After she left the competition she released her major label debut ‘Join The Club’ and that secured her a place in the album chart top ten. Since that release in 2013 she has been working on her latest long player ‘We Are…’ and the first single to come from it will be ‘Unsinkable’ next week. It is a simple, well produced pop song with a real band and interesting lyrics. She has lost none of her appeal since first appearing on TV, and has done well to stay true to her original artistry. The big question this time around will be whether she can still sell records, or whether she will still be linked back to simply being a “former X Factor contestant”. She is actually so much more and I only hope that she will be able to continue to make music like this.

Outros – ‘No Shade In Shadow (Demo)’

Kristin Hersh is known to most people through either her work with her band Throwing Muses, or via her solo output. She has also released music as part of 50 Foot Wave and their drummer Rob Ahlers has combined with her to form the new trio Outros along with Chris Brady from Audio Learning Center. Subscribers to her Cash music project were rewarded this week with the first taste of the bands output, an unmixed version of ‘No Shade In Shadow’. The good news is that it is a strong track, with the Ahlers contribution on the drums very noticeable. It is midpaced, with the title being repeated through the chorus and it will have you nodding your head in approval. The band have recorded further tracks which should see the light of day soon while a new solo album and a 50 Foot Wave EP are also due for release in 2015 so a busy year lays ahead.

The Proclaimers – ‘You Built Me Up’

If it wasn’t for their distinctive Scottish vocals, you couldn’t tell this was a Proclaimers song. It’s short (two minutes and twenty five seconds), and decidedly uptempo and rocky.  It is the first taste of what we might be able to expect from their new album ‘Let’s Hear It For The Dogs’ which is released at the end of the month. It marks their first new album since their 2012 outing ‘Like Comedy’ which peaked at no.31. The band are touring the UK during May and June before they make a series of festival appearances at Carfest North, the Wickham Festival and the V Festival. I can forsee the album doing well for them although I don’t think it will give them their first top ten appearance since ‘Hit The Highway’ back in 1994. They have clearly not lost their ability to write catchy pop songs and 2015 will be all the better for having them back in action once more.

Stacey Solomon – ‘Shy’

Her giggly personality and run of appearances on mainstream TV shows may have distracted people from just what a spectacular voice Stacey Solomon has.  Most recently she appeared on The Jump, and before that she presented Love Machine with Chris Moyles, Sing If You Can with Keith Lemon and was most famously the winner of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. It is to her credit that she has taken her time to ensure that her forthcoming album ‘Shy’ is not just a collection of cover versions but instead a showcase of impressive tracks. Stacey has written most of the material on the album herself but can also boast contributions from both Rita Ora and Lily Allen. Both the album and its title track are scheduled for release on the 19th April, and it is already appearing on the Radio 2 playlist. It has a laid back jazzy feel to it, and could quite easily have been a standard recorded many years earlier. The video to the track was uploaded to her Vevo account on the 5th March and managed to pick up 75k views during its first month. I’m not sure if will be a standalone hit, but the album should do well for her.

They Might Be Giants – ‘Underwater Woman’

This year saw the American alternative rock duo They Might Be Giants reactivate their Dial-A-Song service which saw them promise to release a new song every week during 2015. The original incarnation of this service is thought to have featured over 500 different songs and mixes between the years 1985 and 2008. This month sees them collect the first set of the new songs for the album ‘Glean’, and ‘Underwater Woman’ was the twelfth of those to be released.  It comes complete with a simple animated video and with a running time of two and a half minutes it could fit on any of the bands previous albums. They know how to deliver short, punchy, catchy pop songs and this is no exception. We are barely one third of the way through the year so we can expect more new material in the coming weeks and months. The band are currently on a tour of the US with twenty five dates planned during the course of April and May. I’m sure that this won’t be the last time we review them as part of our site.

Next Time…

There is no shortage of new albums coming over the next few weeks including ‘Blind Faith’ by Black, ‘The Magic Whip’ by Blur, ‘Saturn’s Pattern’ by Paul Weller, ‘Sol Invictus’ by Faith No More, ‘Sub-Lingual Tablet’ by The Fall and a new deluxe update of Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’. So don’t forget to stay in touch via our Twitter feed @ChartChatUK  and we will be releasing edition 802 very soon.

Ian Anderson

5 April, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Album Review – Europe – ‘War Of Kings’ (Released 2nd March 2015)

Chart Chat Album Review – Europe – ‘War Of Kings’ (Released 2nd March 2015)

Although fans in the UK were only really introduced to Europe through their 1986 hit ‘The Final Countdown’ that was actually taken from their third studio album. Their self titled debut album appeared in 1983, and now some thirty two years later their tenth studio album ‘War Of Kings’ hits the shops.  As with most heavy metal bands they have undergone several line up changes during that time, with only lead singer Joey Tempest remaining constant in the band although guitarist John Norum was there at the start but left the band between 1986 before returning later in their career.

Europe are one of those bands whose true fans know that they have produced ten different albums over thirty years, but so many only really know them for one or two hits.  Their sound now has moved on tremendously since their early days and is heavier with more of a blues tinge than before. Just listen to ‘Not Supposed To Sing The Blues’ from their ‘Bag Of Bones’ album and I promise that you will be blown away.

Opening track and first single ‘War Of Kings’ kicks of proceedings in some style. It’s been on my playlist since it was first release and for me it is one of their best tracks in several years. If there was any justice this would have given them a first top forty hit of the Millenium, but it is very hard to hear this kind of music anywhere other than on specialist rock radio stations. The days of hearing this kind of song on mainstream radio has sadly passed. It has everything – dramatic guitars, soaring vocals and menacing keyboards. First class!

‘Hole In My Pocket’ follows on quickly, and there can be little doubt that they mean business. “It’s not the end / it doesn’t get better than this” sings Joey Tempest over a dramatic backdrop of keyboards and no nonsense guitars.  ‘Second Day’ has a more mean and moody feel to it, but comes with an anthemic chorus which builds nicely including the lyrics “there’s a place that we cannot reach / there’s a light we just cannot see / there’s a hope that won’t give out / it’s all we should talk about”. The track also boasts a fantastic guitar solo halfway through courtesy of guitarist John Norum.

‘Praise You’ is slower, but for me less anthemic. It’s reliance on keyboards almost reminds me of Deep Purple at times, and if I am honest ‘Nothin’ To Ya’ continues in a similar vein. They’re not too shabby, but they don’t scale the heights achieved by the title track.

‘California 405’ picks up the pace a little and again features some nifty guitar work in the middle section. ‘Days Of Rock N Roll’ keeps up the tempo, even if the keyboards do give the track a 1970’s feel at times. No matter, it is bold and brash and rattles along at a fair old pace.  It has yet to be confirmed in the UK, but it has been chosen as the second single elsewhere in Europe, and you can see why.  ‘Rainbow Bridge’ has the kind of title that a progressive rock band might have recorded, and it does have that kind of sound too although at just three minutes in length that is where the comparisons end!

As we move towards the end of the tracklisting, ‘Angels (With Broken Hearts)’ becomes the main ballad on the album, and then in contrast the standard edition is brought to a close with six minutes of ‘Light Me Up’. Both are able to stand up and be counted and seem a fitting way to bring the curtain down.

Curiously there is only one track difference between the Deluxe and Standard editions, and that is the instrumental ‘Vasastan’. Some fans might turn their noses up at such an idea, but in fact it works very well. The guitar work on show here reminds me of Gary Moore at his creative best, building slowly from the start to a solo guitar which captivates the listener. The final 90 seconds feature a reprise of the title track, and then the end is upon us.

Some would say that Europe are back, but others would point to the fact that they never really went away. On this showing they remain as creative and entertaining as ever, and let’s hope it is not too long before album number eleven is upon us.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

29 March, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Album Review : Mark Knopfler – ‘Tracker’ (Released 16th March 2015)

Chart Chat Album Review : Mark Knopfler – ‘Tracker’ (16.03.15)

Mark’s solo career began back in 1983 when he worked on the soundtrack to ‘Local Hero’. That became the first of eight soundtrack albums, with the most recent being ‘A Shot At Glory’ in 2002. Fast forward to March 2015 and we see the release of ‘Tracker’, his eighth studio album which has already become his first to reach the top three. Some fans still hark back to his Dire Straits days, asking when they might reform and record new material, but it has been twenty four years now since ‘On Every Street’ topped the charts, and barring a live album ‘On The Night’ in 1993 the band have been completely inactive ever since.

Over the years he has created himself as a very successful album artist, with seven of his eight studio albums reaching the top ten. That contrasts with just two top forty hit singles; ‘Darling Pretty’ which reached no.33 in 1996 and then ‘Boom Like That’ which peaked at no.34 in 2004. His songs however have continued to receive airplay, and tracks such as ‘Going Home’ and ‘What It Is’ are instantly recognisable to radio audiences across the country.

It is clear that Mark knows how to craft a decent song, and everyone knows just how well he can play guitar. His solo output has tended to steer clear of the pop songs which made his career with Dire Straits, and this album is no different. The only song with a slightly more pop feel to it is ‘Beryl’, a track which was inspired by the British novelist Beryl Bainbridge.  A video consisting of clips of the artist and her work was compiled to promote the single, and at the time of writing it had received over 24k views.  It is also the shortest song on offer here with nine of the eleven main tracks clocking in at over five minutes in length.

The album kicks off with ‘Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes’, a bluesy track which conjurs up images of its title. You can imagine Mark performing this with his band in a smokey club somewhere.

Third track ‘River Towns’ is for me the highlight of the album with its feel reminding me of ‘Sailing To Philadelphia’, my favourite Knopfler song and title track of his fourth studio release.  It comes closely followed by ‘Skydiver’, a mid tempo toe tapper which displays some fine guitar work by Mark as the song develops. Meanwhile ‘Lights Of Taormina’ is another stand out track, and having visited this area of Sicily it certainly conjurs up the landscape in my mind.

Each listener will have their own opinion, and if I had one criticism it’s that the occasional track such as ‘Basil’ is just too slow. The whole album has a laid back feel, but sometimes it drops off altogether. ‘Mighty Man’ also falls into this category as does ‘Silver Eagle’.

The bonus edition comes with a further four tracks although in contrast to the rest of the album they are quite brief. ‘Heart Of Oak’ is a simple tune, and but is shorter than two minutes while ‘.38 Special’ is decent enough but still falls short of the three minute mark. Six minute epic ‘Terminal Of Tribute To’ is much more substantial and should have featured on the standard edition in my opinion. ‘My Heart Has Never Changed’ is fairly typical of the album, but doesn’t really stand out.

So in summary this is another solid collection of Mark’s songs.  As with most of his albums there are a few special tracks, but a few less memorable ones too. If you have his other studio releases then this will not disappoint.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

28 March, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 800 – W/C 22.03.15

Chart Chat Edition 800 – Week Commencing Sunday 22nd March 2015

Introduction

Welcome to edition 800 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 four new entries, seven climbers, fifteen songs going down and four non movers on this weeks chart.  There was no change at the top as Sam Smith & John Legend held firm with ‘Lay Me Down’ while Years & Years were also non movers at no.2 with ‘King’.

Kanye West, Rihanna & Paul McCartney went back up two to no.3 with ‘FourFiveSeconds’ and James Bay achieved his highest chart position to date as ‘Hold Back The River’ climbed six to no.4. Ellie Goulding fell one to no.5 with ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and Hozier got a non mover at no.6 with ‘Take Me To Church’.  Flo Rida featuring Sage The Gemini fell four to no.7 with ‘G.D.F.R.’ and Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars went down one to no.8 with ‘Uptown Funk’. The Weeknd fell two to no.9 with ‘Earned It’ and the top ten was concluded by Maroon 5 who went up to no.10 with ‘Sugar’.

A further new entry and climber were to be found in what remained of the top twenty. Tough Love gota new entry at no.11 with ‘So Freakin Tight’ while Marlon Roudette went back up one to no.12 with ‘When The Beat Drops Out’.

There were three new entries and six climbers in the lower half of the chart. Taylor Swift climbed one to no.21 with ‘Space’ and Olly Murs featuring Demi Lovato went back up one to no.24 with ‘Up’. Philip George climbed one to no.25 with ‘Wish You Were Mine’ while Ed Sheeran & Rudimental went up eleven to no.26 with ‘Bloodstream’. Pitbull & Ne-Yo went straight in at no.28 with ‘Time Of Our Lives’ and Sam Smith climbed three to no.29 with ‘Like I Can’. Sam Smith went back up two to no.31 with ‘Stay With Me’ and Kygo featuring Conrad got a new entry at no.37 with ‘Firestone’. The final new entry came at no.38 and went to MNEK with ‘The Rhythm’.

New Releases

Cheryl – ‘Only Human’

Cheryl has already enjoyed an impressive solo career to date with her five no.1 hits being the highest tally by any UK female artist. Her popularity has seen no signs of fading and although her current album ‘Only Human’ was her lowest peaking release to date (#7), it has yielded two no.1 hits in the shape of ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ and ‘I Don’t Care’. Now comes the release of the title track as the third single and it comes released as a single track download and digital bundle containing three new mixes; the Club Mix, the Super Stylers Remix and the iLL BLU Remix. A video to the track premiered at the start of February and it was viewed over half a million times during its first month of upload. This has certainly received its fair share of publicity and airplay but I can’t see it becoming her sixth chart topper next Sunday afternoon.

Chic featuring Nile Rodgers – ‘I’ll Be There’

It’s now been over twenty seven years since the American disco band Chic reached the top twenty with ‘Jack Le Freak’ though their glory days came in the late 1970’s when they notched up five consecutive top ten hits. They have had a revival in recent years due to increased interest in Nile Rodgers after he worked with Daft Punk and the coverage given to the bands headlining set at Glastonbury back in 2013. They are now due to release ‘It’s About Time’ which will become their first album in over two decades and from that comes the lead single ‘I’ll Be There’. An instrumental version was uploaded to Nile Rodgers YouTube channel on 2nd March and it received 25k plays during its first seven days. This has all the hallmarks of a Chic classic and if it can pick up the right amount of airplay this could well secure them a chart return.

Destructo featuring Problem – ‘Dare You 2 Move’

American DJ, music executive and promoter Destructo has teamed up with the American rapper Problem for this weeks release of his brand new single ‘Dare You 2 Move’. The track has been hanging around since the end of October last year, and the promotional video has been viewed over 450k times since then. Fans who visit his Soundcloud page can pick listen to the Jack Beats Remix, the Shiba San Remix, the Bootlegger Mashup and Djemba Djemba Remix. He has also worked on remixes by other artists, most notably ‘Soothe My Soul’ by Depeche Mode. He is making a series of appearances in the US and Canada over the Summer months but is confirmed to appear at Creamfields at the end of August. He has yet to achieve success in the UK but with a bit of mainstream airplay that could change with this release.

Dotan – ‘Home’

Next up this week is the Dutch singer / songwriter Dotan who releases his new single ‘Home’ this week. The track features on his latest studio album ‘7 Layers’ which has already made no.2 in the Netherlands but gets its UK release this week. It has topped the charts in Belgium and the Netherlands, so now it will be interesting to see how well it can perform in the UK. He made an appearance at The Stillery in London last week but most of his remaining appearances in 2014 are back in the Netherlands. The promotional video was first made available back in May of this year and has notched up over 5.2m views since then thanks to its success around Europe. How successful ‘Home’ can be will depend on whether this can pick up any real airplay in the coming days but if it can then there is no reason why it should not become a hit in the UK too.

Jess Glynne – ‘Hold My Hand’

It’s been quite a twelve months for Jess Glynne who provided vocals on no.1 hits by Route 94 and Clean Bandit while also finding time to notch up two top ten hits of her own. Now she is aiming for chart glory again with her new single ‘Hold My Hand’ which is released this week. It was produced by Clean Bandit’s Jack Patterson and will feature on her debut album which is currently pencilled in for a May release. The promotional video to the track was uploaded on the 23rd February and managed to pick up over 650k views during its first two weeks. She has just completed a short tour of the UK but has festival appearances confirmed over the Summer at Parklife, T In The Park and Weston Park. It seems she can do very little wrong right now and so I fully expect this to land somewhere inside the top ten next weekend.

Jonas Rathsman – ‘Wolfbane’

It was back in 2013 that Jonas was declared by the Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong to be a star of the future, and he has started to achieve that promise although perhaps more as a producer than an artist. He received considerable critical acclaim for his remix of Sam Smith’s ‘Like I Can’ which was premiered on the Annie Mac radio show before being selected by Pete Tong as his Essential New Tune. This week sees him aiming for the chart as an artist in his own right with the track ‘Wolfsbane’. It’s a hypnotic track which lasts over seven minutes in its extended form and it has been creating plenty of attention – the audio upload was being played over 30k times per day alone. This could well find itself among the list of dance tracks which have crossed over onto the mainstream but we will only know for certain next Sunday afternoon.

Kygo featuring Parson James – ‘Stole The Show’

Norwegian DJ and producer Kygo is next up and he has teamed up with Parson James for his new single ‘Stole The Show’.  He is known for his remix of Ed Sheeran’s ‘I See Fire’ track although his own song ‘Firestone’ topped the charts in his native Norway and has started to edge up the UK charts, becoming a new entry at no.37 this week. Parson James describes his music as conflicted pop gospel and his vocals certainly add a new slant to this track. Kygo currently only has one confirmed UK appearance this year which is at Creamfields in August. He is also set to appear on the chart soon with his remix of Seinabo Sey’s track ‘Younger’ which is due for release on 10th May. It has already topped the charts in Norway and is set to be a hit across Europe during this Summer. This could well become a big hit for him next weekend, and his previous single ‘Firestone’ could climb further.

KSI featuring P Money – ‘Lamborghini’

KSI is the rapper name of internet phenomenon KSIOlajideBT and he has enlisted the help of English Grime MC P Money for his brand new single ‘Lamborghini’ which is released this week.  He originally gained popularity for his thoughts on the game FIFA 11, but has also provided review and comment on various other popular games including Call Of Duty.  He has over 1.8m Likes on his Facebook page and this new single release is bound to be the subject of considerable interest. Although he has yet to chart, he has guested on tracks by Sway, Randolph and Joe Weller. This track has received considerable pre-orders, and has been seen inside the top 100 of some retailers charts. I have to say that I think it is a decent song, and is not just a cash in on his internet popularity. I expect this to secure him a debut top forty hit next weekend.

Sigma featuring Labrinth – ‘Higher’

British drum & bass duo Sigma have seen both of their last two singles go to the top of the charts and now they are aiming for three in a row with their new track ‘Higher’. To help them do that they have teamed up with Labrinth who also has an impressive chart career to his name with one number one hit and five further top ten appearances in his discography. ‘Higher’ is released as a single track download and a digital bundle which includes six new mixes; the Sigma VIP Remix, the GRADES Remix, the Grant Nelson Remix, the Kideko Remix, the Jay Montero Club Mix and the Lucas Maverick Remix. The official video was uploaded to YouTube back at the start of February and it has picked up over 400k views since then. That’s impressive but perhaps not quite enough to suggest that a further chart topper is on the cards next weekend.

Also released this week is ‘Can’t Deny Me Love’ by Brandon Flowers, ‘Slick Rick’ by J Spades featuring Tinie Tempah & Professor Green and ‘Dead Inside’ by Muse.

The Future Of Chart Chat

Normally at this point in the column I would predict next weeks no.1, and list some of the new releases expected to come under review in the next edition. However I have now decided to move from a weekly singles review site, to one which concentrates more on albums and live shows.  Streaming, downloads of songs already available on albums and re-entries of old tracks all serve to diminsh the importance of what used to be “new release Monday”. I am finding it harder to find eight or nine tracks which I can comment on enthusiastically and so will be switching my focus to reviewing albums by some of my favourite artists. I have enjoyed writing this column over the last 800 editions, but with people now having easy access to YouTube, Spotify and 90 second clips on iTunes it is easy for the reader to find out for themselves what a song sounds like rather than reading reviews such as mine. So it’s not really a case of goodbye, but more a change of format.  I hope to see you passing by this site again soon.

Ian Anderson

22 March, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 799 – W/C 15.03.15

Chart Chat Edition 799 – Week Commencing Sunday 15th March 2015

Introduction

Welcome to edition 799 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 five new entries, two re-entries, no climbers, thirty songs going down and three non movers on this weeks chart. Sam Smith teamed up with John Legend for a new version of ‘Lay Me Down’ and it went straight in at the top of the charts displacing Years & Years who spent just one week at the top before dropping to this weeks no.2 with ‘King’.

Flo Rida featuring Sage The Gemini went straight in at no.3 with ‘G.D.F.R.’ while Ellie Goulding fell two places to no.4 with ‘Love Me Like You Do’. Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney went down two to no.5 with ‘FourFiveSeconds’ and Hozier also went down two to no.6 with ‘Take Me To Church’. The Weeknd went down two to no.7 with ‘Earned It’ and Usher featuring Juicy J got a new entry at no.8 with ‘I Don’t Mind’. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars fell three to no.9 with ‘Uptown Funk’ and James Bay went down two to no.10 with ‘Hold Back The River’.

A further new entry was to be found in what remained of the top twenty and that went to Mumford & Sons who went straight in at no.20 with ‘Believe’.

There was one new entry and two re-entries in the lower half of the chart. Calvin Harris featuring HAIM went straight in at no.35 with ‘Pray To God’ while Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne re-entered at no.39 with ‘Rather Be’. The final re-entry came at no.40 and went to John Legend with ‘All Of Me’.

New Releases

Elicit – ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’

North London producer Elicit is next under the hammer with his bass heavy cover of the 1979 Prince track ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’. The single comes released as a single track download alongside a digital bundle containing the Club Mix, the Crissy Criss Remix, the Est 1987 Remix and Est 1987 Extended Remix. The video which accompanies the track was uploaded to their Vevo account at the start of February and it notched up over 5k views during the month.  The Crissy Criss Remix received its first play on the Mista Jam Radio 1Xtra show back in November and recently it featured in Blink Box’s Songs You Need To Hear top ten. It is his first release on the RME Records label, a part of the Sony Entertainment family. This track will certainly be a big hit in the dance charts but I’m not sure if this will become a mainstream hit next weekend.

Erasure – ‘Sacred’

It’s been almost thirty years since ‘Who Needs Love Like That’ became their first hit but in 2015 Andy Bell and Vince Clarke are still going strong.  This week sees the release of ‘Sacred’ as their new single, and it comes released as a digital bundle containing nine different mixes; the Single Mix, the Chris Cox Remix, the Vibora Park Mix, the Black Light Odyssey Remix, the Rich B & Phil Marriott Remix, the Chris Cox Dub, 88Ninety’s ‘StellarMix8’ Vox Remix, the Fiben Remix and the Live Rehearsal Remix. It was originally taken from their current album ‘The Violent Flame’ which secured them a return to the top twenty upon its release last year. It follows on from earlier singles ‘Elevation’ and ‘Reasoning’ though neither of those reached the top forty. Fans will be keen to snap this up, but it’s unlikely to end their run of eight years without a top forty single.

Hunter Hayes – ‘Light Me Up’

American country music singer Hunter Hayes releases ‘Light Me Up’ this week as only his second single in the UK. It was originally recorded for his 2011 debut album but only appeared on the Encore repackaged version. The official video first appeared on his Vevo account on the 9th February and it had picked up over 25k views during its first two weeks. He will play his only UK gig at the Borderline club in London on the 20th March before he heads off to spend April playing a series of gigs in Australia. His biggest worldwide hit so far has been ‘I Want Crazy’ which reached the top twenty on both the US and Canadian mainstream charts. This is the kind of song which can sometimes be picked up by the commercial radio stations such as Heart, but without their support I expect that this will struggle to reach the top forty next Sunday afternoon.

JessMattic – ‘Loopin’

Florida based duo Jess Mattic release ‘Loopin’ as their third single of the year so far, following on from Januarys ‘The Theme’ and Februarys ‘Sweet Harmony’. They claim to “create a new vision of sound for dance music exploration” and aside from creating soundscapes of their own they also like to remix tracks by other artists.  A good example of this is their take on Beastie Boys ‘Intergalactic’ which can be found on their Soundcloud page. There are plenty more tracks to come across the months ahead with ‘Cool Aide’ scheduled for April, ‘The Experience’ for May, ‘Funkin’ Dance’ for June, ‘Burnin’ Hot’ for July, ‘Bangerz’ for August and ‘Higher’ for September. Based on past experience I expect that they will struggle to reach the top forty but so long as they continue to grow their fanbase in the UK they should be ok before too long.

Le Youth – ‘R E A L’

American electronic musician and DJ Le Youth is aiming for a third UK hit with his brand new single ‘R E A L’. It follows on from the success of ‘Cool’ (#26) and his Dominique Young Unique collaboration ‘Dance With Me’ (#11).  This latest single comes released as a single track download and a digital bundle which contains three new remixes; the Club Mix, the Tough Love Mix and the Club Dub Mix. He is currently in the midst of an extensive UK tour which concludes in Seattle on the 21st March but has no UK dates planned. The promotional video that accompanies the track was first uploaded to his Vevo account back at the start of the year and has picked up over 125k views since then. For me this is every bit as good as his previous two hits and I can forsee that this will indeed give him another top forty hit next Sunday afternoon.

MNEK – ‘The Rhythm’

The multi talented singer, songwriter and producer MNEK releases his new single ‘The Rhythm’ this week. The single comes released as a single track download and a digital bundle which features four new mixes; the Little Sims Remix, the Alpines Remix, the Astronomyy Remix and the XO Remix. The video to this track was first uploaded on the 12th February and it had raced past the 250k views mark in less than two weeks. As an artist his only success came whilst appearing on Gorgon City’s top ten hit ‘Ready For Your Love’ but as a songwriter he had a hand in writing the no.1 hits ‘Wings’ (Little Mix), ‘Need U (100%)’ (Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E) and ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ (Oliver Heldens featuring Becky Hill). Most recently he has performed backing vocals on the new Madonna single ‘Living For Your Love’ but he would love to be in the UK charts in his own right next weekend.

Peter Doherty – ‘Flags Of The Old Regime’

Aside from having hits as part of The Libertines and Babyshambles, Peter Doherty did release one solo album back in 2009. Entitled ‘Grace / Wastelands’ it peaked at no.17 and yielded the singles ‘Last Of The English Roses’ and ‘Broken Love Song’. The return of The Libertines has been well documented, but this week sees him release his new single ‘Flags Of The Old Regime’ which comes with the new song ‘Dust On The Road’ as the b side. It was written back in 2011 in the aftermath of the death of his close friend Amy Winehouse and has existed in various forms since then. The official video was uploaded via the Walk Tall Records account and was initially being viewed 20k times per day.  It is also available as a limited edition 7″ which is restricted to just 1,000 pressings. This is a beautiful song and should see him back inside the top forty next weekend.

Preditah – ‘Selecta’

Birmingham based Grime star Preditah is next up with his single ‘Selecta’. It is released as a single track download featuring the original mix of the song. His debut release came back in 2011 with the ‘Solitaire’ EP which charted on the iTunes electronica listings. Since then he has released the other EPs ‘Eightsome’ and ‘Circles’. He is appearing live this weekend at Garage Nation at London’s O2 with other appearances due in Oxford and at the York Hall in London over the next month his fans have plenty to look forward to. Music clearly runs through his family as his younger brother, C4, is a Grime MC and Preditah works as a producer on much of his material. While this is bound to be a big hit with fans of Grime music, I’m not sure if he can pick up enough commercial airplay to make the transition over onto the mainstream charts next Sunday afternoon.

Tough Love – ‘So Freakin’ Tight’

London based house duo Tough Love release their latest track ‘So Freakin’ Tight’ this week. The single is released as a single track download and a digital bundle which features six new mixes; the Extended Mix, the Hannah Wants & Tough Love Remix, the S-Man Remix, the S.P.Y. Remix, the Luvstuff Remix and the Westfunk Remix Edit. The summery promotional video was uploaded at the start of February and it was viewed 125k times during the first three weeks. The band have received airplay on the main UK radio stations including Capital, Rinse FM, Radio 1 and Kiss while they have remixed for artists including Shift K3y, Sigma, Borgeous and Le Youth. This is already attracting plenty of attention in clubs across the country and with the humourous video alongside it I forecast that this will land somewhere inside the top forty next weekend.

Also released this week are ‘All Over The World’ by Above & Beyond featuring Alex Vargas, ‘Gold’ by Andreya Triana, ‘Sacred’ by Erasure, ‘Superhero’ by Faith No More, ‘2M2H’ by Great Good Fine OK, ‘Jackin’ With Your Mum’ by Herve & Trevor Loveys, ‘One Night Only’ by Krystal Clear featuring Yasmin, ‘Lamborghini’ by KSI featuring P Money, ‘Don’t Look Down’ by Martin Garrix featuring Usher and ‘After Life’ by Tchami featuring Stacy Barthe.

Next Week…

I expect to see Sam Smith featuring John Legend holding on at the top spot next Sunday. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include Cheryl, Jess Glynne, Jessie J and Marina & The Diamonds.  Until then have yourself a good week.

Ian Anderson

17 March, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Album Review : ‘Trip Advizer – The Very Best Of Julian Cope 1999 – 2014’ – Julian Cope (09.03.15)

Chart Chat Album Review : ‘Trip Advizer : The Very Best of Julian Cope 1999 – 2014’ – Julian Cope (09.03.15)

It was 1997 when ‘Planetary Sit-In’ gave Julian Cope the last of his seven top forty hits as a solo artist.  So followers whose blinkers fail to see past the top forty could be forgiven for thinking he had retired to foreign shores, or perhaps had even left this mortal coil altogether!  In fact what happened after that point in time was he formed his own Head Heritage label to enable him to take control of his career and since then he has released a further seven studio albums, although trying to compile the best of those onto one CD was always going to be tricky although it will serve as a decent introduction to those who may have lost touch with Julian and his career.

One look at the cover will tell you how much things have moved on since 1999 with Julian now sporting a sizeable beard alongside his black leather gloves, cap and other motorcycle style attire. He still remains as active now as he has ever been and completed a short but successful tour back in January of this year. So what can the listener expect from this sixteen track compilation…

Well ‘These Things I Know’ provides for a melodic start to proceedings, a track which originally featured on his 2008 double album ‘Black Sheep’. It is one of three tracks to be included from that album, the others being ‘Psychadelic Odin’ and ‘All The Blowing Themselves Up Mother******s’.  The latter of those is for me the albums highlight as after a couple of listens the chorus will plant itself firmly inside your head showing that the best songs are simple but catchy.

Second track ‘Hell Is Wicked’ has a less acoustic feel to it and was originally featured on his ‘Citizen Cain’d’ album which first surfaced in 2005. It’s  a decent track but still can’t hold a torch to the magnificent ‘I’m Living In The Room They Found Saddam In’ which is not only a great title but a great song to match. From its distorted vocals to its garage rock musical backdrop it stands out as the kind of song which would have been a big hit in a parallel universe. At times it reminds me of The Doors with the hammond organ subtly playing in the background.

‘Raving On The Moor’ brings us back up to date having featured on his 2012 album ‘Psychadelic Revolution’. It is one of three songs included on on the compilation from that album sitting alongside the title track and ‘Cromwell In Ireland’. Listeners should not be fooled by the latter of those songs being an acoustic guitar led ballad as Julian declares in the chorus “This ain’t a folk song / a what the **** song / this ain’t a love song / so what the ****”.  Those lyrics aside it is actually a cleverly observed attack on the Roundhead and his reign of terror which he undertook in 17th Century Ireland. The aforementioned title track (‘Psychadelic Revolution’) has been re-recorded for this release, with Julian taking the lead vocal rather than Lucy Brownhills and it’s a change which works well.

‘They Were On Hard Drugs’ comes with a simplistic keyboard / drum machine backdrop and proposes the theory that many of the greats behind todays civilisation were in fact enjoying some recreational pleasure along the way. It comes from 2013’s ‘Revolutionary Suicide’ album and the title track from that long player is also included here.

Also included here are two concert favourites ‘Julian In The Underworld’ and ‘Conspiracist Blues’. The former of these two was written after he took acid to celebrate his 50th birthday causing him in his own words to “lose his mind”. It builds quite dramatically towards the end with the refrain “I can’t pretend to know what’s going on”. ‘Conspiracist Blues’ meanwhile started forming part of his live shows in the mid 1990’s and eventually made it onto CD when it formed part of his ‘Floored Genius 3’ collection. Weighing it at less than two minutes in length it is almost over before it has begun but it will please fans who enjoy it being played live.

No compilation is perfect and if I’m honest I didn’t love ‘A Child Is Born In Cerrig-Y-Drudion’ but other acoustic tracks such as ‘Woden’ actually work very well. ‘Zoroaster’ has an underlying guitar riff which conjurs up ‘10538 Overture’ by ELO but that’s where the similarity ends. It’s a dark and brooding rock song which again makes good use of an organ.

The album concludes with the glorious eight minute epic ‘Shrine of the Black Youth’ which pays homage to the Republic of Armenia. It kicks in with screaming guitars before rising and falling throughout.  It seems a fitting finale and contrasts sharply with the sub 120 second ‘Conspiracist Blues’.

What this compilation does is serve to highlight some of the great songs Julian has recorded since 1999, and it reminds us that the top forty should no longer be considered a measure of how great an artist is. Julian is rarely short of things to say, and let’s hope that he continues to entertain us for some time to come.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

10 March, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 798 – W/C 08.03.15

Chart Chat Edition 798 – Week Commencing Sunday 8th March 2015

Introduction

Welcome to edition 798 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 four new entries, one re-entry, two climbers, thirty one songs going down and two non movers on this weeks chart. Years & Years went straight in at the top with ‘King’ and that meant that Ellie Goulding fell to no.2 with ‘Love Me Like You Do’.

Kanye West, Rihanna & Paul McCartney climbed back up two to no.3 with ‘FourFiveSeconds’ and Hozier dropped two places to no.4 with ‘Take Me To Church’. The Weeknd went down one to no.5 with ‘Earned It’ and Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars fell three to no.6 with ‘Uptown Funk’. Marlon Roudette went straight in at no.7 with ‘When The Beat Drops Out’ and James Bay got a non mover at no.8 with ‘Hold Back The River’. Maroon 5 were a non mover at no.9 with ‘Sugar’ and Kelly Clarkson fell three to no.10 with ‘Heartbeat Song’.

A further two new entries were to be found in what remained of the top twenty. Alex Adair got a new entry at no.13 with ‘Make Me Feel Better’ and Kanye West featuring Allan Kingdom, Theophilus London & Paul McCartney went straight in at no.18 with ‘All Day’.

There was one re-entry and one climber in the lower half of the chart. Taylor Swift went up six to no.22 with ‘Style’ while Imagine Dragons re-entered at no.33 with ‘Demons’.

New Releases

The Avener & Phoebe Killdeer – ‘Fade Out Lines’

First up this week is the French Deep House DJ and producer The Avener who releases his brand new single ‘Fade Out Lines’. The track is based around a song called ‘The Fade Out Line’ by Phoebe Killdeer & The Short Straws. It has already been a massive hit topping the charts in Austria and Germany while also reaching the top three in France, Belgium and Switzerland. It has also appeared on numerous compilation albums so some fans may own a copy already. The promotional video was uploaded to his Vevo account on the 20th October and it notched up over 4.4m views during its first four months.  His next public appearance comes at Kugl in St Gallen in early April but he currently has no confirmed plans to visit the UK. This should be challenging for a place inside the top twenty next Sunday afternoon.

Blizzard featuring Shakka – ‘You Came To Mine’

Blizzard first arrived on the scene back in 2012 with his debut EP ‘Sooner Than Ever’ which became a big hit on the Hip Hop charts. Last year he released a seven track EP entitled ‘Testing The Water’ on the Eight In Brackets label which in particular saw the track ‘Kids Of The Night’ attract attention and airplay. He has appeared alongside a number of artists including Jessie J, Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande but now he is taking the limelight himself. He has enlisted the help of West London artist Shakka for his latest single ‘You Came To Mine’ which is released this week. His debut album is pencilled in for release in September this year, and rumours are that his label plan to issue three singles before that comes out. Fans who like this can listen to more of his material on his Soundcloud page but he looks set to be big news during the year ahead.

Eric Prydz vs Chvrches – ‘Tether’

In the UK the Swedish DJ and producer Eric Prydz probably remains best known for his 2004 no.1 hit ‘Call On Me’ but he has also had top three hits with ‘Pjanoo’ and ‘Proper Education’. This week sees him team up with the Glaswegian act Chvrches for his new single ‘Tether’ which is released as a single track download on the Virgin EMI label this week. The stunning video which accompanies the track was uploaded to Eric’s Vevo account on the 19th February and it had been viewed over 500k times within the first two weeks. Eric is confirmed to play this years Creamfields event in August but the closest gig currently in the Chvrches calendar is September’s Electric Picnic in Ireland. This is the kind of track which may be more popular around Europe and might not end up making any significant inroads into the UK.

Florrie – ‘Too Young To Remember’

Having previously written and performed songs with a number of other artists such as The Saturdays and Girls Aloud this week sees British artist Florrie return to her own solo career. She is releasing her latest single ‘Too Young To Remember’ this week and it was given its debut online by fashion retailer H&M. She has her long awaited debut album ready for release later this year but for now fans will have to get by with this track. The promotional video that accompanies it was directed by Matty & Fran who have also worked with a variety of other artists including James Bay, Anna Calvi and Bipolar Sunshine. It was uploaded to her Vevo account on the 26th January and has picked up over 30k views since then. Despite her industry connections she is yet to have a hit and I’m not sure if this will be the single to turn the tide for her.

Flo Rida featuring Sage The Gemini & Lookas – ‘G.D.F.R.’

American rapper Flo Rida already has a chart career which speaks for itself. He has hit the top spot five times and has enjoyed eighteen top forty hits. This week sees him team up with fellow rapper Sage The Gemini and Lookas for his latest single ‘G.D.F.R.’ which samples the 1970’s hit ‘Low Rider’ by War. The acronym stands for Going Down For Real and is taken from his new album ‘The Perfect 10’. It has already been a top twenty hit around Europe including Austria, Germany and Sweden so I can see it achieving similar success in the UK. The video to the track was first uploaded on Christmas Eve and it has been viewed well over 9.5m times since then. He is usually guaranteed plenty of airplay on TV and radio despite his sometimes suggestive lyrics and this should find itself inside the top ten next weekend.

G.R.L. – ‘Lighthouse’

This marks the first release for the girls since they went from a five piece to a four following the death of founder member Simone Battle last year.  The track was written to express how the girls were feeling at that time, and the video was filmed in conjunction with Simone’s family. It contains footage of her, and was uploaded to their Vevo account in mid January before picking up over 1.5m views during its first month. This has been a top thirty hit in Australia and New Zealand, and could achieve similar success in the UK next week. So far their only hit in the UK came with ‘Ugly Heart’ although they did also guest on Pitbull’s top ten hit ‘Wild Love’. The band are currently set to continue as a four piece and are likely to release their first album later on this year. For now I think that this poignant song will provide them with another hit on Sunday afternoon.

Stormzy – ‘Know Me From’

Next up is Grime MC Stormzy who is back this week with his latest single ‘Know Me From’. It follows on from his debut EP ‘Dreamers Disease’ which helped him to become the first unsigned rapper to appear on the Later…with Jools Holland TV series. He cites his influences as including Frank Ocean, Lauren Hill, Skepta and Wiley.  Last year he won the Best Grime Act at the MOBO Awards while this year he finished third in the BBC Introducing top five. He is keen to triumph in the charts and has asked his fans  to support this release so he can succeed without the help of a record label. He has the talent and let’s hope he gets that slice of fortune he needs to help break him to a much wider audience.

Usher featuring Juicy J – ‘I Don’t Mind’

We last heard from the American r’n’b superstar Usher last year when his Nicki Minaj collaboration ‘She Came To Give It To You’ reached the top twenty. This time around he has teamed up with Juicy J for his new single ‘I Don’t Mind’. He has twenty five UK top forty hits to his name and there is a good chance that this will become hit number twenty six. Juicy J may be less well known but did appear on Katy Perry’s massive hit ‘Dark Horse’. The audio version of the track was uploaded to his Vevo account back in October and it has received an amazing 28m views since then. He is due to undertake an extensive UK tour which kicks off in Nottingham next month and concludes at The O2 in London twelve days later. For now I expect to see this give him another big hit and it should see him back inside the top ten next Sunday afternoon.

The Vaccines – ‘Handsome’

I was fortunate enough to catch Indie favourites The Vaccines when they supported Arctic Monkeys at The O2 a couple of years back and with a set based largely around their debut album ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines’ I was left very impressed. Their second album ‘Come Of Age’ topped the charts, and hopes are high for their third long player ‘English Graffiti’ which is due out later this year. This week sees the release of their latest single ‘Handsome’ which clocks in at just over two minutes in length. The digital download also features the Dave Fridmann edit of ‘Handsome Reimagined’. They haven’t traditionally had any big hit singles but this is a great slice of Indie pop which bodes well for their latest batch of new material. I look forward to that new album and maybe catching them live at one of the big Summer festivals.

Also released this week are ‘King Of The World’ by Blue, ‘The Longest Of Goodbyes’ by BOTH, ‘Pray To God’ by Calvin Harris featuring HAIM, ‘Mirror Man’ by Ella Henderson, ‘Cassie O’ by George Ezra, ‘Paper Light (Higher)’ by Loreen, ‘Let Me Down’ by Sam Smith featuring John Legend, ‘The Fall Line EP’ by Sunset Sons and ‘Let In The Sun’ by Take That.

Next Week…

Flo Rida featuring Sage The Gemini & Lookas look set to go straight in at the top but watch out for Usher notching up a high new entry too. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include Bryan Ferry, Erasure, Mark Knopfler and The Script. Until then have yourself a good week.

Ian Anderson

8 March, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 797 – W/C 01.03.15

Chart Chat Edition 797 – Week Commencing Sunday 1st March 2015

Introduction

Welcome to edition 797 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 six new entries, four re-entries, seven climbers, sixteen songs going down and seven non movers on this weeks chart. There was very little change at the top end with Ellie Goulding holding on for a fourth week at no.1 with ‘Love Me Like You Do’ and Hozier still found himself at no.2 with ‘Take Me To Church’.

Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars remained at no.3 with ‘Uptown Funk’ and The Weeknd was still at no.4 with ‘Earned It’. Kanye West, Rihanna and Paul McCartney were non movers at no.5 with ‘FourFiveSeconds’ while David Guetta featuring Emeli Sande climbed fourteen places to no.6 with ‘What I Did For Love’. Kelly Clarkson got a new entry at no.7 with ‘Heartbeat Song’ and James Bay climbed five to no.8 with ‘Hold Back The River’. Maroon 5 fell two to no.9 with ‘Sugar’ and the top ten was rounded off by Chris Brown & Tyga who went down two places to no.10 with ‘Ayo’.

There was one new entry and a further three climbers in to be found in what remained of the top twenty. Sam Smith went straight in at no.15 with ‘Lay Me Down’ while Karen Harding went up two to no.16 with ‘Say Something’.  George Ezra climbed twelve to no.18 with ‘Budapest’ and Sia went up two to no.20 with ‘Chandalier’.

There were four new entries, four re-entries and one climber in the lower half of the chart. Axwell & Ingrosso went straight in at no.22 with ‘Something New’ and Disciples got a new entry at no.24 with ‘They Don’t Know’. Madonna returned to the top 40 with ‘Living For Love’ making its debut at no.26 and Taylor Swift climbed eight to no.28 with ‘Style’. Paloma Faith re-entered at no.32 with ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’ and George Ezra re-entered at no.33 with ‘Blame It On Me’. Ed Sheeran got a new entry at no.35 with ‘Bloodstream’ while his former no.1 ‘Sing’ re-entered at no.38. He also rounded off the top forty with ‘Don’t’ re-entering at no.40.

New Releases

Alex Adair – ‘Make Me Feel Better’

Leading the way this week is Sussex based DJ and producer Alex Adair who has already been making waves with this track which has recently made it on to the Radio 1 A playlist.  The video was first uploaded just before Christmas and has achieved over 900k views since then. As a producer he recently worked on the remix of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran but he also has credits on tracks by Imagine Dragons (‘I Bet My Life’), Ella Eyre (‘Comeback’) and Jessie Ware (‘Say You Love Me’).  This has almost a Summer vibe to it and it will certainly sound great in the clubs of Ibiza this year. He is set to make some festival appearances over the Summer and has already been confirmed as part of the Blissfields Lineup. It looks as though it will become one of the weeks highest new entries next Sunday afternoon so watch out for it landing somewhere inside the top ten.

Brookes Brothers featuring Camille – ‘Anthem’

Brookes Brothers have teamed up with Camille for the release of their latest single ‘Anthem’ on the Viper Recordings label. They recently appeared in Worcester and London, but fans wishing to catch them live during March may have to travel as far as Austria with Graz on the 13th their only confirmed performance at the time of writing. The duo uploaded the video which accompanies the track to their Vevo account in mid February and it picked up over 10k views during its first week. The single is available as a single track download and a digital bundle which contains six brand new mixes; the Extended Mix, the Cyantific Mix, the Brookes Brothers Fusion Remix, the Scales Remix, the Tuff Culture Remix and the Seamus Haji Remix. I can see this being a hit in the clubs but am not sure if it can make the transition over to the mainstream chart next Sunday afternoon.

IYES – ‘Glow’

Iyes are a Brighton based duo consisting of Josh Christopher and Melis Soyaslanova who release their new single ‘Glow’ this week on the Sony label. The track follows on from their 2014 single ‘Breathe’ and they will be hoping that it performs well for them. It starts with a stripped back feel but builds to moments of drama. It is quite different to most of the top forty and would certainly brighten up the chart if it were to succeed. Fans who are new to IYES would do well to visit the bands Soundcloud page where you can find a stunning cover of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’. The video which accompanies the track was uploaded back in November last year and has received over 20k views since then. Their last live appearance came at the Servant Jazz Quarters in London last November but there should be an opportunity to see them perform again soon.

Jimmy Somerville – ‘Learned To Talk’

It’s been five years since we last heard from Jimmy with his ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ album but now he is back with a brand new long player in the shape of ‘Homage’ and from that comes his new single ‘Learned To Talk’. It’s a beautiful song and Jimmy’s falsetto vocals remain as powerful now as they were when he fronted The Communards. He managed to notch up seven hits as a solo artist with his biggest singles being the cover versions ‘To Love Somebody’ and ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)’. He hasn’t appeared on the singles chart for almost twenty years and it would be great to have him back. Fans wishing to catch him live can do so this Summer when he appears at Lets Rock shows in Bristol and Southampton. His ‘Homage’ album is due out later this week and let’s hope he doesn’t leave it another five years before the next one.

Marlon Roudette – ‘When The Beat Drops Out’

It’s hard to explain why ‘New Age’ by Marlon Roudette wasn’t a hit in the UK.  It was a great pop song, and it topped the charts in Austria, Germany, Latvia and Switzerland. However for whatever reason it didn’t manage to catch on with the music buying public in the UK, but hopefully his fortunes will change with the release of his new single ‘When The Beat Drops Out’. The promotional video to this track first surfaced back in July of last year and it has picked up over 8.5m views since then. He is due to go on an extensive tour of Germany next month but he has yet to confirm any dates in the UK. This track has made the top spot in the Czech Republic and Germany but only time will tell if it can achieve that level of success in the UK chart. Sadly I fear that it may struggle unless the mainstream radio stations really get behind it.

Rene LaVice featuring Ivy Mairi – ‘The Calling’

Next up is DJ, producer and film maker Rene LaVice who teams up with Ivy Mairi for his new single ‘The Calling’. He has carved himself a reputation as one of the hottest drum & bass producers in the North American scene and he can count Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw as being amongst his fans. The single is released as a digital bundle containing the Jason Burns Remix and the Mo Clapz Remix of the main track alongside new song ‘Freudian’. The video to the track was first uploaded back on 13th February and it picked up over 10k views during its first week. Fans wishing to catch him live can do so this weekend when he appears at the Oval Space in London alongside Culture Shock, Rampage and Frankee.  As much as I like this I don’t think that it will become a mainstream hit for him although it could still do well in the clubs.

Stacey Solomon – ‘Shy’

It’s been a long time coming but Stacey Solomon is finally due to release her debut album ‘Shy’ next month, and this week sees the release of the title track as the opening single. She first came to prominence back in 2009 when she appeared in the final stages of the X Factor, and she had a top thirty single in 2011 with her cover of Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home For Christmas’. Since then she has presented ‘Sing If You Can’ with Keith Lemon and ‘Love Machine’ with Chris Moyles. She has rarely out of the public eye and regularly features on other shows like ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’. It’s easy to forget that she does have a stunning voice, and her performance of Queen’s ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ was one of the highlights of the 2009 series of X Factor. Its great to hear some new material from her and I hope that the album does very well for her when it is released.

The Veronicas – ‘If You Love Someone’

This week sees The Veronica’s follow up their top ten hit ‘You Ruin Me’ with ‘If You Love Someone’. It has already reached no.5 in their native Australia where it has given them a ninth career top ten hit. It will feature on their forthcoming self titled album which is due for release over here in two weeks time. The video for the track was uploaded to their Vevo account back in December and has been viewed over 500k times since then. This week sees them kick off a five date tour of the UK in Birmingham with the final date being at Heaven in London next week. They may only have three UK hits to their name so far but their last single ‘You Ruin Me’ did see them pick up significant airplay and it certainly brought them to a much wider audience. I think that this will do enough to add to their tally when the charts are announced next weekend.

Years & Years – ‘King’

Every year journalists rush to try and pick out the acts to watch, and in 2015 Years & Years are a name which keeps on coming up. They started off by winning the BBC Sound Of 2015 poll seeing off strong competition from James Bay and they have also been nominated for the Critics Choice Award at the Brits. This week sees them follow up their 2014 hit ‘Desire’ with their brand new single ‘KIng’. It’s an uptempo commercial dance track the same as its predecessor and it should see them back inside the top thirty. The official video was uploaded to their Vevo account on the 19th January and it took just over one month to surpass 3m views. The band are currently in the midst of a UK tour which concludes in Brighton next weekend. With renewed interest in the trio since their poll win this could well end up putting in a challenge at the top end of the charts.

Also released this week are ‘Angel Is Coming’ by Basement Jaxx, ’24 Hours (From Tulsa)’ by Hazel Dean and ‘Kong’ by Julio Bashmore featuring Bixby.

Next Week…

Ellie Goulding could hold on for week no.5 but equally Years & Years may prove to be strong challengers. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include The Avener, Ella Henderson, Peter Doherty and The Vaccines. Until then have yourself a good week.

Ian Anderson

1 March, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment

Chart Chat Edition 796 – W/C 22.02.15

Chart Chat Edition 796 – Week Commencing Sunday 22nd February 2015

Introduction

Welcome to edition 796 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 four new entries, thirteen climbers, sixteen songs going down and seven non movers on this weeks chart. There was no change at the top as Ellie Goulding held on for a third week with ‘Love Me Like You Do’ while Hozier was a non mover at no.2 with ‘Take Me To Church’ which spent its thirtieth week on the chart.

Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars got a non mover at no.3 with ‘Uptown Funk’ and The Weeknd climbed six to no.4 with ‘Earned It’. Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney got a non mover at no.5 with ‘FourFiveSeconds’ and DJ Fresh featuring Ella Eyre went down two to no.6 with ‘Gravity’. Maroon 5 climbed four to no.7 with ‘Sugar’ and Avicii went back up one to no.8 with ‘The Nights’. Charli XCX featuring Rita Ora fell one to no.9 with ‘Doing It’ and Ed Sheeran fell three to no.10 with ‘Thinking Out Loud’.

There were four climbers and two new entries to be found in what remained of the top twenty. Sia went back up one to no.11 with ‘Elastic Heart’ and James Bay climbed four to no.13 with ‘Hold Back The River’. Olly Murs featuring Demi Lovato went back up two to no.16 with ‘Up’ and LuvBug scored a new entry at no.17 with ‘Revive (Say Something)’. Alesso featuring Tove Lo climbed two to no.19 with ‘Heroes (We Could Be)’ and David Guetta featuring Emeli Sande got a new entry at no.20 with ‘What I Did For Love’.

There were two new entries and six climbers in the lower half of the chart this week. Sia climbed two places to no.22 with ‘Chandalier’ and Meghan Trainor went up three to no.27 with ‘All About That Bass’.  Taylor Swift climbed back up two to no.29 with ‘Blank Space’ and George Ezra went up four to no.30 with ‘Budapest’. Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne climbed one place to no.31 with ‘Real Love’ while Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj went back up one to no.35 with ‘Bang Bang’. Taylor Swift got a new entry at no.36 with ‘Style’ and Florence & The Machine went straight in at no.37 with ‘What Kind Of Man’.

New Releases

David Guetta featuring Emeli Sande – ‘What I Did For Love’

French DJ and producer David Guetta gets us underway this week with ‘What I Did For Love’, a track which sees him team up with Emeli Sande. He has enjoyed a great chart career so far with twenty seven top forty hits to his name including six number ones. This latest single is released as a digital bundle containing six brand new mixes including the VINAI Remix, the Morten Remix, the Quentin Mosimann Remix, the TEEMID Remix, the PANG! Remix and the Extended Version. The original version of the track features on his ‘Listen’ album and a lyric video has been generating interest with over 8.5m views during its first five weeks of upload. The track has already received plenty of airplay on both radio and TV and is safely inside the top twenty. As such the release of this remix EP should serve to send it further up the chart next Sunday afternoon.

Disciples – ‘They Don’t Know’

Next up are the London based trio The Disciples who release their brand new single ‘They Don’t Know’ this week. The track first appeared last Summer and Pete Tong first selected it as his Essential New Tune on the 29th August. It then became Radio 1’s Track Of The Day on the 16th January and it has been picking up airplay ever since then. The video to the track was first uploaded on the bands YouTube channel on 16th January and it managed to achieve over 30k views during its first week. They performed at Club Mojo earlier this month but currently don’t have any other UK appearances confirmed. The band have also remixed tracks for several other major artists including John Newman, Milky Chance and Lana Del Rey but this track could finally secure them a hit in their own right.  Watch out for this appearing inside the top forty next weekend.

GotSome featuring Wiley – ‘Vibe Out’

Bristol based house and bass production duo GotSome have teamed up with Grime legend Wiley for the release of their brand new single ‘Vibe Out’. While GotSome will be newcomers to the chart Wiley has has already eight hits as a solo artist with his most recent coming back in 2013 when ‘Lights On’ reached no.9. He has also enjoyed significant success as part of Roll Deep who had two no.1 hits back in 2010. Although they are less known as artists the duo have worked on remixes by a number of different artists including Basement Jaxx, Moko, Jus Now and Junior Jack. Next weekend sees them play at Canal Mills in Leeds while in March they will appear at venues in Loughborough, Glasgow and their home city of Bristol. This track has been attracting plenty of attention in recent weeks and could yet be a hit for them next Sunday afternoon.

‘Heartbeat Song’ by Kelly Clarkson

‘Piece By Piece’ marks the release of the seventh studio album by Kelly Clarkson, and this week sees  her brand new single ‘Heartbeat Song’ become the first track to be lifted from it. If successful it will become her fifteenth UK top forty hit and her first since the 2013 festive hit ‘Underneath The Tree’. The promotional video to the track was first uploaded on 5th February and it managed to notch up over 3m views during its first fortnight. It’s a typical upbeat rock / pop song and her performance on the Graham Norton TV show is bound to have given sales a boost. It seems hard to believe that it is now over twelve years since she won the original series of American Idol and since then her career has gone from strength to strength with eight top ten hits in the UK. I’m sure that this will pick up plenty of airplay and will add another hit to her already impressive tally.

Madonna – ‘Living For Love’

Although it only contained one top forty hit her last album ‘MDNA’ still sold enough to become her twelfth no.1 album. Now she is back with her brand new album ‘Rebel Heart’ and from that comes her brand new single ‘Living For Love’. The track is decent enough and it has more of a dance feel to it than some of her other material. That is something which has also been found in some of the other tracks which have already been made available from ‘Rebel Heart’ and in particular I am thinking of ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ which sees her team up with Nicki Minaj. Certain elements of the press seem to have been very much against her in recent months / years and so despite her stature I wonder just how much airplay this will manage to generate. She does however remain a force to be reckoned with and I expect the album to see her back at the top of the charts.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – ‘Ballad Of The Mighty I’

How the mighty have fallen.  When you compare this track to any of the early Oasis albums it reminds you just what heights Noel is capable of, and just how far away from them he now is. This track has already been made available to download ahead of the release of his new album ‘Chasing Yesterday’ which is due out on the 2nd March. However this week sees its official release on 7″ vinyl which comes with ‘Revolution Song’ on the b side.  Noel was recently quoted as saying he didn’t want to live in a world where Ed Sheeran can fill Wembley Stadium but his days of being able to fill such a huge venue appear to be behind him. Paul Weller has advised Noel against reforming Oasis but I wonder if he hears this he might advise Noel against putting out second rate material such as this. This will be purchased by fans / collectors only and with many just waiting on the album I don’t think it will be a hit.

Orange Hill featuring RDX – ‘Loud’

Orange Hill are a production duo consisting of Ras Kwame and Jnr Tubby. This week sees them team up with RDX for their new single ‘Loud’. The track comes released as a number of different remixes / downloads including the Instrumental, Electrobashy Vocal Mix, the Electrobashy Dub Mix, the Oh 2Step N Bass Vocal Remix, the Oh 2Step N Bass Dub Remix, the Whojax EDM Vocal Remix and the Whojax EDM Dub Remix. The video to accompany the track was uploaded to their Vevo account in late January and it soon picked up thousands of views during its first month. Fans keen to hear more from them can check out their Soundcloud page which also includes remixes of this track. I can see this becoming a big dancefloor hit but not sure if it will pick up enough mainstream airplay for it to reach the top forty next Sunday afternoon.

Redlight – ‘Gold Teeth’

The Bristol based DJ and producer Redlight is up next with ‘Gold Teeth’, the follow up to his 2014 top 75 hit ‘9TS (90s Baby)’. His last hit single came with ‘Lost In Your Love’ which reached top five back in 2012 while his only other top forty appearance came with ‘Get Out Of My Head’. An audio version of this track was first uploaded back in October last year and now gets a full release as a single. The video was uploaded to his Vevo account during January and it quickly notched up 30k views during its first week. Fans wishing to see him live can catch him at Chibuku in Liverpool and Lakota in Bristol later this week. Aside from his work as an artist he also regularly provides remixes for other artists and has recently worked on Rae Morris’ track ‘Closer’. I think that this track will do well for him and we could see him around the lower reaches of the top forty next Sunday afternoon.

Sam Smith – ‘Lay Me Down’

This track original made no.46 in March last year but we can expect it to perform much better this time around.  Since then we have seen his four top ten singles (‘Money On My Mind’, ‘Stay With Me’, ‘Like I Can’ and ‘I’m Not The Only One’) spend 133 weeks on the chart. This will be the fifth top forty hit to come from his debut album ‘The Lonely Hour’ which has spent six weeks at the top of the charts since its release last June. The dramatic video which accompanies this track was uploaded to his Vevo account on the 5th February and it managed an impressive 13m views during its first two weeks. He recently won four Grammy Awards and he will also have high hopes of success at the forthcoming Brit Awards. However with such significant album sales its hard to see this making a big impression on the top ten next weekend.

Also released this week are ‘All This I’ve Heard Before / Watch Me Fall Again’ by Andy Burrows, ‘Something New’ by Axwell & Ingrosso, ‘Tusk Vegas EP’ by Movie, ‘Gas Pipe’ by Show N Prove & Big Narstie, ‘In The Dark’ by Tiesto featuring Christian Burns and ‘I Want You To Know’ by Zedd featuring Selena Gomez.

Next Week…

I expect Ellie Goulding to hold on at the top but David Guetta featuring Emeli Sande should climb into the top three and Kelly Clarkson is aiming for a high new entry. Don’t forget to stop by next week when artists releasing new singles look set to include Alex Adair, Marlon Roudette, Stacy Solomon and Take That. Until then have yourself a good week.

Ian Anderson

22 February, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment