2010: End of A Year(a)
Delicious ChartBloggerers, this will be the last time we speak in the year of our Lord 2010. You've got presents to buy, cards to write, best-of-year playlists to compile and friends to see, and so have I (apart from the presents, the cards and the friends, obv).
But I haven't forgotten your insatiable need for musical treats to feast upon, so here's a quick roundup of notable things which are around and about over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to come back to this page again and again during the holiday period, cos if you don't pace yourself, you might find you wind up with the musical equivalent of heartburn. And they don't make a Gaviscon for that.
The big question is: who will win the race for the coveted New Year No.1? Will it be Matt Cardle? Will it be someone else? Or Matt Cardle? Who can say?
Week beginning December 20th
Katy B ft. Ms Dynamite - 'Real Love'
Utterly great: an ode to dancing even when the music is over, which also features some engaging shouting from Ms. D. If I were a DJ, I doubt that her words would convince me to play that extra song, but only because it would be hard to be sure what it is she really wants. The time? The police? A hug? Maybe a friendly wave, some mumbling and a blush, that oughtta do it.
Here's the video - it's dotty.)
Arcade Fire - 'The Suburbs'
This would be the title single from a quite well received album from fondly-thought of Canadian band with an enthusiastic fan-base who really do enjoy their work a lot. The eager-beavers among you might want to re-listen to Zane Lowe's Arcade Fire special (available for a limited time only), which features a new session and interviews with the band.
(Here's a video of them on Later With Jools Holland. It's wholesome.)
Cee-Lo Green - 'It's OK'
Heroically unrubbish soul retread, with amazing finger-clicks, from Professor Green's uncle*. Possibly won't do quite as well as his last song, but a wondrous thing, nonetheless.
(No video. STILL swearing then, Mr Green?)
Pixie Lott - 'Can't Make This Over'
This is taken from the revamped version of Pixie's debut album, 'Turn It Up (Louder)' and is co-written by Daniel Bedingfield. It's one of Pixie's more contemplative, thoughtful songs, and for some reason, listening to it made me sad for the weird way the Sugababes self-destructed. Pop is a strange place sometimes.
(Here's the video. It's backwards.)
Week beginning December 27th
Well, after the excitement around the Christmas No.1 and the New Year No.1, the race is on this week to see who will get the coveted first-new-No.1-of-the-year No.1. Will it be Matt Cardle? Pixie Lott? Or one of this lot? You'll just have to wait and see.
Eliza Doolittle - 'Skinny Genes'
Reissue of the whistly song that was nearly a Top 20 hit earlier this year. The whistly bit is code for the extremely rude things Eliza can't bring herself to say in song form, so she has found a clever way around the problem. A lesson she could possibly have taught to a certain Mr Green, thinking about it.
(Here's the video. It's a clown party.)
Tinie Tempah ft. Kelly Rowland - 'Invincible'
A song in which Tinie takes the time to consider where he has come from and what he has achieved, through the lens of a relationship, so that Kelly has something to sing about. It is this lens which separates this song from a LOT of other hip hop songs (how-far-I-have-come is second only to why-you-are-rubbish-and-I-am-great on the hip hop hot topic list). And to be fair, he really has come a long way in a very short time, so it's probably fair comment. His aunt's house must be FULL of clothes by now.
(Here's the video. It's curiously Kelly-light.)
The Wanted - 'Lose My Mind'
Anthemic pop noise from this young boyband with old boyband tendencies. Gets all lively in the choruses, breathy and pleading in the verses and a little bit congregational - like Arcade Fire - in that wordless refrain in between. Not as good as 'All Time Low', but then, very few songs are.
(Here's the video. It's fair.)
AND, while we're here, let's have a quick look into the strange world of The Future, where the dogs are invisible and every Ugg boot has its own personality...
Week beginning January 3rd TWENTY-ELEVEN!
Cheryl Cole - 'The Flood'
Another contemplative song from a wronged popstrel with a rueful eye towards the failings in her love life. It's mature and a bit sad, and, if I'm honest, a bit dreary. Maybe Cheryl should go for some kind of girl's night out with Pixie, to Katy B's club, and dance her cares away. Or just get Ms Dynamite in to shout all over her next single. Should liven things up a treat.
(Here's the video. It's wet.)
Professor Green ft. Maverick Sabre - 'Jungle'
And finally, here's Cee-Lo's nephew* with a song which is designed to be utterly terrifying. From the stomach-destroying bass wob to the Prof's sneering, jeering leer. The entire thing has been constructed to make you feel dislocated and slightly threatened. It comes with a video which just makes everything worse, and as such, is probably not for everyone, even though it's undeniably grand. If you enjoy having your ears harassed by happy hoodlums in hoods, you know where to come.
So, plenty to get your cranial receptacons around there.
Thanks to everyone for a brilliant year throwing words at pop music and drawing finger-paintings with the mess. Merry Christmas to all, and a happy new year.
See you in the '11.
* No relation.