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Paramore - 'The Only Exception'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:33 UK time, Saturday, 3 April 2010


Honesty is a tough word to live up to in the field of modern popular song. The very act of singing your feelings instead of expressing them in the way your body most naturally would - crying, laughing, shouting etc - is a fundamentally dishonest thing to do. It might be cathartic, it might even count as a kind of therapy, but you're essentially putting a frame around your own troubled innards and inviting people to come and see the exhibition.

It's a layer of self-consciousness, a bit like that scene in Glee where Finn decides that the best way to tell his girlfriend's parents that they're about to become grandparents is to sing a song about it, to them, at the dinner table. It's a scene which came across as ridiculous and wrong, even on television; even on GLEE on television.

Try that in real life, and you'll probably find yourself having to eat a CD player. At carving-knife-point.

(Here's the video. It is tough being a hot girl.)

And yet, on the surface of things, singing is all about expressing raw emotion. The singer has to convince you, the listener, that they mean every word, even when those words are just a load of old nonsense. Hayley Williams is getting better at this with every single Paramore release. And this is the most honest-sounding yet.

Everything about it rings true: from the bits about the disillusionment of childhood, when you realise your parents are just people too, to the bits about the disillusionment of adulthood, when you realise that sometimes bad things happen to good people. And clearest and truest of all, the realisation that people who are good for you are few and far between and you need to cherish those people and most of all, ensure that they know about it.

Extra praise is due to the band for coming up with such a transparent, delicate arrangement, which allows Hayley to emote clearly, and builds up to a nice climactic power-ballad ending. It's about as honest as music gets, frankly, and as such, is pretty damn-near impossible to find fault with.

Five starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: April 5th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Wait, so our we just giving out 5 Stars to everything Paramore produce now. I know the rating system doesn't really mean anything but awarding the first three singles 5 Stars each implies that they've made the greatest album ever or something.

    The Only Exception is a decent song, even if it does sound a bit like a Katy Perry ballad, but I wouldn't say it's a 5 Star song. 3 Stars for me.

  • Comment number 3.

    Amen to that Harry!

    3 stars also.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm a big Paramore fan but even I wouldn't give it 5 stars. I gave it 3.5 stars over on Jedward.

  • Comment number 5.

    But I do agree with Fraser about how honest Hayley is getting with each Paramore release. And just because they have three 5 star releases from the one album, doesn't make it the greatest album ever, Harry, it means that they're just releasing good singles from the album.

  • Comment number 6.

    Well I give it 5 stars. Really nice song, and yep, Paramore have released 3 damn near perfect singles so far. Ignorance was an angry up tempo audio assault, Brick By Brick was as catchy as it was brilliant and The Only Exception is a slow song that really makes you think.

  • Comment number 7.

    I know, I was completely disappointed that Brick By Boring Brick performed so poorly in the charts. With that great video and everything.

  • Comment number 8.

    Id give this a solid 4 stars. I reserve my 5 star ratings for amazing stuff. So I wouldn't give any of the new Paramore stuff a 5 star rating.. probably one or two of the earlier songs would get 5.

    But that's just me!

    This is a brilliant, raw, sexy and honest song. Really enjoy listening to it. Even if it does sound a bit like Avril Lavigne.

  • Comment number 9.

    I believe that Once by Diana Vickers , as a pop song is very close to 5 stars , and will be a top 10 hit on April 25th 2010 .

    How many stars for Diana's song for you Liam ?

  • Comment number 10.

    really really boring song.. don't get it at all..

  • Comment number 11.

    I also think it sounds a bit Avril Lavigne, Liam. But still that doesn't do much for me because it's not Avril herself.

    As I said I'd give it 3 stars, half because it's not all brilliant like, but also because ''Brick By Boring Brick'' was VERY brilliant like.

  • Comment number 12.

    I was thinking how many bands have actually released three 5 Star song from an album in a row, so far all I could think of was;

    MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
    Time To Pretend, Kids and Electric Feel (though if I was being mean I'd say Electric Feel is only a four star song)

    U2 - The Joshua Tree
    With Or Without You, Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and Where The Streets Have No Name

    Michael Jackson - Thriller
    if you forget about The Girl Is Mine; Billie Jean, Beat It and Wanna Be Startin Something

    The Killers - Hot Fuss
    Mr Brightside, Somebody Told Me and All These Things I've Done

    Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights
    PDA (though it was technically the radio single from an ep so it might not count), Obstacle 1 and Say Hello To The Angels

    Arcade Fire - Funeral
    Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out), Rebellion (Lies) and Wake Up.

    I'm not sure about Guns N Roses because I'm not a massive fan of Paradise City and The Clash might get in there with the album London Calling

  • Comment number 13.

    well harry I'm sure a lot of people will think it, but I'm gonna have to say every single released from 'Whatever people say i am...'

    btw random little fact.. that album sold 1.2 million copies in the UK and 100,000 in Argentina... Argentinians love it!

  • Comment number 14.

    I thought there was only two singles released from 'Whatever People Say...' - When Sun Goes Down and I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. If there had been 3 singles then I'm sure it's worthy of inclusion.

  • Comment number 15.

    The View From The Afternoon , from the EP ... Who The **** Are The Arctic Monkeys ?

  • Comment number 16.

    Actually I wouldn't say 'Somebody told me' was a 5 star track. There's better on Hot Fuss! It may be one of my least favorite Killers tracks actually. I'd also 4 star electric feel 'cause I'm mean.

    'The view from the afternoon' is still on the album 'Whatever..', as well as the 'Who the ..' EP. So I guess that counts.

    But because I am a complete mean person with my star ratings, I'm not actually sure I'd give 'I bet that you look good on the dance floor' a 5 star rating. The album made my top 10 list of the decade (basically ever, for me) .. but it's not a personal favorite track. 'The View from the Afternoon', 'Fake Tales of San Francisco', 'You Probably Couldn't See for the Lights but You Were Staring Straight at Me', 'Still Take You Home' (at a push), 'Mardy Bum', 'When the Sun Goes Down' and my personal favorite 'A Certain Romance' are all 5 star songs in my mind.

  • Comment number 17.

    3 5 star releases in a row? Hmm.

    'Dog days are over', 'Rabbit heart..' and 'Drumming song' are all 5 star.

    'Mowgli's Road', 'Hollywood', 'I Am Not a Robot'?

    Check out Muse's single release list on Wikipedia and there's several groups of 3 singles that are all 5 star. The same for Radiohead.

    I'd agree on Arcade fire, of course!

    I'm not at home so I can't really just glance down my iTunes. I've checked and the Artic's and The Killers didn't manage to release 3 5 star singles in a row. Neither did Lily Allen, Adele, Scissor Sisters, Glasvegas, Jamie T, Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Kings of Leon.

    Imogen Heap did manage it though, with 'Hide and Seek', 'Goodnight and Go' and 'Headlock'.

    Gaga needs to release a 3rd 5 star single as 'Bad Romance' and 'Telephone' are her only 5 star singles in my book, since 'Just Dance'.

    I'm now just thinking of artists I'm listening to at the moment ..

    'Great Expectations', 'The '59 Sound' and 'The Backseat' from The Gaslight Anthem just falls short as 'The Backseat' is only a 4 star song.

    Bloc Party did it with 'Flux', 'Hunting for Witches', 'I Still Remember' and actually made 4 with 'The Prayer' too.

    Plan B's last three are all 5 star.

    I could play this game all day to be honest. Think I'll stop there! I do only hand out 5 star ratings for brilliance in my eyes.. though it does look a little like I throw it around from all these! Hmm maybe I need to get stricter!

  • Comment number 18.

    Slow Hands

    The 3 singles from Interpol's excellent second album , Antics , are all 5 star singles .
    Superb .

  • Comment number 19.

    Daddy's Home.
    Flowers and Football Tops.

    3 ***** singles in a row for Glasvegas !

  • Comment number 20.

    I lolled at Daddy's home... wasn't that the complete opposite point of the song Spirit? :P Easy mistake to make! Also not 5 stars in my book!

  • Comment number 21.

    Oh , of course it's Daddy's Gone , and it IS a 5 star song .

    The embarassing thing is , I got mixed up with the top 10 hit , Daddy's Home by ...... Cliff Richard !

    Oh , the shame .

  • Comment number 22.

    The Big Mac , has the chance to re - edit all his mistakes , that we all highlight , but my Cliff Richard error is there for all to see , with no chance of being edited. Oh dear .

    *Hangs head , sobs , realising cool reputation is all but lost.*


  • Comment number 23.

    Going back to 1981 -82.

    4 , 5 star songs in arow for Soft Cell .

    1) Tainted Love.
    2) Bedsitter.
    3) Say Hello Wave Goodbye.
    4) Torch.


    2)Union City Blue.
    3)Atomic .

    The Beatles
    1)Eleanor Rigby.
    2) Strawberry Fields Forever.
    3)All You Need Is Love .

    The Red Hot Chilli Peppers

    1) By The Way.
    2) The Zephyr Song.
    3) Can't Stop.

    Great debate .

  • Comment number 24.

    The Rolling Stones .

    1) Jumpin Jack Flash .
    2) Honky Tonk Women .
    3) Brown Sugar .

  • Comment number 25.

    The Teardrop Explodes

    1) Reward.
    2) Treason.
    3) Passionate Friend .

    The Stereophonics

    1) The Bartender and the Thief.
    2) Just Looking.
    3) Pick a Part That's New .

    Roxy Music

    1) Over You
    2) Oh Yeah
    3) The Same Old Scene.

    The Prodigy

    1) Firestarter
    2) Breathe
    30 Smack my ***** Up.

  • Comment number 26.

    Baby Bird

    1) Bad Old Man .
    2) If You'll Be Mine.
    3) Back Together .

  • Comment number 27.


    1) One .
    2) Even Better Than The Real Thing .
    3) Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses ?

  • Comment number 28.

    Kanye West

    1) Jesus Walks .
    2) Diamonds From Sierra Leone.
    3) Gold Digger .

  • Comment number 29.

    I realise that some of my choices are not all on the same album , but they are all 3 singles released by the artists , in chronological order , so technically 3 singles in a row .

  • Comment number 30.

    I must also say, that I feel " Back Together " by Baby Bird , is quite frankly , one of my favourite songs , ever .

    There are 2 versions , but the video with the couple kissing in the rain for 3 minutes , makes me melt every time .

  • Comment number 31.

    Oh dear I'm struggling to even recognise a couple of these artists Spirit. Showing my age a little here!

    Good shout on the Prodigy. I was debating their last three single releases, but decided 'Warriors Dance' isn't 5 stars.

    'The Zephyr Song' only 4 stars in my book though :p

  • Comment number 32.

    Wow, Spirit, this debate obviously appeals to you. I'm struggling to come up with three 5 star singles released in chronological order by a certain artist...but all great choices, Spirit.

  • Comment number 33.

    I did a long list explaining why some of them were 5 STARS or not but for some reason it got lost so I'll just have the artist with yes or no depending on my opinion.

    Florence and the Machine = no
    Marina and the Diamonds = no
    Muse = yes with Stockholm Syndrome, Time Is Running Out and Hysteria
    Imogen Heap = no
    Lady Gaga = no
    The Gaslight Anthem = no
    Bloc Party = no
    Plan B = not sure I'll have to look back at End Credits
    Interpol = no
    Glasvegas = no
    Soft Cell = no
    Blondie = yes with Atomic, Call Me and The Tide Is High
    The Beatles = yes many times
    Red Hot Chili Peppers = no
    The Rolling Stones = yes
    The Teardrop Explodes = no!
    Stereophonics = no
    Roxy Music = yes with Do The Strand, Street Life, Love Is The Drug and Angel Eyes that's 4 in a row!
    The Progidy = no, didn't like Smack My B**** Up that much
    Baby Bird = no
    U2 = no, didn't like Who's Gonna Ride Your White Horse?
    Kayne West = no

    That's my opinion anyway though I am quite strict in giving out 5 STARS, really a 5 STAR song should be a future classic.

  • Comment number 34.

    Julian Cope

    1)Sunshine Playroom .
    2) The Greatness and Perfection Of Love .
    3) World Shut Your Mouth .

    Tears For Fears

    1) Shout .
    2) Everybody Wants To Rule The World .
    3) Head Over Heels .

    Frankie Goes To Hollywood

    1) Relax.
    2) Two Tribes.
    3) The Power Of Love.
    4) Welcome to the Pleasure Dome .


    1) Another One Bites The Dust .
    2) Flash .
    3) Under Pressure.

    Plan B

    1) End Credits .
    2) Stay Too Long.
    3) She Said .

    The Sex Pistols

    1) Anarchy In The Uk .
    2) God Save The Queen .
    3) Pretty Vacant .
    4) Holidays In The Sun .

    The Smiths

    1) This Charming Man
    2) What Difference Does It Make ?
    3) Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now .

    David Bowie

    1) Space Oddity .
    2) Starman.
    3) John I'm Only Dancing .

    1)Ashes to Ashes.
    3)Scary Monsters And Super Creeps.


    1) She's a Star .
    2) Tomorrow .
    3) Waltzing Along .

    The Skids

    1) The Saints Are Coming .
    2) Into The Valley.
    3) Masquerade .

    Big Country

    1) Fields Of Fire .
    2) In A Big Country .
    3) Chance .


    1) Bullets .
    2) Munich .
    3) Blood .

    The Jam

    1)Down in the Tube Station at Midnight .
    2)Strange Town .
    3)When You're Young.
    4)The Eton Rifles .
    5)Going Underground .
    6) The Dreams Of Children .
    7) Start .
    8) That's Entertainment .
    9) Funeral Pyre .
    10)Absolute Beginners .
    11) A Town Called Malice .

    For me , The Jam released 11 , 5 STAR SINGLES IN A ROW , and this is probably why a lot of musicians rightly respect Paul Weller as a god like genius .
    In short , The Jam were and ARE a big deal .

  • Comment number 35.

    no gaslight anthem harry?? awww... but i agree with bloc party's run of 4.. the prodigy and especially imogen heap.. i can't stress how great her album, 'speak for yourself' is.. not a bad track on it.. her albums either side of that one are mediocre in comparison

  • Comment number 36.

    @ 34

    I'm guessing Spirit's a bit of a Jam fan!

  • Comment number 37.


    1) Cover My Eyes ( Pain and Heaven )
    2) No One Can ( This song is one of my absolute favourites of all time )
    3) Dry Land.

    Bob Marley and the Wailers .

    1) Waiting In Vain.
    2) Jamming.
    3) Is This Love ?

  • Comment number 38.

    The Cure

    1) Lullaby .
    2) Love Song.
    3) Pictures Of You .

  • Comment number 39.

    Def Lepperd

    1) Animal.
    2) Pour Some Sugar On Me.
    3) Hysteria.

    This albums a guilty pleasure , and the 5th single Love Bites is another 5 star gem !

  • Comment number 40.

    Depeche Mode

    1) Barrel of a Gun .
    2) It's No Good.
    3) Home .
    4) Useless .

  • Comment number 41.

    @ 34

    David Bowie (the single greatest recording artist of all time!) has had many runs of brilliant singles.

    1971 - 1972
    1) Moonage Daydream
    2) Hang On To Yourself
    3) Changes
    4) Starman
    5) John, I'm Only Dancing
    6) The Jean Genie
    7) Space Oddity (re-issue)

    1) Rebel Rebel
    2) Rock N Roll Suicide (one of my favourite all time songs)
    3) Diamond Dogs

    1) Ashes To Ashes
    2) Fashion
    3) Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
    4) Up The Hill Backwards
    5) Under Pressure (with Queen)

    1) Let's Dance
    2) China Girl
    3) Modern Love (one of the most under-rated David Bowie tracks ever)

    Unfortunately after that his career went a bit wierd but from 1970 to 1983 his output was pretty much faultless, always pushing himself to do something different whilst keeping what made him so brilliant in the first place.

  • Comment number 42.

    @35 Thankyou!! I have been banging on Speak for yourself for ages now and it mostly seemed to fall on deaf ears. It's insane. I also agree the other 2 albums (she's "only" had 3 right?) are poor in comparison. I'm glad when I got hold of her Discography I picked that one (mainly because it had 'Hide and seek' on) and not one of the others. Anyway..

    I either need to have been born a lot earlier, or I need to sit down and listen to some old music. Probably the first to really dive into this debate fully, but I do need to do the second. Perhaps I should take inspiration from this.

  • Comment number 43.

    Also @33. Big YES to End Credits. At a push 'She said' is 4 stars, 5 is generous if I'm honest. It's the weakest of the three.

    Muse also had runs of 5 stars with 'Muscle Museum', 'Sunburn', 'Unintended', 'Plug in Baby', 'New Born', 'Bliss', 'Feeling Good' in 2000/2001 (I make it 7 singles in a row, I'm sure of these you can pick at least one set of three!) and then again with 'Stockholm Syndrome', 'Time Is Running Out' and 'Hysteria' as you mentioned. I would also argue 'Sing for Absolution' is 5 star, so 4 in a row. Then again with 'Knights of Cydonia', 'Invincible' and 'Map of the Problematique'. 'Starlight' and 'Uprising' not being 5 star singles, shock horror.

    In short I bum Muse.

    Right now I honestly believe those Marina singles are 5 star. Although I'm just going through a Marina patch in my life at the moment. Maybe In a year's time I will look back and wonder what I was thinking. Her and Ellie are real talents, perhaps even eclipsing Little Boots from last year. Though not matching Florence..

  • Comment number 44.

    @ 25

    I remember my dad mentioned he saw The Teardrop Explodes when he was younger and halfway through a song the lead singer had to stop because he felt too emotional, now I don't mean to be cynical but that's a little bit over the top.

  • Comment number 45.

    @ 43

    I was never really a fan of Muse to begin with, like many other people, it was Plug In Baby that got me interested and New Born that proved they were brilliant.

  • Comment number 46.

    Oh, if we are doing David Bowie 5 star singles , at random , mine would be :

    1) Space Oddity .
    2) Starman
    3) John I'm Only Dancing .
    4) The Jean Genie .
    5) Life On Mars .
    6) Ziggy Stardust.
    7) Rebel Rebel .
    8) Young Americans .
    9) Golden Years .
    10) Fame .
    11) Sound and Vision .
    12 ) Heroes .
    13) Ashes to Ashes.
    14 ) Fashion.
    15 ) Scary Monsters and Super Creeps .
    16) Cat People (Putting Out Fire ) ( Used brilliant in INGLOURIOUS ****** starring Brad Pitt , directed by Quentin Tarantino )
    17)Let's Dance .
    18) China Girl .
    19) Modern Love
    "I know when to go out ,
    I know when to stay in ,
    Get THINGS DONE ! "
    20)Blue Jean.
    21) This is NOT America ( With the Pat Metheny Group ) Great song !
    22) Time Will Crawl .
    23) Jump They Say .
    24)Hallo Spaceboy ( With The Pet Shop Boys )
    25 ) Loving The Alien .
    26 ) Under Pressure .
    Wow !
    That is not bad , 26 ! 5 star singles by one artist.

    I think it's fair to say Mr Bowie has contributed immensely to the tapestry of great music .

  • Comment number 47.

    "I know when to go out , I know when to stay in , Get THINGS DONE ! "
    That has to be one of my favourite David Bowie lyrics, me and one of my friends randomly drop it into conversation and people have no idea what we're on about!

  • Comment number 48.


    Ha ha !!
    Julian Cope stopping a gig because he felt too emotional ?

    That sounds like my man .

    I have met Julian many times ,and yes , he can be the most unpredictable of people .I spent a while in his company last year, and it was extremely surreal , probably more for him than me , but it was so off the wall.. I could not begin to try to explain.
    I could share a few stories , but my lips are sealed .
    The man is a star !

  • Comment number 49.

    Lady Gaga

    1) Just Dance .
    2) Poker Face .
    3) Paparazzi .

    3 great pop songs and accompanying videos .

  • Comment number 50.

    Kate Bush .

    1) Running Up That Hill ( The Placebo cover is also superb ! )
    2) Cloudbusting . ( Cleverly sampled by Utah Saints on Somethin Good )
    3) The Hounds Of Love. ( Also brilliantly covered by The Futureheads )

    3 brilliant songs from Kate .

  • Comment number 51.


    1) Lost In A Melody .
    2) Valentine.
    3) Hideaway .

    How could I not include my Southampton buddies ?

  • Comment number 52.

    Adam and the Ants

    1) Dog Eat Dog .
    2) Ant Music .
    3) Kings Of The Wild Frontier .
    4) Stand and Deliver .

    I have watched archive footage of this band , and part of me wishes , I was around to witness the spectacle first hand . A truly innovative and charismatic ensemble .

  • Comment number 53.

    Going wayyy back to look at Comment 17

    It turns out GaGa will only be releasing four single from 'The Fame Monster' which wa scleared up for me kindly by spirit. (:

    She's confirmed 'Alejandro' next, which I'm a bit dubious on because whilst it recalls Ace of Base's 90's synth-pop (good for older ears) the Spanish-type voice she utilises doesn't do wonders for me, I would've much preferred 'Dance In The Dark' or 'Monster', myself.

    But she also said that 'Speechless' would be a single, so it seems that it will be the fourth. Here's hoping it is because it will show GaGa haters that she isn't just a one-trick, dance-pop pony, and to be perfectly honest she performs it very well live so will banish any previous dwellings on whether this gal can actually sing, because when she's not prancing about stupidly and she's just sat at a piano, that's when she perfomrs her best.

  • Comment number 54.

    Yeah but GaGa's already harping on about her third album and stating how "she wrote the anthem of our generation" in Liverpool about a week ago. I think Alejandro will probably be the last Fame Monster single now and we're going to get the new album a few months after that.

    Something's telling me GaGa's got something of a Kanye complex with her bragging about how "she wrote the anthem of our generation" and how the Telephone video is "a masterpiece" when really its very hit and miss.

  • Comment number 55.

    More hit than miss , I would say .

    The clue was , release the video , song rockets to number 1 , despite being :

    A)Already on the album .

    B) Already available to download for 15 weeks , before the video was released .

    Don't know , how many the You Tube hit speedometer is up to now , but I am aware it hit 5 million in about 3 days !

    Anyone know what it is now ?

    Maybe the answer will highlight , just how big a "hit" , the Telephone video was . . . .

  • Comment number 56.

    Ok , just looked !

    The explicit version has 25 million views , the clean one , 15 million views .

    Bearing in mind, there are other versions being viewed as well ,I reckon we are looking at close to 50 million views in around 3 weeks .

    In commercial terms , was the Telephone video a hit or miss ?


    Ok , yeah it had some dubious acting , but didn't that just add to the appeal ?


    50 million , that's quite a number .

  • Comment number 57.

    I was sold on the video when I saw the cigarette sun glasses.

  • Comment number 58.

    Back to 3 , 5 star singles in a row .

    Duran Duran

    1) Hungry Like The Wolf.
    2) Save a Prayer .
    3) Rio.

    Great stuff .

  • Comment number 59.

    Rio? Really?

  • Comment number 60.

    The Kinks .

    1) You Really Got Me .
    2) All Day and All of the Night .
    3) Tired of Waiting For You .

  • Comment number 61.

    Yeah, 'Rio' is probably the most annoying song Duran Duran' have done... except for that rather unamusing comeback 'Reach Up For The Sunrise'.

    Nill points

  • Comment number 62.


    1) S.O.S
    2) Mamma Mia.
    3) Fernando.
    4) Dancing Queen.
    5) Money Money Money .
    6) Knowing Me Knowing You .
    7) The Name of the Game .
    8) Take a Chance on Me .

    This is pop music songwriting and delivery of the very highest order .

  • Comment number 63.



  • Comment number 64.

    Yeah , Rio .

    That is one of the catchiest and most recognised pop music choruses of the 80's .
    When Duran play it live , every member of the crowd will sing that chorus.

    It's immense .

    Just ask all the West Ham , Leeds and Manchester United fans who have sang it thousands of times.

  • Comment number 65.

    @ 63 .

    Ha ha Oddone !

    Your Rio is my Super Trouper , when it comes to annoying choruses .


    Good to hear Glasgow getting a mention in the lyrics though .

  • Comment number 66.

    Come on then, the rest of the world , is it just me playing the 3 , 5 star singles in a row game ?


  • Comment number 67.

    I would play, but I don't know how, and I'm too lazy to look through this entire post to see if the rules are posted here.


  • Comment number 68.

    Ok , it is what you deem , to be 3 five star singles in a row , for a certain artist .
    The fact that it is your opinion , means that you CANNOT be wrong , of course.
    It is your choice , and the only person you have to justify your selections to , is yourself.
    In fact to make this game even more accessible , why don't we widen it to naming 3 five star songs by any artist , irrespective of dates .

    For example .

    Robbie Williams

    1) Angels.
    2) No Regrets .
    3) Let Me Entertain You .

    3 breathtakingly good pop singles .

  • Comment number 69.

    Come on peeps , have any of these following artists released 3 five star songs ?

    1) Queen.

    2) Elton John.

    3) John Lennon.

    4) T Rex .

    5) Blur .

    6) Oasis .

    7) Gorillaz .

    8) The Spice Girls .

    9) The Supremes .

    10 Elvis Presley .

    11) The Who .

    12) Simple Minds .

    13) Beyonce .

    14) P!nk.

    15) The Pet Shop Boys .

    16) Eminem ,

    17) Jay - Z

    18) The Black Eyed Peas .

    19) Dusty Springfield .

    20) Dionne Warwick .

    21) The Backstreet Boys .

    22) Take That

    23) Paul MaCartney/Wings.

    24) Guns n Roses .

    25) Metallica .

    26) Kings Of Leon.

    27) Fleetwood Mac .

    28) The Carpenters .

    29) Snow Patrol .

    30) The White Stripes .

  • Comment number 70.

    I'm gonna delve through the current Top 20 singles and for each artist, I'll choose a 5 star song by the artist with the Top 20 single and name my 5 stars songs by them if they've released any.

    01. Scouting For Girls

    They have none in my opinion, although their two lead singles are 4 star songs.

    02. Lady GaGa

    1) Just Dance (featuring Colby O'Donis and Akon)
    2) Telephone (featuring Beyoncé)

    Also Beyoncé

    1) Crazy In Love (featuring Jay-Z)
    2) Check On It
    3) Irreplaceable

    03. Plan B

    1) End Credits (with Chase & Status)
    2) Stay Too Long

    04. Delirious?

    I haven't heard much music from Delirious? but I imagine they have a 5 star single stocked away somewhere.

    05. Tinie Tempah

    Not yet.

    06. Rihanna

    1) Live Your Life (with T.I.)
    2) I know a lot of people won't agree with this but... Russian Roulette

    07. Justin Bieber

    1) One Time
    2) Baby (featuring Ludacris)
    3) Eenie Meenie (with Sean Kingston)
    4) Never Let You Go

    ^^^As you've probably guessed I'm being sarcastic.

    08. Usher

    01. Yeah! (featuring Ludacris and Lil Jon)
    02. Burn
    03. Caught Up!

    Also will.i.am

    As a solo performer, none of his songs get over 2 stars with me.

    09. Inna

    No and I doubt she'll ever have a 5 star song.

    10. Cheryl Cole

    Nope, no 5 star songs as a solo artist.

    11. Jason Derulo

    Again, no 5 star songs.

    12. Ellie Goulding

    Nope, not yet.

    13. Alicia Keys

    1) Fallin'
    2) No One
    3) Empire State Of Mind (with Jay-Z)

    14. Black Eyed Peas

    1) Where Is The Love? (featuring Justin Timberlake)
    2) Let's Get It Started
    3) Don't Lie
    4) Pump It
    5) Mas Que Nada (with Sergio Mendez)
    6) Union (featuring Sting)
    7) I Gotta Feeling

    15. Owl City

    No 5 star songs.

    16 and 17. Timbaland

    01. SexyBack (with Justin Timberlake)
    02. The Way I Are (featuring Keri Hilson, D.O.E. and Sebastian)
    03. Say It Right (with Nelly Furtado)

    Also Justin Timberlake

    01. Rock Your Body (featuring Vanessa Marquez)
    02. Where Is The Love? (with Black Eyed Peas)
    03. Signs (with Snoop Dogg and Charlie Wilson)
    04. SexyBack (featuring Timbaland)
    05. LoveStoned / I Think She Knows

    Also Katy Perry

    Nope, as much as I love the woman, she doesn't have any 5 star songs yet.

    18. Florence + The Machine

    01. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
    02. Drumming Song
    03. Cosmic Love

    Also Dizzee Rascal

    He has no 5 star songs yet, in my opinion.

    19. Young Money

    Nope, no 5 star songs.

    20. McLean

    No 5 star songs.

  • Comment number 71.

    Oh and Halo by Beyonce is a 5 star song IMO also.

  • Comment number 72.

    There is so much there I agree with .

    Justin's Lovestoned is a superb song , and the last 2 minutes of the video where the tones and colours change , is subtlely superb.

    Rihanna's Umbrella is definitely 5 star , as is Don't Stop The Music .

    Bonkers by Dizzee is a 5 star . I.M.O

    Alicia Keys . Totally agree on ALL 3 .

    Poker Face and I Kissed a Girl and Hot n Cold , are to me , 5 star pop singles,

    Starry Eyed and Whatcha Say are both 5 star singles too !

    Great stuff Randy , and obviously , it's all down to personal taste.

  • Comment number 73.

    Randy , I would also add Single Ladies as a 5 star single too. So many awards , and a multi-award winning video .
    An immense dance track .

  • Comment number 74.

    Yeah , Timbaland's The Way I Are is a fantastic 5 star pop song .

    If memory serves , someone once told me that the Chartblog Review only gave it 2 stars !

    Is this true ?

  • Comment number 75.

    I really must learn how to use bold text on this website. Hey, I'm good at dropping hints aren't I? :P

    My five star singles, irrespective of dates, in preference order.

    Lady GaGa:

    -Bad Romance
    -Poker Face
    -Alejandro (future single)
    -Just Dance

    Take That:

    -Said It All (amazing, don't say anything else or I will bite)
    -Never Forget
    -Greatest Day
    -Back For Good


    -Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
    -Crazy In Love

    Justin Bieber:

    Zilch, wayyyy

    MIKA (had to :L):

    -Happy Ending
    -Kick-Ass (Fraser, please review...)
    -I See You (future single)

    La Roux:


    Little Boots:

    -Stuck On Repeat (limited release)
    -Meddle (limited release)

    Florence + the Machine

    -Drumming Song
    -Cosmic Love
    -Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
    -Dog Days Are Over

    Robbie Williams:

    -You Know Me
    -Rock DJ
    -Let Me Entertain You
    -No Regrets


    -My Delirium


    None tbh

    Plan B:

    -She Said
    -Stay Too Long
    -End Credits (with Chase & Status)

    Coldplay: (in no order of preference because they're all so good)

    -Violet Hill
    -Viva la Vida
    -Speed Of Sound
    -Lovers In Japan (only given US release, watta shame)
    -Life In Technicolour II (limited release, well worth looking up)
    -Strawberry Swing
    -The Scientist
    -Clocks (who can listen to this song and not recognise THAT riff?)
    -Yellow (or this one)
    -Cemeteries Of London (album track, unreleased)

    Paloma Faith:

    -Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?
    -Upside Down
    -Stone Cold Sober




    -Empire State Of Mind
    -Run This Town




    -Brick By Boring Brick


    Still waiting...


    -Supermassive Black Hole


  • Comment number 76.


    2) Voulez Vous
    3) Knowing Me, Knowing You
    4) The Name Of The Game
    5) Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, (A Man After Midnight)
    6) Money, Money, Money
    7) Fernando
    8) Mamma Mia!
    9) Take A Chance On Me
    10) S.O.S

  • Comment number 77.

    Ha ha !
    Long , but brilliant post though .

    Again , if memory serves , regarding Said It All by Take That which is an excellent song by the way , was that your first post on Chartblog , when you said that it would go to number 1 , but I said it wouldn't .
    If I am right , my memory is amazing , if I'm wrong I will go away and do brain training for a while .

    Again the Chartblog review somehow only gave it 2 stars , when agreed, it is a 4 or 5 star song.

    Brilliant verse to this little gem , and when Gary sings in the chorus ...

    "Nothing to say that matters "

    That is the line for me , that elevates the songs chorus to excellence .

  • Comment number 78.

    If memory serves again , Paparazzi had quite an uninspiring review, that I felt never grasped the magnitude of the song , video , or it's soon to be global megastar , and only gave it 3 stars .

  • Comment number 79.

    @77 , sorry Odd One , it wasn't you , it was a character called stupidcriticsrus , who was a huge fan of Said It All .

    Right , it's an evening of brain training for me !


  • Comment number 80.

    Well, granted, it was an amzing song and if MY memory serves me right it made #9 in the UK, which isn't all that bad, but I still think it deserved better. Same with 'Up All Night' really, but then again, album sales went through the roof so no-one needed to buy the singles. ):

    And yeah, 'Paparazzi' is a 5 star track for me, I might've let it go if Fraser gave it 4 stars... but THREE!?

  • Comment number 81.

    I go away for about a day and look what happens, I've got a lot of stuff to go through here.

    @ 69

    Obviously it's all subjective but this is what I think about Spirit's selected artists and whether or not they have three 5 Star songs.

    1) Queen = yes but not in a row.

    2) Elton John = no, not really much of a fan of Elton

    3) John Lennon = with the beatles yes but on his own no. Both Lennon and McCartney needed each other, on their own their music lacks something - Lennon is too preachy and McCartney is too silly and poppy.

    4) T Rex = don't know, need to hear more of their music

    5) Blur = yes

    6) Oasis = no

    7) Gorillaz = yes

    8) The Spice Girls = what?!

    9) The Supremes = yes

    10 Elvis Presley = yes

    11) The Who = yes

    12) Simple Minds = no

    13) Beyonce = no

    14) P!nk = no

    15) The Pet Shop Boys = yes

    16) Eminem = yes

    17) Jay - Z = yes

    18) The Black Eyed Peas = no

    19) Dusty Springfield = yes

    20) Dionne Warwick = yes

    21) The Backstreet Boys = once again, what?!

    22) Take That = no

    23) Paul MaCartney/Wings = no

    24) Guns n Roses = nearly - Welcome To The Jungle and Sweet Child O' Mine are great but the rest is lacking in something special (November Rain would be but it goes on for so long!).

    25) Metallica = never been a Metallica fan so no

    26) Kings Of Leon = no

    27) Fleetwood Mac = need to listen to more of their stuff.

    28) The Carpenters = haven't listened to much of them

    29) Snow Patrol = no

    30) The White Stripes = yes

    @ 70

    I assume we don't have the exact same taste in music but, in my opinion, a 5 Star song is a future classic or something that sounds game changing so I'll cast my critical eye on the current top twenty's chart artists.

    01. Scouting For Girls


    02. Lady GaGa

    1) Bad Romance

    Also Beyoncé

    1) Crazy In Love (featuring Jay-Z)
    2) Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)

    03. Plan B

    1) She Said
    2) Stay Too Long

    04. Delirious?

    Haven't heard any Delirious? apart from History Makers (which is a 4 Star song) so I can't comment.

    05. Tinie Tempah


    06. Rihanna

    1) Cold Case Love - not really fussed by any of the other stuff, I'd listen if it was on the radio, though Umbrella is a good pop song.

    07. Justin Bieber


    08. Usher


    Also will.i.am


    09. Inna


    10. Cheryl Cole


    11. Jason Derulo


    12. Ellie Goulding

    1) Starry-Eyed

    13. Alicia Keys

    1) Fallin'
    2) Empire State Of Mind (with Jay-Z)

    14. Black Eyed Peas


    15. Owl City


    16 and 17. Timbaland


    Also Justin Timberlake


    Also Katy Perry


    18. Florence + The Machine

    01. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

    Also Dizzee Rascal

    1) Dance Wiv Me feat. Chrome and Calvin Harris
    2) Bonkers
    3) Fix Up, Look Sharp

    19. Young Money


    20. McLean


    @ 78

    I believe Spirit you commonly state that everyone is entitled to their opinion so if Fraser doesn't like Paparrazi why does that make his review 'uninspiring' and failing in grasping 'the magnitude of the song , video , or it's soon to be global megastar'. Personally I'm not fussed but Paparazzi it's a 3 Star song for me as well.

  • Comment number 82.

    In all fairness , if you read Fraser's excellent Bad Romance review , you will see that he understands the impact on the pop world by Lady Gaga perfectly .

    I think the Paparazzi review was written by someone else , with a different viewpoint to me , hence the differing comments on the good Lady .

  • Comment number 83.

    Spirit you're actually correct, turns out the Paparazzi review was written by someone else (Steve Perkins in case you were wondering) and I mostly agree with everything he said. However I don't believe Fraser fell head over heels in love like yourself when Gaga first appeared, take this quote from his review of Bad Romance for example; 'even though the ChartBlog official view of Lady GaGa and her work has had to shift slightly from "good pop star, 'Poker Face' is great, but..." to "WE ARE TRULY BLESSED TO BE LIVING IN THE TIME OF GA",' this quote pretty much defines the public's attitude towards Gaga over the course of 2009, especially the 'good pop star but' part.
    Just Dance showed she could effectively storm the charts with little celebrity help.
    Poker Face showed she could write an addictive earworm
    Paparazzi showed that maybe she was more than just a nicely packaged pop star even if the music was uninspiring (in my opinion).
    and finally people were won over when Bad Romance showed she could pen a proper good pop song.

    By know means is she the greatest thing to happen to music but at the moment she's the greatest hope of creating a true pop icon for future generations we have, apart from Beyonce though some may say she's already a pop icon (I am one of those people).

  • Comment number 84.

    I don't think Beyoncé and Lady GaGa are the only future pop icons, I think Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake will all go down as future pop icons along with them.

  • Comment number 85.

    Britney Spears hopefully not, her output is generally poor.
    Christiana Aguilera maybe, she probably needs another massive hit.
    Rihanna will also probably be up there with the likes of Beyonce if she can create another big pop single like Umbrella or SOS (Russian Roulette just isn't good enough really).
    Justin Timberlake hopefully will also make it to icon status as he is one of the most interesting pop artists around in my opinion, except when he's doing collaboration work in which he's often dull.

  • Comment number 86.


    I really don't wish to say I told you so , but there are certain times in my music life , when you can absolutely hear just how huge songs will become , it's like a sixth sense .
    As soon as I heard Poker Face back in the tail end of 2008 , I said to all and sundry what a tune it was.
    You have only gotta read my first comments on Chartblog on Poker Face , where I said that it would outsell Just Dance , which had previously been Number 1 , and would go on to be the third biggest selling single of 2009.
    Poker Face went onto be the biggest selling single of 2009.
    Sometimes , you just know how huge people are gonna be , you can't reason it , you just know.

    One listen to The Fame album in 2008 told me ... this woman is going to be a HUGE star .

    Pretty much like the first time I heard Bonkers by Dizzee , and predicted number 1 , 6 weeks before release .
    I am sure everyone reading this , have thought a certain song would be number 1, and weeks later it is .
    I am sure we all have the magic sometimes.
    It's easy to like a song yourself.
    A lot harder to predict that another 100,000 will like it and buy it in one week to make it number 1 . You are basically gauging the music buying nation , and it's fun when it comes off.

    At the rate she is going , Lady Gaga is on the way to being a global brand .
    Somehow ,( and I think Fraser alluded to this somewhere ), Gaga is setting a benchmark in terms of pop song quality and performance for solo female stars , and with the exception of maybe, Beyonce who has her roots in a slightly different sphere of music , Gaga is leading the way ,in the last 15 months, in commercial success , media profile and general column inches and conversation .
    I liken Gaga's arrival as very similar to Madonna in the 80's .Blonde singer/songwriter working with talented young producers ,with in yer face notice me, successful , pop songs with a sexual edge , appealing to a large audience but ruffling the feathers of a lot of others , yet being talked about by everyone.

    Madonna wanted to be touched like a virgin for the very first time , whereas Gaga wants to take a ride on your disco *****.

    Gaga has cited Madonna as one of her biggest influences , and boy does it show. This is a huge compliment to Gaga , when you analyse Madonnna's commercial success and global impact .
    It makes me wonder what Madonna will come up with next , and who would ever rule out a collaboration between these two ?
    It might happen one day.

    Will Christina's comeback set the country on fire in the way Gaga has ?

    Time will tell . . . .

    It will be interesting to see how new material by Christina and Britney fares, after the emergence and effect of Gaga .

  • Comment number 87.

    I think there's no denying that Britney Spears, whether you love her or hate her, is already a pop culture icon. She pretty much has been ever since she first graced our music channels back in 1999 with that school uniform in the ...Baby One More Time video. The song was a #1 hit across the World and I think is sure to become a future classic, if it isn't already.

    Other songs on their way to being classics by Britney include Oops!...I Did It Again, Toxic and Womanizer not to mention the countless other hits she's had alongside that. And all though I'm not a fan of her lip syncing, I do think she's talented. She mightn't have a powerhouse voice but there is no-one with a voice like hers on the radio. Britney also wrote the song Someday (I Will Understand) and played the piano which shows she has talent beyond the marketing and her sex appeal. She just needs to take control of her career to show her full potential.

    Christina Aguilera has always been Britney Spears rival. She has an ear-shattering voice and, unlike Britney, took control of her career early, co-writing the majority of songs on her second album Stripped. Again Christina probably has future classics in Genie In A Bottle, Beautiful and Candyman. Christina always reinvents herself with each album.

    Justin Timberlake, despite only releasing two solo albums, is on his way to becoming a pop culture icon. Both his albums have been given high critical acclaim. Nearly every single he's featured on has been a success, he put Ciara back on the map by featuring on her track Love Sex Magic and more recently, Carry Out is the only single from Timbaland's Shock Value II that has had any decent chart position, peaking at #11.

    Rihanna has had four successful albums with future classics likely to be Pon De Replay, S.O.S. (Rescue Me), Umbrella and Disturbia.

    Beyoncé similarly has had three successful albums and future classics in Crazy In Love, Irreplaceable and Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It). She also has a powerful voice and is a great performer. She's had a number of lawsuits filed against her accusing her of stealing songs and whether those reports are true or not, they're unlikely to dampen her success.

    As for GaGa, well, in two short years she's become a pop culture icon with every international single she's released so far going on to become a massive hit. Even LoveGame which didn't chart so well here was a US #1 and the word "disco stick" has become part of modern vocabulary. No doubt, GaGa will continue to deliver as long as she doesn't burn herself out.

    I also think Black Eyed Peas will go on to be future pop icons, some people might find them irritating but ever since their third album Elephunk, they've had a string of hits and have been mega successful with this E.N.D. era. You can't deny that they can write/produce a proper pop song with plenty of hooks and if they continue to make videos like Meet Me Halfway and Imma Be Rockin' That Body, then they're sure to cement themselves as a pop icon for this generation.

  • Comment number 88.

    Love the previous post, but Lovegame only got to no.5 on the billboard hot 100, still I definitely get your point about all the above icons!!

  • Comment number 89.

    Ooops, my bad! She did get something like 5 Number 1s on the US Pop Chart or something though.

  • Comment number 90.

    Yeah the Pop Airplay chart I think, all her singles have reached #1 on that chart, tying her with Beyoncé (woop) and Mariah Carey (vomit).

    And I complertely agree witgh spirit because ne of the biggest pointers to Madonna's influences on GaGa is the spoken interlude in 'Dance In The Dark', which rumour suggest Interscope want to release in the UK, Australia, and selected European countries as the next single whilst America get 'Alejandro'. Still speculation though.

    It wouldn't be the first time she did this, 'Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)' was released only in European countries (except the UK and France), whilst American got 'Paparazzi', we got 'Poker Face', and France got 'LoveGame'.

  • Comment number 91.

    Re 87 .

    Yeah Randy , your posts are making for exciting reading , and love the way you go straight to the point .

    However , regarding Timbaland , and yes I firmly believe that Carry Out will be in the Uk top 10 this Sunday , both Morning After Dark and If we Never Meet Again , both went top 10 in the Uk , the latter going top 5.

    I agree , of course Britney is a pop icon .
    No question .

  • Comment number 92.

    @83 .

    Lady Gaga proved she could pen a proper pop song with Just Dance , her first UK single .
    I didn't have to wait until her 5th single Bad Romance to realise that.

    For me , the writing was magically on the wall ,very , very , early .

  • Comment number 93.


    I know Timbaland's Shock Value II singles have performed well here but in the US, Morning After Dark peaked at a disappointing #61 and If We Ever Meet Again did worse peaking at #96. Carry Out by contrast has peaked at #11.


    Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) was actually released in Australia, New Zealand, Sweeden, the Czech Republic, France and was also released as a promotional single in UK, Canada and Ireland. I agree with GaGa's label. I think Dance In The Dark is a much more appropriate choice to Alejandro. I hope its released but GaGa is adamant that Alejandro is released.

  • Comment number 94.

    Today a music colleague suggested to me , that one way of deciding just how much effect a singer or band have on the landscape of music , is by counting just how many 5 star singles thay have .

    For example , at post 46 , I listed what I felt was 26 , 5 star singles by , David Bowie.
    The Beatles would have near this figure for me , as would Madonna , as would Elvis Presley , as would Michael Jackson , as would Elton John.

    We decided that this is the benchmark to reach , for todays crop of singers and artists .

    After heated discussion we decided that so far...
    Lady Gaga has 5 , ( We also took the impact of the videos into consideration . Every single is a 5 star ,apart from Lovegame )

    Britney has 6 . Baby One More Time , Ooops I did it Again , Toxic , Womanizer , Everytime , and Born To Make You Happy.

    Christina has 5 , Genie in a Bottle , Dirrrty , Fighter , Lady Marmalade (although a cover and as part of an ensemble , but the video was awesome ! ) and Beautiful.

    Beyonce has 9 , 5 solo but another 4 more with Destiny's Child .

    Justin Timberlake has 8:
    Like I love You , Cry Me A River , Rock Your Body , Sexy Back , Lovestoned , 4 Minutes with Madonna , Signs with Snoop and Charlie and Bye Bye Bye with N-Sync .

    He has done so many collaborations ,I may have forgotten one gem .

    Shakira has 3 :
    She Wolf , Hips Don't Lie , Whenever , Wherever .

    Interesting .
    What do ya reckon ?

  • Comment number 95.

    Rihanna has 6 :

    Pon De Replay , S.O.S , Umbrella , Don't Stop The Music , Run This Town (with Jay and Kanye) , and Take A Bow .

    We agreed she has many other 4 star singles too.

  • Comment number 96.

    I wouldn't necessarily give all those songs 5 stars but there's no doubting that they are some of their best known hits. I think Live Your Life with T.I. is also a 5 star song while Disturbia was a huge success for Rihanna.

  • Comment number 97.

    Yeah , make Rihanna 8 , Live Your Life and Disturbia are both 5 star songs .

  • Comment number 98.

    @ 87

    Your obviously not alone in thinking the BEP are future pop icons look at this article I found on the Guardian website today.


  • Comment number 99.

    Hmmm there's a lot to discuss here.

    I'm not sure I can be bothered right now writing out my views on Christina, Gaga, Rhianna, Britney, Beyonce and Madonna. Did we forget Kylie?

    I will make several short statements, summing my views up -

    They are all influential.

    Right now, Gaga is clearly the most influential.

    Madonna is the most influential over all.

    Christina is a much more well rounded, talented and influential artist that Britney. Britney is a product of her record label, despite writing one song and playing the piano once. Her music has barely evolved from 'Crazy' to 'Womanizer', it sounds pretty similar. Just more modern. With the weight of her production team, of course it's going to sound more modern.

    Beyonce is of a slightly different genre, but lets be honest, it's all pop music. Beyonce is a more influential and prolific recording artist than Rhianna. But she has been around a lot longer.

    Beyonce will continue to fight with Gaga for the queen of contempary music. She's probably winning, though that's because she is the more established artist.

    Rhianna will bubble under nicely.

    Ke$ha makes my ears bleed.

    Christina will make a nice come back, but she has a family and seems content to make some great music, but not be the over exposed, media hogging, constant record churning machines that Beyonce and Gaga appear to have tunrned into. Thank God.

    Florence is better than all of them.

  • Comment number 100.

    Ive got a large post half done on C+P, but I'll just steal 100.


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