Archives for March 2009

Top 5 High 5 (Slightly Late)

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:25 UK time, Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Top 5 High 5

And here's the Top 5 in talkywordingform...

1: Lady GaGa - 'Poker Face'
2: Noisettes - 'Don't Upset The Rhythm'
3: Flo Rida - 'Right Round'
4: Beyonce - 'Halo'
5: AR Rahman And The Pussycat Dolls featuring Miss Nicole Scherzinger Out Of The Pussycat Dolls And The Rest Of The Pussycat Dolls Out Of The Pussycat Dolls - 'Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)'

Usual rules apply. High five the screen if you approve, slap the faces of the people you don't like if you don't. And then put either High Five! or Denied! in the comments box, depending on how you feel.

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Download the Radio 1 Chart Show Podcast - With Fearne & Reggie
Or listen again to the entire show!

Pussycat Dolls - 'Bottle Pop'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:54 UK time, Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Pussycat DollsIn the words of Cilla Black (and please, nobody comment saying "who?" because I've just had a birthday and I feel old enough as it is), "life is full, full of surprises". And like life, so is pop music often full of surprises - for example, after years of skulking in the background, Nicola revealing herself to be the best vocalist in Girls Aloud, or that time Aqua followed up 'Barbie Girl' and 'Dr Jones' with a subtle, heartfelt ballad and everyone was all "the world as I know it has turned UPSIDE DOWN".

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Eoghan Quigg - '28,000 Friends'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:55 UK time, Monday, 30 March 2009

Eoghan QuiggOh James Bourne, James Bourne, what are you DOING? Maybe Son Of Dork didn't manage to take over the world in quite the same way Busted did. Maybe Charlie's departure to Fightstar was, in retrospect, not the act of deliberately contrary sabotage it appeared to be at the time, and maybe you just couldn't face eating what Matt Willis had to eat in order to become a TV presenter, but there is no excuse for this.

As regular ChartBloggerers may know, I don't watch the X Factor, for fear of losing my professional integrity and hard-won indie street credibility.* But I'm aware that this Eoghan fella has a controversial reputation.

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Lady Sovereign - 'So Human'

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Vicki Vicki | 12:20 UK time, Sunday, 29 March 2009

Lady SovereignI've got this theory about Lady Sovereign that I keep telling people and no one listens to, which probably ought to tell me something but I've never let that sort of thing stop me before. My theory, essentially, is that she's Missy Elliot for the post-banking-collapse dystopian credit crunch world. Where Missy has massive budget-crushing videos featuring a million dancers and cars on fire and things, Sov has had to replace her sideways ponytail with a hat due to budget cuts.

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Jack Penate - 'Tonight's Today'

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Vicki Vicki | 11:54 UK time, Saturday, 28 March 2009

Jack PenateFor the past month or so, every morning has posed a huge dilemma for me: no, not "do I really have to get up now?" (that's a given), but rather, "what should I wear?" Before you get worried, I'm not about to start banging on about my fashion dilemmas and turn this into some Vouge-type-article (and to be honest, I could never be that classy; 'Reveal' or 'Pick Me Up' is more my style). My dilemma is basically all down to the weather.

One minute it's sunny, the next it's freezing. What are we meant to wear? No matter how long I spend deciding, my decision will inevitably be the wrong one; I'll end up either sweating profusely on public transport (nice) or locked outside my work, freezing, because I've forgotten my pass.

"What has this got to do with Jack Penate's single?" you might ask. Well, EVERYTHING, I will answer (and in fact, have). Because since discovering his brilliantly summery new single 'Tonight's Today', my morning dilemma has been solved. Pop a bit of this song on first thing in the morning, and, like me, you'll totally be rocking the sunny look, regardless of the weather. Yes, mostly I am suffering for this choice, but it's worth it. Thanks to this song (and no thanks to the weather), summer is Officially On It's Way.

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Depeche Mode - 'Wrong'

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Vicki Vicki | 15:52 UK time, Friday, 27 March 2009

Depeche ModeIn the process of researching this review (honestly, I do research these, even if it doesn't always seem like it), I discovered that Depeche Mode are, in terms of UK chart success if not in outright length of band's existence, only a few months younger than I am. I'm torn between being thoroughly impressed by their longevity and just feeling incredibly old.

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Eine Kleine Frankmusik

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:07 UK time, Thursday, 26 March 2009

FrankmusikBoys, girls, gather round!

This gentleman here is going to be quite famous in the '09. He's called Vincent Frank, although as a performer he goes by the name Frankmusik, and he's officially A Good Thing.

What we're talking about here is a little bit of disco-house type stuff, a little bit of slinky dancing-about type stuff, and a huge amount of giddy pop music type stuff (plus he's an amazing beat-boxer).

Now, apart from his musical endeavours, which we'll get to in due course, the interesting thing about Frankmusik is that his album title is 'Complete Me', which is a kind of needy title, suggesting some dark inner thoughts, and maybe even a craving for validation.

This is the kind of thing proper rock interviewers salivate over, because it means they can turn a cosy promotional chat into a therapy session with a famous person.

Naturally, ChartBlog is above such behaviour, as this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, IN WHICH HE EXPOSES HIS INNER DEMONS will demonstrate.

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Doves - 'Kingdom Of Rust'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:58 UK time, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

DovesLast November, I was interviewing Elbow in a pub in Truro, and made a crack about their underdog status, which had recently been dealt a severe blow by the winning of the Mercury Award. I asked if they now had to hand it on to Doves, and Guy Garvey told me he'd heard their new material, and they really wouldn't need it.

What he said was "Doves have been busy reinventing the wheel", which doesn't actually mean what he thought it meant, unless he was trying to say they're wasting their time, but you get the idea.

"Hold your fire!", shouts Field-Marshall Garvey, "this bird is made of far tougher stuff than we could ever have dreamed of. Look at her fly, by Jove!"

So, here it is, the reinvented wheel. The question is, does it work?

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AR Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls Feat. Nicole Scherzinger - 'Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)'

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:50 UK time, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Nicole ScherzingerToday is a momentous day, we've managed to uncover a new working definition of the word 'redundant', and best of all, it's related to pop music. This officially makes it a cool definition, of the sort that even book-shy teens can get excited about. Someone call Russell Brand! It's a sexy lexicography revolution!

Have you noticed the banner under which this song is being released? That's right, it's by A R Rahman, the man behind the (very very good) soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire, and the Pussycat Dolls...only stop where you are a second, here come the redundant part.

Apparently we now have to call them the Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger, as if somewhere there is a Pussycat Dolls which does NOT feature Nicole Scherzinger, and it's important not to get the two confused. It's an especially bizarre change of branding, because as far as most music-minded people are concerned, Nicole Scherzinger IS the Pussycat Dolls, being the one who does the singing. The Pussycat Dolls ALWAYS feature Nicole Scherzinger, or they are not the Pussycat Dolls.

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Chart Report - 22/03/09 (With DVD Extras)

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:23 UK time, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Reggie, Fearne and Ronan

It's been a busy weekend here in Chartland, there's a new No.1, people have been popping in to the show, and there's been an attempted gossip trade-off between two Top 40 acts which, to be frank, possibly did not result in the amazement avalanche that it could have.

But that's entirely fine, because look! It's Ronan! Fresh from his mountainous adventures and sitting pretty at the very peak of the album charts, which is the best possible way to avoid whatever the opposite of altitude sickness is, although probably quite a difficult one for the non-pop star to achieve.

Here he is chatting to Fearne and Reggie about getting over the Comic Relief thing, and why he released that special album for Mother's Day.

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Twisted Wheel - 'We Are Us'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:30 UK time, Monday, 23 March 2009

Twisted WheelNow is not the time to ask whether the music world really needs another attitude-heavy rockin' young three-piece with a well-thumbed complete set of albums (vinyl, natch) by the Jam. The Enemy will be back in a minute, and if they're happy enough to share the same inspiration pool - they took Twisted Wheel on tour with them after all - then who are we to complain?

And it's no surprise to discover that Liam Gallagher and Paul Weller are both keen on this lot as well. Jonny Brown's got that Oasis swagger to his voice, especially on the verses to this song, which are like a revved-up tribute to 'D'You Know What I Mean'. As for Weller, just listen to their last single 'Lucy The Castle' - complete with the 'This Is The Modern World' ending. That's all the explanation you need.

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White Lies - 'Farewell To The Fairground'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:17 UK time, Sunday, 22 March 2009

Hello, ChartBloggerers!

White LiesIt occured to me, in the wake of the recent KIG-related language discussion, that perhaps we haven't been clear about how reviews are put together. It may seem like we all sit around a big table, puffing on our pipes* and talking over the top of each song on a big list, and then make the person who likes it the least take it apart with their razor-sharp word-fangs.

Well, let me tell you, this is not the case. Every ChartBlog reviewer tries as hard as they possibly can to love every single song they're asked to cast their ears over, and even when it's apparent that the artist is not prepared to meet us halfway, the aim is weigh up the pros and cons as fairly as possible, before getting the steel reviewing dentures out of the safety cupboard.

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Funeral for a Friend - 'Rules and Games'

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Vicki Vicki | 14:33 UK time, Saturday, 21 March 2009

Funeral For A FriendThe other day, I came across a review I did of Funeral For A Friend when I was about 16. At the time, I loved them, in a kind of getting-sweaty-at-a-gig-with-all-my-mates, singing-along-at-the-top-of-our-lungs way. In fact, at this specific gig, I distinctly remember how late it over-ran and how I completely missed the last bus home, but I was having fun; I didn't care (although my mum did, when I woke her up at 1am asking for a lift home).

Reading back through my review though, I realised that even then I kind of saw through them. They were one of my guilty pleasures, because although they had everything I wanted - they were loud, there was screaming and they certainly were terr-RIFF-ic - really, they were just a bit too clean cut, too try-hard and too lacking in any real sense of rawness for my liking.

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Metro Station - 'Shake It'

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Fraser McAlpine | 19:09 UK time, Friday, 20 March 2009

Metro StationI don't claim to be massively up to date with the very latest of developments in that young person's teen-speak you hear so much about these days. It would probably be a bit wrong if I was, plus most slang is localised, so that a phrase which is already old hat in Wakefield won't have made it as far as Aviemore. That said, I am fairly sure that this song is not about shaking something. Or at least, nothing wholesome.

I'm not sure what first gave it away, the breathy delivery, the bits of the lyrics which are clearly describing the tail end of a date, where Trace Cyrus is wondering how to make the last kiss last a little bit longer than is seemly, or the enormous randy whiff that comes off the whole thing.

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Important Moments In Pop History - Part 2

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:38 UK time, Friday, 20 March 2009

Important Moments In Pop HistoryAfter all the excitement generated by part one of this major new BBC research project, it has taken ChartBlog's scientists a little while to compile all of the necessary data for Part 2. This isn't because there is a lack of resources, more that the information we're getting is so sensitive, and potentially career-damaging* that it became vitally important to check all the facts before rushing to the keypad to make write the whole thing up.

Thankfully, we are now in a position to release this to the world. Read, process, file, there will probably be a test.

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The Noisettes - 'Don't Upset The Rhythm'

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:46 UK time, Thursday, 19 March 2009

NoisettesOne of the advantages of reviewing a song that's had huge exposure as part of a mainstream advertising campaign for several months now is that it greatly reduces my workload - I'd be very surprised if you haven't already heard it and formed your own opinion one way or another. On the off chance that you haven't, I would say go and watch the ads, but this is the BBC, and we can't really say that here.

(Standard BBC disclaimer: other mainstream advertising campaigns are available. And other singles. And other bands. And other reviewers, for that matter. But I'm the bestest.)

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Enrique Iglesias ft. Ciara - 'Taking Back My Love'

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Fraser McAlpine | 14:10 UK time, Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Enrique IglesiasIf you remember yesterday, we were thinking about how important it is for a singer to put some personality into their voice, and to sing as if they mean the things they are singing about. Gaslight Anthem are one extreme, straining and huffing away about real things just like real folks do. And at the other end of the spectrum is Enrique, a man who, despite sobbing every single line in every single song he ever does, never, ever, ever, ever, sounds like there is any relation between the words he is singing and how he really feels.

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Fun With Press Releases No. 22

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:29 UK time, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Press releases

Bat For Lashes - 'Two Suns'

"The album's blend of spooky childhood reveries and magical piano balladry caught the imagination of everyone, and not just in the music world..."

Do you remember being at school and having to write a story? That's what this is like.

Hello I am Bat For Lashes and I have got a very brilliant album, actually. Everybody says so. Not just music people either. I mean like vicars, doctors, garage mechanics, bus drivers...everyone. And they all say how pretty I am, and popular and funny and kind and lovely. The End.

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The Gaslight Anthem - 'Great Expectations'

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Fraser McAlpine | 08:23 UK time, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Gaslight AnthemAs obvious as it is to point this out, singing is the core of every song. In fact, singing IS the song. Strip anything from the Top 40 down to a pulse and a voice and it has the same backbone as it would with two orchestras and a kazoo, it's just, y'know, people really like kazoos.

For me, a good song needs a good singer. Ideally there would be more than one of them (I do love a harmony, me), and it would be easy to tell which person was singing at any one time, because of the force of personality their voice brings to the song. They don't have to be classically-trained, technically-perfect singers, even, all I really want is a voice which sounds like it means what it is singing, and a bit of personality, and I am mostly won over...unless the song is rubbish.

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Chart Report - 15/03/09

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:24 UK time, Monday, 16 March 2009

Top 5 High 5

OK, OK, so I basically forgot to keep the Top 5 High 5 Archive up to date. I am sorry. If you've found yourself watching the comings and goings in the Top 5 with irrationally itchy fists, well, maybe a nice walk in the spring sunshine is what you need. But if that doesn't help, here's your chance to get some of that tension out.

As always, slap the screen if you approve, slap the people you don't like if you disapprove.

Here's the Top 5 in talkywordingform, in case you don't recognise the hitmakers in question:

1: Nessa Jenkins, Bryn West, Tom Jones & Robyn Gibb - 'Islands In The Stream'
2: Flo Rida - 'Right Round'
3: The Saturdays - 'I Just Can't Get Enough'
4: Lady GaGa - 'Poker Face'
5: Taylor Swift - 'Love Story'

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Download the Radio 1 Chart Show Podcast - With Fearne & Reggie
Or listen again to the entire show!

K.I.G - 'Head, Shoulders, Kneez and Toez'

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Vicki Vicki | 10:06 UK time, Monday, 16 March 2009

K.I.GThe first time I heard this song, I was brushing my teeth in my flat. Let's be clear: I hadn't put the song on (if I had, brushing my teeth would hardly be a suitable time to listen to it what with all the noisy bristles and need for immense concentration), but I could hear it coming from the flat upstairs.

Now, me and my sister are fairly new to our flat and for a while we've been trying to guess who lives up there, because they really are very noisy, even by our standards (and we spend our evenings working out how to cover Britney songs using a saucepan and a wooden spoon). Until now, we'd only heard a deep voice - which we deduced meant a man lived up there - and a baby's cry, meaning there's a baby as well (yep, we are basically top quality detectives).

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La Roux - 'In For The Kill'

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Fraser McAlpine | 13:59 UK time, Saturday, 14 March 2009

La RouxIt seems apt to be listening to this now, as it's Comic Relief, and people all over the country are raiding the dressing-up box. Why, from my seat, as I write this, I can see a room full of BBC employees who are dressed up in '80s clothing. I have already personally witnessed excessive back-combing, leg-warmers, ridiculous shoulder-pads and pushed up suit jacket sleeves. Hell, someone's even wearing a pencil moustache!

So, even though La Roux is not attempting to do anything funny for money (on this song at any rate, for all I know she may have spent yesterday sitting in a bath of cold beans and clutching a sponsorship form), her music - which could not be more '80s if was covered in hairspray and smelled of Um Bongo (they drink it in the Congo) - is entirely appropriate to the strange sights which are dancing before my very eyes.

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A Cultural Exchange With Metro Station

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:56 UK time, Friday, 13 March 2009

So, you're Mason Musso, you're a friend of Miley Cyrus's brother, and the two of you have just formed a band. You've a lot in common, as your brother is her Hannah Montana co-star, and the two of you are trying to work out what to call your world-beating new combo. Staying true to Band Naming Law, you try and come up with a name which sets you apart from your Hollywood home. Something which does NOT conjure up sun, oranges, the beach, surfer-dudes and Sunset Strip.

This is a very clever move, as it will make your band seem a little otherworldly and enigmatic to your fans, which means they will think about you, and wonder what you are like, much more than they would do if you came across exactly like the boys in the mall do.

(Ironically, to UK eyes, "the boys in the mall" probably sound impossibly strange and alien, even though they are very probably not. Not even the one with the three ears.)

Anyway, you finally settle on the name Metro Station, which conjures up European travel and experiences on faraway shores. Then your band gets quite big. Then you get to travel, and visit Europe. And then some nosey blogger starts asking questions about the things you have actually learned while travelling, demanding specific examples and putting you on the spot.

What. A. Nerve.

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Pet Shop Boys - 'Love Etc.'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:58 UK time, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Pet Shop BoysBetween Horne and Corden's lacklustre presenting job, Katy Perry inexplicably winning Best International Female and Duffy walking off with pretty much everything else (I'm no Duffy detractor, but you've got to admit it did rob the evening of any suspense after a while), this year's Brit awards were a bit of a washout.

Or at least they would've been if not for that one glorious moment at the end in which the Pet Shop Boys were given the Lifetime Achievement award and celebrated with a typically avant garde performance that left us thinking that pop music can still be surprising and exciting, even in a world that attempts to legitimise Katy Perry's existence.

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Lady GaGa - 'Poker Face'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:20 UK time, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Lady GaGaWho wants to play a game? What, ALL of you? Well OK then...

It's called Cheese Source, and the aim is to spot all the deliberate references to ridiculous hits from yesteryear which have been crammed into a self-conscious modern pop song like this.

Throwing in references to old songs is partly a desperate response to the scary thought that all of the really annoyingly catchy pop sounds have been done already (which is clearly not true, ask *insert annoying pop person here*), and partly a canny way to create the impression in your audience that they already know and like a song before they've even heard it all the way through.

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It's Just A Bit Of Fun...

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:59 UK time, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Islands In The Stream - CD coverThe Story So Far: You have to take the Saturday's Depeche Mode cover seriously, because no-one would ever know from listening to it that it was a charity single. But the Vanessa Jenkins and Bryn West (ft. Tom Jones and Robyn Gibb) version of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's 'Islands In The Stream' is a comedy record, and has only been released to raise money for Comic Relief, and therefore none of the usual rules of diligent ChartBlog pop dissection apply.

So, instead of a review, here are some jokes.

Q: What do you call four indie boys on a steep hillside?
A: Kings Of Lean

Q: Who's the smallest rapper in the whole world?
A: Titchy Stryder

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How To Destroy...Alesha Dixon

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:48 UK time, Monday, 9 March 2009

How To Destroy Alesha Dixon

NOTE: Alesha Dixon is a force for good, a wonderful human being and one of the nicest, most down-to-earth and light-hearted people you could ever hope to meet. As I write this, she's just climbed to the top of a mountain in order to raise money for Comic Relief, and destroying her would almost certainly guarantee you a window seat on a one way train to the fiery domain where Satan resides.

However, if it were totally necessary - like if she had unleashed one of her astonishingly loud cackles, and shattered the Earth's crust, leaving the entire planet in peril, only one mountainous guffaw away from total doom, and then decided to go and see some stand-up comedy to take her mind off all the stress - well, who better to do the dirty deed than her former Strictly tormentors? They're already well-skilled at ripping people to shreds, after all.

Failing that, perhaps a great big cork in her gob would do the trick...

How To Destroy Other People...

TI ft. Justin Timberlake - 'Dead and Gone'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:18 UK time, Monday, 9 March 2009

TIWhenever I write about US hip hop/rap, I always manage to tie myself into a knot trying to work out exactly what sort of a thing it is; I know TI is a Southern rapper but this has more of the Timbaland-esque Northern sound to it, and where the East/West coast divide comes into all this I have no idea. It's very hard to keep up as well as knowing what's going on in Spanish-language post-metal and remembering to walk the dog and things.

The handy thing with this song, though, is that half way through Justin clarifies his geographical position (metaphorical or otherwise) by, according to the lyrics, turning his head every direction except South. So hopefully, that's where he is and I can say with confidence that this is a triumph for Southern hip-hop, which was only recently still considered to be less emotionally engaged than its Northern counterparts but here showing a more powerful, serious side.

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Snow Patrol - 'If There's A Rocket Tie Me To it'

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Vicki Vicki | 20:53 UK time, Saturday, 7 March 2009

Snow PatrolSnow Patrol are a little bit like Marmite. Not in that they're all sticky, smell yeasty and are hard to spread on toast (although all possibly true), but in that people are seriously, seriously divided over the issue of whether they are lovely or disgusting.

Now, I'm one of the few people who have never really minded Marmite - you know, I'll have it if there's nothing else in the house, plus it's always on such a good special offer and sits oh so happily at the back of my top kitchen shelf (does the stuff ever go off?).

All of the above applies to Snow Patrol (except that I tend to keep CDs in racks, not kitchen cupboards - you've always got to think of the hygiene).

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Flo Rida - 'Right Round'

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:06 UK time, Friday, 6 March 2009

Flo RidaYou've got to hand it to Flo, he's good at the references. From the Apple Bottom jeans in 'Low' to calling his debut album after the Mail On Sunday (a gesture which is not unlike Mika calling his next album 'The People's Friend'), and now using the chorus from one of the greatest '80s pop moments ever.

It's one of the fundamental laws of pop, anything which tips a nod to 'You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)' by Dead Or Alive is going to be worth a listen. And the thought of there being any crossover whatsoever between the worlds of muscley, supermacho Flo and self-made (wo)man(man) Pete Burns is enough to keep the planet's giggle-reserves topped up from now until doomsday.

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Public Enemy No.1

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Fraser McAlpine | 18:54 UK time, Thursday, 5 March 2009

The Enemy

I like the Enemy. I especially like their singer, Tom Clarke, because he has the amazing habit of talking at great length about all sorts of things, while clearly not knowing a right lot about much. It doesn't seem to bother him unduly, so why should it bother me?

He'll make some extravagant claim about what his band is capable of, or what his songs will do to the world, and it'll be so idealistic (and yet preposterous) you can't help but be charmed.

Take the logic which dictates that the Enemy are a great band. It's very flawed, but by golly it does sweep you up in its wake.

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Katy Perry - 'Thinking Of You'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:36 UK time, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Katy PerryWell, it had to happen sooner or later, I suppose - Katy Perry getting all deep and serious on us. It's not a good idea, of course, because the point of Katy Perry - as much as she has a point beyond that of endlessly working my last nerve - is to be as obviously provocative as possible with tales of ladykissing, homophobia and classy references to menstruation in her lyrics in a way that will delight some people and repulse others. It may not be the most inventive formula in the world, but for a while it was working.

It was certainly working well enough for the Brits to award her the gong for Best International Female, despite her entire output thus far being the musical equivalent of a toddler pulling her skirt over her head and running around the playground screaming "look at meeeeee!" And I suppose she has at least made an effort to keep up the charade in this attempt at a more tender song, because it's about being in love with someone who's not the person you're currently seeing. Ooh! Controversial! She kissed a boy who was not her boyfriend, and she liked it!

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Peter Doherty - 'Last Of The English Roses'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:05 UK time, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

BabyshamblesI read an interview recently with Pete (sorry, PeteR) Doherty, in which he described how, in the early days of the Libertines, the band decided to play the songs they had at breakneck speed because the Strokes were really big at the time and velocity seemed to be something the indie fans were into. This, he claimed, got the band noticed, signed and immortalised as legends quicker than, well, quicker than they played their own material.

Clearly there's less of a need for speed these days, which is understandable. Grabbing people's attention is less of a motivating factor when you're being hounded by paparazzi and trailing chaos in your wake. If anything, slowing the music down could be seen as a way of trying to bring the Doherty whirlygig down to a safe landing. He has, by his own admission, been spending a lot of time at home, after all.

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Important Moments In Pop History - Part 1

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:59 UK time, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Important Moments In Pop HistoryWouldn't you just love to have been a fly on the wall at some of the most pivotal events in music? The day Lily Allen first discovered swearing, the day Noel Gallagher bought his first Beatles album, the day a Disney exec came up with an idea for a musical set in a high school, but couldn't think of a decent title......

Well, thanks to ChartBlog's tiresome tireless detective work, now you can!

We've used modern technology to unearth previously unseen footage of every major event in the past 40 years of popular song, and then attempted to describe this footage using words (there's some copyright issues, apparently).

It's a big job, a tough job, but I think you'll agree, the results speak for themselves.

Part 1: Elbow Put Up Their Awards Shelf

People say they're the nicest men in music. People say they are childhood friends whose bonds go deeper than the music they make. But is that the real truth behind Bury's favourite scruffbag indie stars? Well, this transcript, taken from the newly-installed CCTV system in their office (at Guy Garvey's insistence), tells a very different story.

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The Saturdays - 'Just Can't Get Enough'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:27 UK time, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The SaturdaysComic Relief singles are weird things. Getting the balance between the comedic nature of the venture and the seriousness of the causes it supports always seems to be an issue; obviously serious child poverty or the care of Alzheimer's sufferers are not topics traditionally matched with a "SMILES, EVERYONE!" pop banger but at the same time, the point of Comic Relief is essentially to do just that. Which leaves popstars having to straddle a chasm between sharp reality and pop fluffiness with enough charm to encourage people to rush out and buy their record.

Equally, if you're thinking "ooh, Comic Relief: who's a band that likes a good laugh?" You might well think "well those Saturdays seem pretty upbeat" but probably not "Depeche Mode, they're always a giggle." So this is a song of difficult balances and strange dualism. A song about charity and jollity and, uh, pretty ladies in their underwear?

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Oasis - 'Falling Down'

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Fraser McAlpine | 14:46 UK time, Monday, 2 March 2009

OasisNoel Gallagher is a very witty man. Sharp, self-aware, brutally frank about his own faults and witheringly harsh about the faults of others. So do not be surprised if, in years to come, when someone asks him about the release of this song as a single (that's a SINGLE, a piece of music which is aimed at the singles chart, a piece of music which by definition has to be perky, hooky, and bratty enough to sieze the attention, and NOT so snoozy as to put people off buying it), he replies with something along the lines of "yeah, what was THAT all about? We had better songs, we had louder songs, and what did we put out? 'Falling Down'! I'm not having that!"

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