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3,421: The top ten

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For the last two or three years I’ve been mostly listening to pop music. Pop music was my first love: the Smiths meant nothing to me when I was 13, I was into Duran Duran and Wham! Life goes on, your tastes evolve, and rock and indie music and then house music all took a front seat. Pop music was always there, but mostly in the background. But a couple of years ago, I heard Taylor Swift’s 1989 album and fell in love with it. It was that record, Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen, and Sucker by Charli XCX that helped pop music resurface. Nowadays, indie and rock music are in the background.

When I was a teenager, I lived very close to my school. Back then, there was a time when the UK Top 40 was announced on a Monday lunchtime. I would nip home, listen to the charts, write it down, and pass that note around in maths. I watched Top of the Pops religiously, and then in the 90s when I worked in a record shop and subsequently at a record distribution company, the charts were still something I paid attention to. By then we’d already entered the period where records always went straight in at number one. It got boring. Life moved on, and I ignored the charts more and more, not knowing what was number one for most of this century.

Earlier this year, when the chart rules changed, I figured I should make a bit of an effort to keep up. There was a great, short-lived podcast this year called Unbreak My Chart that looked at the top ten each week. But that’s stopped now. So I’ve had to make the effort myself. So I have a quick check of the Official Single Chart every week.

I felt like a good thing to do might be to do a blog post about the chart every week. For one thing, doing this would mean I actually listen to everything in the top ten.

So, here we go! The official UK top ten, week ending 16 November 2017. The song titles link to the video on YouTube, a popular Web site. (I should note that I find writing about music exceedingly difficult, so this will be shit until I get into the swing of it.)

Finders Keepers
Mabel ft. Kojo Funds

Hey, it’s Neneh Cherry’s daughter! This is a good song. Not as good as her mum’s best songs, but that’s the case with every song in the top 100, really.

Reggaeton Lento (Remix)
CNCO & Little Mix

Boy band and girl group make fairly ordinary song. Nowhere near the heights of Little Mix’s best stuff.

Lonely Together
Avicii ft. Rita Ora

Low key catchy as fuck, this one. I don’t know a huge amount of Avicii’s stuff, but what I do know is he co-wrote and co-produced Coldplay’s best song, A Sky Full of Stars. I keep meaning to write a big blog post about how much I like Coldplay. Should do that soon. General gist of it: they’re better now than they ever have been.

Dusk Till Dawn
ZAYN ft. Sia

I like this one. I like that it sounds like a Zayn song and a Sia song. I was lying in bed last night thinking about One Direction. As you do. And I got to wondering: which former members will still be making (successful) music in five years? Boy bands don’t really have a good record in multiple members having solo success. It’s usually the obvious one, innit? The Timberlake. But One Direction might be different. I can totally imagine a scenario where at least three of them are still having hits in the 2020s. Zayn, Harry, and Niall would be my guess. Back To You by Louis was one of my fave songs of this year, but still don’t see him being arsed about being a pop star. I’ve not really liked anything that Liam has done so far, so I can see him being in the dumper.

Ed Sheeran

He’s popular, isn’t he? I have tried to appreciate his music, but I just don’t really like it. Doesn’t really grab me. This song is quite nice, mind, so maybe I’m turning. I guess if I hear it after a few beers, I might start to like it a bit more.

Rita Ora

The best song in the top ten this week. I like that it’s got a really pretty chorus, then that mental bit which reminds me a bit of Gigi D’Agostino’s La Passion, a monumentally ace/stupid song from the early 2000s.

Marshmello ft. Khalid

I like his bucket, although one can’t help but think he looked at Daft Punk’s and Deadmau5’s helmets and thought, “I need something on my head”. Maybe while he was eating some KFC. Before doing this blog post, I’d not heard this song. Not quite sure how it has got into the top five. Doesn’t really have much going on.

Too Good at Goodbyes
Sam Smith

Can totally understand why this is a hit, but it’s not my cup of tea at all. This was number one for three weeks.

Post Malone ft. 21 Savage

Can’t find a video for this on YouTube. But that’s not important. This was number one for four whole weeks. How did that happen? It’s… I dunno… not bad exactly, just sounds like it might’ve been background music on the Miami Vice movie.

Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug

I’ve linked above to the “vertical video.” I notice Selena Gomez did one of those too for her most recent song. I like this trend. It’s a savvy move, and I like that it probably annoys those dullards who always moan about people not filming horizontally with their phones. I like this song a lot. Glad that it’s number one. But, as with many many pop songs of the last few years: I don’t need the rap interlude. For me, it adds nothing to the song, it feels like the modern pop music equivalent of a guitar solo. (Other examples: Lil Yachty’s bit on After the Afterparty, and Gucci Mane’s bit on Fetish). But, yeh, this a good song. Sounds like a number one, too. Hurrah.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
…Ready For It? by Taylor Swift

On this day
Arthur No.2, 11 November 2005

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article

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Written by Craig

November 11th, 2017 at 3:48 am

Posted in Music

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