Thursday, 22 December 2011

Ro Man Ia An Island (No Man Is An Island)

Except the Isle Of Man that is!!!1! (You can use that one yourself.)

But this is no joking matter. This is the Romanian Top 100.

First things first: it's Christmas, and that means it's time to remember that confusing period where Nelly Furtado accidentally became one of the world's biggest popstars. One of the songs she warbled during that year or so was 'All Good Things (Come To An End)', both a stunning example of (utterly needless parenthesisation) and rather apt in regards to the success of her career. Anyway, while the invoking of it here might seem more than a little incongruous, it's actually really ironic or something because not only is this the last Romania thing of the year, it might also be the last ever. All bad things (come to an end) too, you see.

Well, providing you've had time to wipe the tears from your eyes after that shocking news, the chart stuff can begin (and don't forget, there's always a chance of a comeback, just look at Girls Aloud and their 'year off'.)

Because there was no post last week, here is the Top 10... From last week.

10 (12) Raluka - 'Out Of Your Business' WHAT A TUNE
9 (7) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
8 (8) 'DJ Antoine' - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna GOOD GRIEF
7 (6) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona MONAMAZING
6 (3) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga MOGAMAZING
5 (5) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony SEVENTEEN OUT OF TEN
4 (9) Rihanna - 'We Found Love' feat Calvin Harris (YELLOW) DIAMOND
3 (4) Adele - 'Someone Like You' EXCITING NEW TALENT
2 (2) Sean Paul - 'Got 2 Luv U' feat Alexis Jordan NOTHING SPECIAL
1 (1) Lykke Li - 'I Follow Rivers' (The Magician Remix) THIS IS GOOD

And that made it five weeks at Number One for Lykke. Not so 'indie' now, eh?

This is the bit where an assortment of songs from between 100 and 11 normally are, accompanied by some comments on them. Just not this week. Sorry. Although there is a new Inna one called 'Endless'. It's a ballad and it sounds like it samples Nik Kershaw's gibberish classic 'The Riddle'. It doesn't.

And then this week's Top 10:

10 (>10) David Guetta - 'Without You' feat Usher GUETTA: NOT ALL BAD
9 (9) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
8 (5) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony EIGHTEEN OUT OF TEN
7 (>10) Deepcentral - 'Speed Of SoundABOVE AVERAGE-ISH
6 (8) 'DJ Antoine' - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna GO AWAY
5 (7) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona WOULD SELL IN THE UK
4 (2) Sean Paul - 'Got 2 Luv U' feat Alexis Jordan SPELNG BAD, SONG OK
3 (
4) Rihanna - 'We Found Love' feat Calvin Harris GREAT
2 (3) Adele - 'Someone Like You' WE GET THE IDEA
1 (1) Lykke Li - 'I Follow Rivers' (The Magician Remix) STILL GOOD

Which makes it six whole weeks at the top of the Romanian Top 100 for Lykke Li, officially upgrading 'I Follow Rivers' from 'smash hit' to 'phenomenon' status. Congratulations Ms Li. Even the Romanian X Factor contestants are 'paying tribute' to it. And now here is the bit that goes... Except...
  • Liviu Hodor appears to be getting a single release in the UK sometime next year. Unfortunately it won't be for 'Sweet Love' but rather an older track, 'Happy For You'. In any case, 'watch this space' or something.
  • Alexandra Stan didn't get the Grammy nomination people were predicting for her :(
  • And "perspiring football journo" Duncan Jenkins has been giving his views on music.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

"Working On New Material"

A Google search for the specific phrase "working on new material" pulls up 716,000 results. Non-scientific research suggests that about 97% of those results reference the careers of decidedly ropey popstars. 'This year I've just been working on new material', 'I've been busy working on new material', 'Et cetera'. In case you hadn't noticed, artists as diverse as Lloyd Daniels, Danyl Johnson and Michael Collings (?) have all been doing it in 2011 - in fact Lloyd and Danyl have been doing it since 2009. Some of this 'material' does come to fruition (who can forget Lloyd's 'Suburbian Girl', which took the bold step of inventing a brand new word to make the title lyric scan); most of it stays 'on the shelf' (in the respective artist's imagination).

Another act who's been beavering away at 'new material' for... A good 7 years now is former S Club Junior Calvin Goldspink.


That is what he looked like in 2004. However, he was only 15 at the time so AVERT YOUR GAZE. (Unless you're of a similar age, in which case carry on.) Anyway, he's 22 now so presumably he's ready to come back as the finely tuned male popstar that the UK has been lacking for quite some while. He's already got an amazing popstar name, should be good looking and should be able to use his S Clubness as a platform to attract the attention of both the public and some of the best people 'in the game'. Right?


No, not really. Well done all involved.

...But we can't let someone who ('presumably'...) made so many young people realise that they were gay let that be their only legacy.

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE: According to Wikipedia Calvin is currently signed to Polydor. Sounds like nonsense, but on the off chance that he is, this is what they should do with him:
  1. Get him to cover Leon Jean-Marie's 'Bring It On' or Neosupervital's 'Now That I've Found It' - no one will realise they're not originals
  2. Throw a load of cash at it
  3. Etc
And there we have it.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

(Agg)Romania(Santos.com)

Just so you know, the above title is an altered lyric from the concurrently ridiculous and amazing 'Candy' by Aggro Santos. If you want to catch Aggro live then you soon can, at Chichester Crown Court on January the 5th, supported by... Well, his lawyers, presumably. Anyway, Romanian chart et cetera et cetera.

Tinie Tempah is at Number 87 with 'Written In The Stars'. A bit of a tune, but not his finest. No, that would be 'Pass Out', which he performed on US X Factor last week, keeping in the 'Scunthorpe' line. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why Tinie Tempah is one hundred percent a Good Thing. Oh and in case you were wondering, Scunthorpe is rubbish, even by dilapidated northern UK town standards.

There's a new entry at Number 79 for DJ Sava and Andreea D and it is called 'Free'. "Free like the morning sun," is Andreea, "and I'm going, free at last" and you get the idea. Anyway, despite the fact that the morning sun isn't really free - it just goes up from the east down to the west, every single day, without fail - it's quite good. It's got brass in it and apparently Sava has something to do with Raluka of 'Out Of Your Business' brilliance and if that isn't a a mark of a class product then Lord knows what is.

Like dreadful Italian style rock? Well you're wrong to do so, but there was some at Number 55, although you'll have to find out what it was called for yourself because the woman on the radio didn't say what it was. Mohombi's 'Bumpy Ride' was just ahead of it at Number 54 though, so that somewhat balanced things out. And then that Bruno Mars song about rain came on (for it is at Number 50). "I'll never be your mother's favourite" is genuinely one of the lyrics in that. Better get yourself back to the shop quick to replace his album for the Bublé one then, because otherwise yours will be distinctly underwhelmed by her Christmas present. "That Bruno Mars," she'll sigh, barely masking her utter disdain for you and the lack of thought you have given to the purchasing of her gift, "he'll never be my favourite". Perhaps if he started making stereotypical 'housewife-friendly' pop then he might sell more copies. Until then, he'll have to remain something of a niche proposition.

When you are recording a song and you have Arash what do you do? What you do, it would seem, is make 'Broken Angel', a very nice sort of OneRepublic-ish midtempo ballad with added European influences. This is, of course, providing that you are a female vocalist called Helena and that when you're talking about Arash you mean you're with the balding Swedish-Iranian popstar who took Azerbaijan to a third place finish at Eurovision in 2009. If not then you probably want to get that checked out. Apparently 'Broken Angel' came out over a year ago so God knows why it's still in the Romanian Top 50 (at 46, to be precise) but as the old saying goes, "when God gives you lemonade, you drink the lemonade".

MILLI-MILLION, MILLI-MILLION, MILLI-MILLI-MILLI-MILLI-MILLI-MILLION, Alexandra Stan is one place ahead of that at Number 45 (the song is called 'One Million').

No sign of LadBanter yet, but their single isn't out until January so give them time.

One 'curiosity' of the Romanian charts is that at the moment at least they seem to contain about 5 songs that are based on 'Yé ké yé ké'. How this has come to be is unclear. The Romanians clearly love Latin influences in their pop music, though seemingly not so much African ones. So what is it that's so attractive about this one Guinean song from almost 25 years ago? It was popular across Europe then too, so it's not exactly a new thing, but it's nonetheless odd. On second thoughts they do also love wordless and nonsensical hooks - viz 'One Million' and the rather splendid 'Lala Song' by Grasu XXL and Guess Who, at Number 19 this week. Perhaps it could be something to do with that. Perhaps it could, and should, remain a mystery. PERHAPS.

And there we have it. Below you will find this week's Top 10. You may notice that many of the songs in it appear to have been there since the dawn of time. Then again you're not the one who's been compiling this bloody thing so you probably won't. Anyway:

10 (9) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' NO THANKS
9 (13) Rihanna - 'We Found Love' feat Calvin Harris HOPELESS ACE
8 (5) 'DJ Antoine' - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna BLOODY HELL
7 (8) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
6 (7) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona ACTUALLY GOOD
5 (3) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony SIXTEEN OUT OF TEN
4 (6) Adele - 'Someone Like You' PLEASANT/TIRESOME
3 (4) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga ACTUALLY SUPERB
2 (2) Sean Paul - 'Got 2 Luv U' feat Alexis Jordan ACTUALLY... AVERAGE
1 (1) Lykke Li - 'I Follow Rivers' (The Magician Remix) MAGIC

And that is Lykke Li's fourth week at the top. Lykke: even though you may eventually be deposed, never forget that, as the late, great Whitney Houston once said, "you're a winner for a lifetime". Never forget that. And here's the bit that goes... Except...
  • Meanwhile, Grasu XXL did a PA at a club. Romanian popstars seem to do that quite a lot. And judging by the picture on that page, Grasu XXL is very tall.
  • Oh, and a clip of Cilla Black showing off her favourite childhood 'treat'.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Meet Your New Least Favourite Boyband

Oh God.

LadBanter have arrived with their debut single 'WKD Game'

"Gotta be honest, LadBanter are #decent" - Frankie Cocozza

Watch out ladies, LadBanter are on the prowl.

Danny, Chris, Tez and Kez represent a great leap forward for the boyband concept. Gone are the days of earnestness and stools, these guys are all about #cheekiness, #jokes and #banter - hence the name.

Taking their cues from the likes of Olly Murs, Example and the cast of Geordie Shore, LadBanter want to assure the world that "it's not all about the music". As Chris explains, "for us it's chinos first, tunes later". And it's that kind of attitude that has already earnt them a legion of followers on both Twitter and YouTube, on which they regularly post videos of the assorted japes they get up to at Banter Mansion - recent clips have included a hilarious incident in which Danny had a dump in the freezer before serving up a delicious 'chocolate log' to Tez! "Some of the fans are a bit young," admits Danny, "but as my mate Wazza used to say: 'if there's grass on the pitch...'"

Several high profile music industry figures are already tipping LadBanter for the top - before they've even heard any of the music - including Max from The Wanted, who said that they have the look of "complete swag merchants". Also offering praise was Joe Mott, who reckons that "the clue's in the name really - these guys are going to be big".

Meet the band:
Danny, 21, was working as a bricklayer in Leeds when he was spotted in a club by one of the top talent scouts behind the group. As he explains: "I was just having some top banter with my mates about this bird we saw earlier on when this guy came over to me. I thought, look, I'm not homerphobic or anything mate but I'm not interested. Then he started going on about being in a band or something. To be honest with you I've got no interest in music whatsoever, but three months later I'm ready to release my first single! Quality."

Chris, at 18, is the baby of the band, and was until recently in the first year of a sports science degree at the University of Chester. "At first I wasn't sure about being in a boyband - I like more meaningful stuff, like Ed Sheeran - but as soon as I met the rest of the boys we got on like a hows on fire."

25 year old Tez, real name Terry, first came to the attention of the LadBanter family in a Topman in Croydon - though he assures he's much more of a #toplad himself! Tez says that he is currently "well into dubstep".

Kez, real name Kenneth, was contacted after leaving a particularly incisive comment on the YouTube page of Cher Lloyd. "I put 'LOL slag' and it got 33 thumbs up. Next thing I know I'm in LadBanter!"

LadBanter's first single, 'WKD Game', features a sample from some song from the olden days and will be released on January 9th, with an album, '#decent', to follow in March. To catch up on the latest goings on in the joke-packed world of LadBanter, visit their YouTube and Twitter pages.

For further info please contact (sniiiip!)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

What Happened In 2012?

"2012," mused noted philosopher Jay Sean, "it ain't the end of the world". He wasn't wrong. I know because I've been to the end of it. (The year that is, not the world.) Not much has changed but they live underwater. Actually that means quite a lot has changed. Quite a lot indeed...

Excitement built in January as the BBC Sound Of 2012 was due to be announced. Only joking, everyone knew that all the acts on the shortlist were doomed to fail anyway, with or without the poisoned chalice of the title itself. Nonetheless, a lack of rock acts on the list prompted countless 'Is Rock Dead?' 'thinkpieces', and several counterclaims that "No, it's nozzzzzz". Oh and Neil McCormick mumbled something about Bono.

February was when Adele cleared up at the BRITs. It was nice for her for a while, but it wasn't too long until she came face to face with the spectre of Dido: the crushing realisation that it'd most likely be all downhill from here.

In March, Matt Cardle was dropped by Syco. Tragically, only seven people noticed. One was the successor to his X Factor crown, Marcus Collins, who quickly scrapped plans for a double disc chillwave concept album based on his time as a hairdresser and instead rush-released a collection of classic soul covers in time for Mother's Day. It was a smash hit.

In April, Marcus Collins was dropped. Elsewhere, the Steps comeback tour was, by all accounts, a triumph, and triggered something of a domino effect. By Christmas Scooch, allSTARS*, Marvin and Tamara, and Leilani had all had their own reunion series on Sky Living, even in spite of the latter being only one person. The new Steps album surprised many by being Actually Quite Good and the first single from it, a cover of Abba's unreleased 'Just Like That', was Number One for five weeks. Blimey.

After April came May, and this year's Eurovision was hailed as one of the best ever. The UK entrants, Hurts, took home the spoils. Look, no-one said this was going to be realistic.

June was the highlight of a packed year for Xenomania. Along with releasing the new Girls Aloud single and celebrating Alex Gardner's second Number One of the year the team opened the first Xenomania theme park, just outside their Westerham bunker. Rides included the mysterious Nadine's Passport, the Westminster-themed Swinging London Town, and the Malakouti. Although there was minor controversy over Brian Higgins' treatment of his employees (to be honest Vagabond should just have been happy he was keeping them in work) it was a riproaring success, with another three opening before the end of the year.

Wtih July came the Olympics, and all naysayers made an about turn as early as the opening ceremony, with its '50 Years of Pop' segment featuring performances from Half Of The Beatles, David Bowie (his first in God knows how long), Pet Shop Boys, Pulp, Girls Aloud and Adele. It'd be churlish to reveal too much about the goings on, but let's get one thing clear - it was amazing. Then some sport happened, and that was jolly good too.

The biggest news in August was that of a male popstar coming out, much to the delight of a number of frothing internet gays, who still had absolutely no chance of ever doing that to him, never mind *that*.

September signalled the launch of a new boyband - LadBanter. None of the members could sing, or had any interest in music, but all agreed that being in a band was "a great way of pulling birds". Their first single, the Chris Isaak-sampling 'WKD Game', was the fastest selling Number One of the year; thousands of teenage girls went wild and Mary Wollstonecraft died all over again.

In October Matt Cardle quite literally cleared up at the MOBOs.

Then, in November, David Guetta visited a club for the first time and decided that he didn't actually like it all that much really.

Finally, December saw a twist on a seemingly age old tradition: the ridiculous Facebook Christmas Number One 'cause célèbre'. With The X Factor winner scheduled to record a new track described as "Kylie's 'The One' mixed with her 'I Believe In You' and Girls Aloud's 'Call The Shots'", completely ridiculous Real Music proponents took a break from their Stereophonics CDs to actually listen to the songs in question, and decided that yes, they are all incredibly amazing. On further inspection they discovered that The Sound of Arrows' 'Into The Clouds' was even MORE amazing, and set about trying to get that to Number One instead. The only bad news is that neither they nor 'The X' succeeded; the Official Charts Company's magic supercomputer buckling under the brilliance of the two songs, and blowing up before the chart could be announced. In a way, everyone was a winner.

And that was about it.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Perfunctoromania

Because we're all busy people and etc. For the sake of completism, here is this week's Romanian Top 10

10 (11) Dan Balan - 'Freedom' A BIT LIKE 'POPULAR' IE AMAZING
9 (5) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' UNINTERESTING
8 (6) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
7 (4) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona A GOOD SONG
6 (10) Adele - 'Someone Like You' A NICE SONG
5 (8) 'DJ Antoine' - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna OH DEAR
4 (7) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga SUPERLATIVE
3 (3) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony FIFTEEN OUT OF TEN
2 (2) Sean Paul - 'Got 2 Luv U' feat Alexis Jordan NO 'HAPPINESS'
1 (1) Lykke Li - 'I Follow Rivers' (The Magician Remix) HURRAH

Normal service will (presumably) resume next week, if you're in any way interested whatsoever. And, 'sadly', that's all. Except...
  • Marius Moga is currently one of the judges on Vocea României (The Voice of Romania). So that's nice.
  • Meanwhile, his great mate Guess Who had a guest slot on Romanian X Factor the other week. More interesting though was the appearance this week of East 17, who performed their 1995 'classic' 'Thunder'. Blimey.
  • And this is a rather innovative and funny way of using Spotify's Social feature, is it not? Yes, yes it is.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

X (Factor) Marks The Spot: Romania

As it stands, a total of 30 countries are either currently or will soon be broadcasting their own versions of that great British televisual institution, The X Factor. This probably means, given that different editions go out on different days of the week, that it is showing somewhere in the world every single night of the year (subs please check). That's quite a lot of X Factor.

It means a lot of PRS cheques coming through for Simon Cowell, who has a co-credit on the theme tune for suggesting that the words 'X Factor' should be in it. It means a lot of 'potential global superstars'. It means maybe one or two actual ones. More importantly it means a lot of Louis Walsh impersonators, badly mimed group performances and whatever else normally happens on the show. But who are the people that are doing these things and where? That is the question that X (Factor) Marks The Spot will strive, nation by nation, to answer.

Now this promises, given the fact that it's too much effort to watch more than about ten minutes of each show, to be rather ropey. So where better to start than everyone's favourite generically attractive female-fronted generic dance music factory, Romania. X Factor Romania is currently heading towards the end of its first series, with only seven contestants remaining. Here are some things about it, in lazy list format, in lieu of any of the skill required to craft flowing paragraphs.

The presenters: Razvan Simion and Dani Otil, who look like they could be the Romanian Ant and Dec, but are actually rather dour. Poor form, Romania. Oh and one of them seems to say the word 'weekend' at the start, possibly in mimicry of Dermot O'Leary and his "your weekend starts here" 'catchphrase'. Again, poor form if so.

The judges: Adrian Sînă (a member of amazing boyband Akcent, who have a song about Kylie Minogue), Paula Seling (who came third at Eurovision in 2010 with some other bloke, performing 'Playing With Fire') and Mihai Morar (no idea who he is). 

The voiceover: Subtly frightening.

The crowd: Falteringly polite, in that they seemed to be constantly anxiously waiting for a cue to gently clap from a man with a card. Or perhaps a gun, which they occasionally jumped, only adding to what was a quite amateur ambience. Can you have an amateur ambience? Well it's alliterative so you can now.

A comedy audition?: Cristian Vartolomei

This week's guest performers: Brilliantly, East 17, currently making what must be approaching their 17th comeback, albeit this time without the input of Brian Harvey and one of the other ones. So what song did they do? A new one? A classic? 'Stay Another Day'? No. 'Thunder', a song that suggests that Tony Mortimer's (the one who wasn't Brian Harvey [the one who ran over himself]) fabled songwriting talents were somewhat overstated. Basically it only had about two lines. The performance itself was ramshackle to say the least - more than a bit pitchy and strained. Let's just say it's been a long time. Halfway through, one of the judges picks up one of those tablet things - on which he is presumably watching the performance, despite it being in front of his eyes - adorned with the logo of one of the show's sponsors, and holds it right at the camera. Incredible.

This week's bottom two: This is known in Romania as 'DUEL'. First up was a woman dressed as Slash, belting her way through Lykke Li's 'I Follow Rivers', something that Janet Devlin could only have dreamed of doing on the UK version. (To be fair, 'I Follow Rivers' is currently Number One in Romania, but still.) Anyway, she wasn't very good.

Second was Irina Florea, who chose to perform 'I Love Rock 'N' Roll', a great song for showing off the more sophisticated aspects of your vocal abilities. Again, she wasn't very good, if a bit better than Slash. And she did quite a few ad libs, which would be best described as 'interesting'.

In all fairness, it should have been East 17 who were then kicked off. Sadly it turned out that they were not actually part of the competition. Instead it was Slash, by two votes to one, the decider coming from her own mentor, Mihai. She took it gracefully, as Irina broke down in tears, and the crowd waited for permission to clap politely. Everyone's a winner. Kind of.

Who might win?: Thanks for asking, no idea. There's only seven left though, so this man seen ambling his way through 'Rolling In The Deep' at judge's houses (a beach, in this instance) has, strictly speaking, a one in seven chance. Congratulations, Andrei Leonte. (Actually on second looking the favourite seems to be Alin Vaduva. So now you know.)

The overall feel: UK X Factor, circa 2006 (sans Leona).

"And there," as they say, "we have it".

Monday, 21 November 2011

Ohnomania

Take a deep breath because here is this week's Romanian chart thing.

In at Number 95 is Mike Candy's 'One Night In Ibiza', cut from his forthcoming album 'Plumbing The Depths' like a plastic 6 pack ring from a dying swan's neck. Actually the album's not called that but it might as bloody well be. Never has hedonism sounded so utterly tedious. 'One Night In Ibiza' would be workmanlike, if only it appeared to have had any work put into it whatsoever. It is the sound of 2011: the sound of total contempt for the listener. The sound of imaginary VIP areas that, even if they did exist, would never admit the mere mortals lapping it up. It's that of aspiration to barely glamorised misogyny, Pitbull's good looks and David Guetta's great hair. It's the sound of laddism, the WKD side and Massive Banter. It's the evacuation of not only a genre of music, but music itself. It's the sound of 'will this do'. It's the sound of 'turns out it will'. It's the sound of this parody Twitter account, Taio Cruz and Olly Murs. It's like Britpop never happened. It reverberates from the deeply mythologised Club, where it's possible to party party PARTY until 6am without anyone getting glassed or being sick, and have both the wherewithal and wealth to do it all again from tomorrow until forever. It's the sound of money for nothing and your drinks for 10p. It's proof that the Bodyrockers were prophets, not anomalies. It is The Only Way Is Essex, it is Geordie Shore. It's the sound of the apocalypse.

Glad to sort that out.

But while it's all well and good having a go at things that are rubbish, negativity and misanthropy are fool's games, really. There is a lot of good stuff out there - or at least stuff not dire enough to make you want to slowly extract one of your eyes with a teaspoon - and it should be celebrated and cherished. Have a listen to Raluka to cleanse your palate. Then, in light of the unrepeatable atrocity above, it's only right that you partake in a moment's silence to reflect. And then you can listen to Raluka again. Here is the Top 10.

10 (11) Adele - 'Someone Like You' UNDEREXPOSED
9 (10) Andra - 'Telephone' ACE
8 (4) 'DJ Antoine' - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna OH GOD
7 (8) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga ALSO ACE
6 (3) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
5 (6) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' ...
4 (7) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona THIS IS A GOOD SONG
3 (2) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony FOURTEEN OUT OF TEN
2 (5) Sean Paul - 'Got 2 Luv U' feat Alexis Jordan UNDISTINCTIVE
1 (1) Lykke Li - 'I Follow Rivers' (The Magician Remix) HURRAH

Well what a mess this blog thing has been. A shame that there's no time to turn it around now. There's nothing that can be done. Except...
  • Dan Bălan is trying to break Russia, but hasn't forgotten his roots, personally auditioning a variety of Romanian models (or a 'bevy of buxom babes') for a starring role in his latest video. The lucky winner of the part was Ioana Raicu. Congratulations, Ioana.
  • Alexandra Stan's career hit a new high last week when 'Mr Saxobeat' soundtracked the exit of this year's Big Brother runner up, Jay McKray, a man notable for putting his poo in the house's freezer.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Ro-ma-nia Worth Bothering With

(As in 'no way near'.) (Although maybe it is.) (Is it?) (It might be.) (This thing about the Romanian charts, that is.) (Let's see.)

First off, Sak Noel's 'Loca People' is at Number 96. The interesting thing about that is that when they play it on the radio in Romania they don't censor the naughty word, presumably because English isn't their first language. Well, it's sort of interesting. (It's not, is it? :( )

The Walmart Timberlake to Shayne Ward's Primark version, Joe Jonas, is a new entry at Number 90 with 'Just In Love', which is probably of some importance to someone or something, and Leona is at Number 83 with... Oh hang on, it's Avicii again. Maybe one day.

Right. This isn't going very well. Here to save the day is Alex Velea, whose 'Whisper' is at Number 70. It's actually quite good: above average dance-pop, in 2011, that's far removed from the Guetta archetype of "We're going to have some booze drinks and pop some bottles and maybe leer at some models UNTIL 6AM!". Who'd have thought it. What's also quite good is the video, which is half based on Olly Murs' 'Please Don't Let Me Go' clip, and half on James Bond. He does a little dance routine with some gangsters' molls and everything. And sound the 'dubstep influence' siren - there's a few wub-wubs at the end.

Good news for 'setting back feminism by, oh, at least a thousand years' fans: Antonia is at Number 57 with 'Marionette', in which she sings: "I wanna be in your control, so unmerciful; you can twist me and turn me just don't let me go... I wanna be your puppet on a string; baby I'm not holding back we can do anything; and even if I'm crazy it's cause you make me this way; we're as close to love as we'll ever get; I wanna be your marionette". Blimey. In fact it's also great news for 'non-native English speakers failing to pronounce things correctly' aficionados, because when Antonia says it, it sounds a lot like 'may-un-ey'.

And in what is, depending on how you look at it, either an unexpected boon or crushing blow for pop for people who daren't like pop, Lykke Li has climbed 5 places to Number One. Lykke Li: Number One. That sounds rather odd. Well, unfortunately, while it will no doubt delight Ms Li, it also signals, as per Ye Olde Law Of Pitchfork, the end of her career. Oh well. Here is the rest of the Top 10.

10 (14) Andra - 'Telephone' V GOOD
9 (5) Dan Balan - 'Freedom' RATHER INVIGORATING
8 (7) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga JAUNTY
7 (8) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona EASILY ONE OF THE BEST
6 (4) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' BORIN'
5 (9) Sean Paul - 'Got 2 Luv U' feat Alexis Jordan GOT 2 IMPROVE
4 (3) 'DJ Antoine' - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna DETESTABLE
3 (2) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
2 (1) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony THIRTEEN OUT OF TEN
1 (6) Lykke Li - 'I Follow Rivers' (The Magician Remix) HAS PIANOS; GOOD

So Romania loves Lykke. After that revelation, there's nothing left to be said. Except...
  • In an illuminating article on libertatea.ro, Alex Velea revealed that for him, "the most important thing in marriage is a friendship that goes hand in hand with sex. I consult with my wife in everything I do" and that "alcohol should be consumed in small quantities, but very good quality".
  • Lykke Li has been busy inspiring The Kooks. So busy in fact, that she doesn't even own a TV. Seriously, there's indie nonsense and then there's just outright nonsense. How does she watch The X Factor?

Friday, 11 November 2011

Better Late Romania (Than Never)

Pretty sure you'll agree - that's some liquid titling up there. On with this week's belated Romania rundown thing, then.

At Number 99 there's a new entry for Anya. It's called  'Fool Me' and if you enjoyed 'Mr Saxobeat' (and who didn't) then chances are you might like this too. So that's good.

There's a striking tune re-entering at Number 92 with the refrain "I was born in a system that doesn't give a fuck; about you nor me nor the life; don't be a victim of things I do too survive". It is the work of Ricky L and MCK and is called 'Born Again'. It's all very sparse and threatening and not exactly the sort of thing you'd expect to find in this chart (presumably). Funnily enough it seems to be a number of years old - perhaps its reappearance was down to someone performing a light hearted version of it on Romanian X Factor or something.

Anyway, it's very good, but what's it all about? Well, luckily, YouTube commenter Jacobra9 can explain all: "This song is about the system we life in these days that system is called The New World Order controlled by the Free Masons and they really dont give a Fuck about U and Me they only care about respecting the devil and his followers so screw the Free Masons with there fuck'd up plan's and please guys don't let them control you." So there you go.

Leona's 'Collide' is at Number 91! Definitely vindication for pushing back the release of her album. Oh hang on, it's actually Avicii's 'Fade Into Darkness'. Still, things are looking good for her.

Celia and Kaye Styles have a hit on their hands: 'Is It Love' is at Number 19. It's notable for a few things: yet another Romanian Pitbull, a Romanian Fatman Scoop, a completely superfluous 'higher-desire' rhyme, some frenetic strings and most of all, a truly mind-boggling video. But is it love? Jacobra9 has yet to comment.

And it's good news for lovers of pop of the sort that's fawned over on the internet by people who only allow themselves to like pop if they can somehow attach a notion of Credibility to it and will never breach the charts: Lykke Li has climbed into the Top 10. Specifically, 'I Follow Rivers' has reached the dizzying heights of Number 6, although it seems that it has only done so off the back of The Magician (of Junior Senior)'s Italoish mix. Which is good, because it is in many ways superior. Of course the worrying thing is that this Top 10 placing in one country in Europe surely means that Li is now a bona fide commercial proposition. When all the godforsaken, indier-than-thou recesses of the 'blogosphere' stop mentioning her, you'll know why. 'You heard it here first'.

But other than Lykke Li, who makes up this week's Top 10? This is the bit where you find out, with some particularly punning (groansome) asseszzz

10 (10) Raluka - 'Out Of Your Business' AMAZING
9 (9) Sean Paul - 'Got 2 Luv U' feat Alexis Jordan NOT BAD; NOT GREAT
8 (8) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona NOT BAD; GREAT
7 (4) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga TIP-TOP HIP-HOP
6 (?) Lykke Li - 'I Follow Rivers' (The Magician Remix) ITALOTALLY GREAT
5 (6) Dan Balan - 'Freedom' WILL MAKE GUETTA WEEP (IT'S ACE)
4 (7) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' DOWN THE DUMPER(IN')
3 (3) 'DJ Antoine' - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna REPUGNANT
2 (2) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
1 (1) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony TWELVE OUT OF TEN

And it's with great sadness that that's all there is to report. Except...

  • And Tesco are launching a new 'LAD' cereal called Fuel. This is a little depressing, but mainly because why they didn't name it Frankie Granola will have to remain a mystery TO US ALL.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Outbreak Of Balladular Cover Versions In Ads (And Why It Must Be Stopped)

This time two years ago the seeds of a poisonous metaphorical weed were sown when John Lewis released a Christmas advert soundtracked by an acoustic cover of 'Sweet Child O Mine'. In April last year they repeated the trick with their 'Always A Woman' advert, backed by Fyfe Dangerfield's cover of 'She's Always A Woman' and thousands of gushing op-eds talking of how beautiful it was, representing the life of etc etc etc. The cover itself became a Top 10 hit, and John Lewis knew for sure that they were on to something. For their 2010 Christmas campaign they commissioned an utterly perfunctory and unbelievably limp Ellie Goulding cover of 'Your Song', which was an even bigger hit.

Subsequently, other companies have attempted the same thing. And this is not good.

Among the primary offenders have been Charlene Soraia's musical pablum 'Wherever You Will Go' (for Twinings), Templecloud's 'One Big Family' (which, clumsily, gave the KFC ad it featured in incestuous overtones) and now, from this years Matalan Christmas ad, Cinnamon Girl's 'Set You Free'. Yes. They really have turned N-Trance's 'Set You Free' into a piano ballad.

It's emblematic of The Adele Effect. Put anything over sparse piano and it's instantly Real, Meaningful, and, this year at least, likely to be successful. (All of this was covered much more adeptly by Peter Robinson in The Guardian recently.)

But this latest one is the straw that broke the donkey's back. The ad men are making this technique a pastiche of itself. 'She's Always A Woman' and 'Your Song' were ballads to begin with; 'Set You Free' is not meant to be Sophie Habibised; ever performed in that fashion. It doesn't 'show another side' to it, it's not 'clever', it's just pallid mulch that will only serve to further dull the charts.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

[WEAK PUN ON ROMANIA TO GO HERE PLEASE CHEERS THANKS]

Yes, that title was just a lazy way of glossing over the lack of an idea for a pun on 'Romania' this week, but ooh 'meta'.

First off, there's good news for Britney Spears after her recent poor gig reviews. Yes, while she may be as culturally relevant in Britain right now as Lonnie Donegan, the 'Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know' hitmaker is still enjoying success in Romania, having not one, but two entries on this week's chart in 'Criminal' and 'I Wanna Go', albeit at only 88 and 78 respectively. Suppose she'll have to take what she can get by this point.

At Number 84 there's a song that sounds like Jamie Woon. Jamie Woon? In Romania? Well, no. It's not Jamie Woon. The Internet doesn't really seem to know what it is either. Bit of a shambles really. And before you start saying "cool story bro", like The Kids apparently do on The Internet these days, a recommendation: the Hudson Mohawke mix of 'Lady Luck' is very good indeed. Perhaps not good enough to make this paragraph worthwhile, but good nonetheless.

In 'bizarre appropriation of a foreign language song' news, Emil Lassaria and F.Charm have conspired to make a Pitbullised version of 'Guantanamera'. They've called it 'Guantanamera' and it charts this week at Number 86. Seriously though what a racket.

Talking of Pitbull, he and Enrique Iglesias have risen 19 places to 48 this week with 'I Like How It Feels'. What it feels like, in actual fact, is a slightly ropey Official FIFA World Cup Song, replete as it is with whistling, crowds chanting "Oh-ay, oh-oh" and two vocalists with crossover international appeal. In other words it's amazing.

Actually, talking of Pitbull, guess who's Number One? Yes, Marc Anthony! And Pitbull. Since 'Pit' first came to widespread public attention in 2009 he's often been something of a blight on pop music; a pernicious influence that has aided the proliferation of Guetta House and Club nonsense in the mainstream. At the same time, however, he's also been responsible (at least in part, through Skyped-in guest appearances) for some absolute, undeniable tunes. It's only now, two years after 'I Know You Want Me' became a hit, that he has unveiled his coup de grâce: chucking 'DJ Antoine' off the top spot with the eleven out of ten-rating 'Rain Over Me'. Congratulations to all involved.

Here is the rest of the Top Ten, this week bolstered by the addition of The Mighty Raluka:

10 (15) The Mighty Raluka - 'Out Of Your BusinessFUTURE CLASSIC
9 (14) Sean Da Paul - 'Got 2 Luv U' feat Alexis Jordan DECENT-ISH
8 (9) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona SWEET (IE GOOD)
7 (6) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' BORING
6 (7) Dan Balan - 'FreedomEXCITING
5 (8) Mishelle - 'Only You' feat Randi NOT YAZOO; STILL GREAT
4 (4) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga TOP NOTCH
3 (1) 'DJ Antoine' - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna AN ATROCITY
2 (2) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
1 (3) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony WHAT A TUNE

And that's pretty much all there is to say :(. Except...

  • 'Troubled Actress' 'Lindsay Lohan' is still a bit bitter about Pitbull using her name in one of his rubbish songs.
  • She might not be able to "deal your love no more", but it's The Mighty Raluka’s 22nd birthday a week on Monday, so buy her something nice, yeah?
  • And a sobering thought regarding Britney Spears. A child born when '...Baby One More Time' was first released in the UK would now be approaching their 13th birthday. Even more depressingly, it's completely probable that they wouldn't even really know who she is. 'Makes you think'.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Reasons To Endure November? @Emelisande And @Itswillymoon, Among Others

Wake up: it's November. This means many things - for one, Wyclef will be back soon - but it mainly means that we're now in the special period of the year in which more than one single with any chance of breaching the Top 40 is released each week. In celebration of this all too fleeting phenomena, this is going to be a sort of rudimentary 'some good and bad singles are out in November and here they are' type post. Viz:

6th November: Willy Moon - 'I Wanna Be Your Man'


In lieu of anything particularly good being released this week, here is Willy Moon's 'I Wanna Be Your Man', which isn't being released this week. It's quite the début. And it's probably best for you to just watch it, as someone presumably says, 'straight off the bat', rather than having read a hackneyed description of it beforehand. Done? Amazing? Amazing.  At the moment it doesn't actually have a defined release date (although it was originally scheduled for September, then the end of October) but given that Moon is scheduled to feature in a variety of self perpetuating Tips For 2011 lists, it would be a good idea to get this 'buzz single' out sooner rather than later ie hopefully probably maybe this month.

Also releasing/'impacting':

JLS - 'Take A Chance On Me' Which will probably be Number One, off the back of an X Factor performance.

Fron Male Voice Choir - 'Granddad' A brilliant cover choice because a) obviously no-one doesn't love this song and b) it's not like the Fron Male Voice Choir's granddad's are all dead anyway. Ho hum.

13th November: A bit boring, let's gloss over this one.

20th November: Emeli Sandé - 'Daddy'


Some people reckon Emeli Sandé is something of a harbinger of a doompop wave about to take over the nation. To be honest, as good as that would be, she probably isn't. On the plus side, all that really means is that she has quickly developed her own niche - and what a niche. There is not a bad word to be said against her. (Well, any obvious one.)

Also releasing/'impacting':

Well this is a packed week - Adele's 'Rumour Has It', Alexandra Stan's 'Get Back (ASAP)', Britney Spears' 'Criminal' (if only nominally), Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull's 'I Like How It Feels' (amazing), Kelly Rowland's 'Down For Whatever', Lady Gaga's 'Marry The Night', Olly Murs' 'Dance With Me Zzz', Will Young's 'Come On', the X Factor Finalists' harrowing 'Wishing On A Star' and many, many more. Hey, 'The Record Industry' - here's an idea: how about releasing more songs at other points in the year, rather than all in the same week?

27th November: Rebecca Ferguson - 'Nothing's Real But Love'


Rebecca, the people's Duffy, is the last X Factor contestant from last year to get round to releasing some music this year (at least if we're discounting Wagner's planned Christmas offering, 'I'd Do Anything For Loaf (But I Won't Do That)'). And was it worth waiting for? Well, yes and no. It's good but it needs another version with a donk on it. Hopefully the single itself will provide a remix by one or more of the following: Hex Hector, Almighty, Moto Blanco, 7th Heaven, Jason Nevins, Cahill, Wideboys, Freemasons, Hi-Bias, Loverush UK!, Club Junkies. And that is the In At Number 40 review.

Also releasing/'impacting':

Jason Derulo - Fight For You The man that epitomises lamazing has produced yet another corker. Following on from his previous efforts in stealing from Robin S, Harry Belafonte and Imogen Heap, 'Fight For You''s hook line is lifted right from Toto's 'Africa'. Congratulations, Jason.

Patrick Wolf - 'Brumalia EP' This could be interesting.

And there we have it.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Romania's Revenge

If you hadn't noticed, the title of this post is a very witty pun on the popular record 'Roman's Revenge' by Nicki Minaj.

But that's not important. What is important is the Romanian Top 100, and that is what the following few paragraphs will attempt to dissect, if not particularly at length, then at least in an affected whimsical manner. 'Here', as they say, 'we go'.

There's a new entry at Number 83 for Alexandra Stan and Carlprit and it is called 'One Million'. What would be good would be if Carlprit married former German tennis star Michael Stich, opening up the possibility of him changing his name to Carlprit Stich. Anyway, the song itself starts off as a carbon copy of Sean Da Paul and Alexis Jordan's 'Got 2 Luv U' before morphing into a sort of Nadia Oh-esque masterpiece, especially in the chorus, which is as follows: "Milli-million, milli-million, milli-milli-milli-milli-milli-million (repeat to infinity)". Amazing.

Rihanna climbs to 66 with 'We Found Love' in the week that its ever so slightly publicised video was released. It's one of the best of the year, much like the song itself which - and this is just a hunch - is probably going to be enormous right through Christmas and the New Year. Again, just a hunch, but 'you heard it here first'.

There's a song with the refrain "Get a life, get a life, get a life; why don't you take my life, take my life, take my life" - incredible - that smoothly segues into Mory Kanté's 'Yé ké yé ké' - again, incredible - at Number 63. Apparently (well, factually), it's called 'Get A Life' and is by Nick Kamarera and Alinka.

Guess Who? No, really, Guess Who. Oh, that was a funny little wheeze. The rapper Guess Who, of 'Tot Mai Sus' 'fame', has leant his vocals to Grasu XXL's 'Lala Song' which has soared over recent weeks to a current position of 42. Much like out of date sweet and sour chicken, it's a bit funky - the important difference being that 'Lala Song' shouldn't be thrown in the bin, and nor will it give you the runs. It's good, basically.

All of which means... Well, not much. But in unrelated news DJ Antoine's genuinely abhorrent 'Welcome To St. Tropez' has earnt itself a second week at Number One. Following on from last week, here's some more of the lyrical pearls on offer in the most popular song in the whole of Romania right now.

"Imported linen, Egyptian cotton; the party just started, the party ain't stoppin'; keep shit poppin', poppin' these bottles; haters keep hatin', fuckin' these models; so much money like we own the lotto; pull up to a club in a white Murcielago"

In further unrelated news, the Euro is on the brink of collapse. Here is this week's Top 10:

10 (5) Andra - 'Telephone' FANDRASTIC (FANTASTIC)
9 (10) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona TUNE
8 (14) Mishelle - 'Only You' feat Randi REALLY QUITE PLEASANT
7 (9) Dan Balan - 'Freedom' WOULD WIN EUROVISION
6 (7) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' LUMPEN
5 (8) Alexinno - 'Senorita' feat Starchild WHY?
4 (4) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga CLASSY
3 (3) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony PITBULL'S FINEST HOUR
2 (2) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
1 (1) DJ Antoine - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna BLOODY HELL

And that's all you're getting. Except...
  • Nick Kamarera's sister has married one of the richest men in Romania. It really is amazing what you can find out just by putting someone's name into Google News. 'Congratulations' to 'all concerned' and so on and so on.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Real Music: The People Speak (Their Branes)

Bad news everybody. It turns out that popstars aren't the only ones babbling on about Real Music.

But who exactly, other than the aforementioned popstars, is attempting to to do so, and without a hint of irony? Well, short of secretly recording strangers' conversations in the street (apparently you're not supposed to do that) the best way of finding out what The Public At Large are talking about is through Twitter. A Twitter search for "Real Music" will thus reveal just who is peddling the phrase and what they have to say about it. Well guess what? Most of them are idiots. Witness:

Can't get enough of @edsheeran No.5 Collaborations. Genuine songwriting, real musicSun Oct 23 14:32:17 via Mobile Web

The Ed Sheeran fan is probably the archetypal Real Music exponent. Their fandom is of a sort that has existed since the dawn of time. Ed not only bangs on about how Real he is, it's one of his core selling points. It kind of follows, then, that most of his fans seem to be pretty young, impressionable perhaps. Looking for validation. They might genuinely like the music and they might even fancy Ed but what's also very important is that it's Definitely Real - mainly because Ed says it is. Teenage girls up and down the UK are (presumably) currently lording it over their foolish One Direction-loving friends, much in the same way that 60 years ago they'd be sneering at people for listening to Chet Baker instead of Miles Davis. Or something. It's always happened and it always will. Only the smart ones grow out of it.

now onto some real music, The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses - ultimate..... oh cant wait till next year... loved those years of musicSun Oct 23 14:34:17 via Seesmic

The Stone Roses, in case you've forgotten, were the greatest band to ever have lived. Not only that, but they were Real; so Real in fact that the Realness of each individual member eventually became too much to be contained in the confines of the group, causing a cataclysmic split in October 1996. Last week, in a move to reassert the levels of their impenetrable Integrity, they reunited. This has clearly excited Brian McGuire, who'll presumably be at one of the lucrative comeback gigs that have been arranged for next year, and can't wait to bask in the visceral authenticity that will be on show.

Real music can connect with the universe at an emotional state no evil can penetrate.Sun Oct 23 13:09:29 via SocialOomph

No. No idea.

What happen to real music? Like the 90's music,That's when it was real!Sun Oct 23 12:42:10 via web

Gah.

@foxyroxy08 Don't bother... Later with Jools was good if you sky+'d it - real musicSun Oct 23 12:28:48 via web

This tweet came in response to someone saying that X Factor wasn't very good this week. To be honest, it wasn't. But was Jools any better? He had on:

'Bon Iver' - 'Dung On Air' more like, right? Right.
Feist - She's no Kitty Brucknell.
Ben L'Oncle Soul - Quite good.
Lianne La Havas - Also quite good, in a New Boring kind of way.
Mastodon - What a racket.

So, categorically, X Factor was better than Jools. AS ALWAYS.

Aaw Harry is purrfect ? Aren't u directioners ADORABLE *sarcasm* get a life and listen to REAL music. JUSTIN IS MORE PERFECT @justinbieberSun Oct 23 12:14:34 via Twitter for iPhone

Well this is a new one. A Justin Bieber fan taking the Real Music high ground over One Direction fans.

And that last tweet just goes to show: Real Music isn't the sole property of Ed Sheeran and Stone Roses fans - it's just that of idiots. And this little exercise in bloggery only really serves to show just how many there are. If you're not constantly confronted by them then it can be easy to forget, but the world is well and truly full to the brim with buffoons. 'Food for thought' for you there.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Worst Number One Of 2011

And it hasn't even been released yet.




Bloody hell.

Some interesting points to note:

  • What was the point in enlisting a bunch of the UK's 'hottest' rappers and getting them to talk instead of rap? Ewan McGregor could have done that, and he could have done it a lot better.
  • What on earth is it all about? It seems to be taking cues from the likes of 'Born This Way' and 'Firework' - 'self-empowerment' 'anthems' - but misfires even more spectacularly than Katy Perry's breasts.
  • He might have an amazing name, but not all of The Kids in the UK actually listen to Dot Rotten. Chances are the vast majority have never heard him, nor listen to grime, in spite of whatever Tulisa believes.  
  • The idea of bringing in these up and indeed coming (in an elevator, in Ed Sheeran's case) young artists is presumably because they can 'speak' to the 'youth' of the nation. And maybe in a way, to some, they can, but what they actually say here (and in some cases elsewhere) is no less out of touch and detached from reality than the musings of your common or garden MP: naught but ridiculous platitudes about "job prospects" and "university places". The fact that said up and comers believe they know what they are talking about and are actually making some kind of serious statement just serves to underline their arrogance, rather than the common touch it leads them to believe they have.

ANYWAY

Here are some of the 'lyrics'.

'Ed Sheeran':
We're torn between what's right and what's not
What's up, what's down

Yeah, that probably means something.

Ms Dynamite (!?):
Left or right, deep down, on top, full stops
Exclamation mark, punctuation

Well that probably doesn't, but still.

Chipmunk:
100%, straight A's, education
University, job prospects, lost objects

Oh. We're playing word association, aren't we.

Dot Rotten:
Repeat sentence, feel presence
Receive gestures

Gavin Henson, Ishin-denshin
Relieve pressures

Tinchy Stryder:
Seek freedom, seek vengeance
Be full of life, be vacant
Flee danger, be braver

Vengeance? There's a good bit here when Tinchy gets to say 'flee' like he sometimes does in other songs.

Chipmunk:
Be flamboyant, be rejected
Be loved, be neglected
See sense

THESE ARE JUST WORDS THAT RHYME.

Rizzle Kicks:
See properly, see poorly
See tarnished, see quality

This bit's about going to the opticians.

Ms Dynamite:
Be selfless, be careless
Be you, be them
Be anyone

Be affected by a split personality disorder?

'Ed Sheeran':
Be an enemy, be a friend
But beware

Why?

Mz Bratt:
A wise man appreciates the time on a cheap watch

"Yeah, that one really is profound, let's put it in."

Dot Rotten:
Somebody probably dreams of the bed that you sleep on

Yeah, you selfish git.

Tinchy Stryder:
Your voice
We're living in the land of opportunities

Hang on, wasn't Chipmunk banging on about "university, job prospects and lost objects" just a couple of minutes ago?

Wretch 32:
You can turn silver into gold with four coins

Again, another particularly concerted attempt at seeming profound, however if we're talking about a pound coin here then you could actually do it with just two coins (two 50 pence pieces). The extra two would just be unnecessary. But still, 'deep'.

So, all in all, an incredibly confusing mess of contradictory questions and demands and downright nonsense. Still, it's going to raise some money for Children In Need, and that's what it's all about, right? Right.