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Music Blog - UK Top 10

posted 16 Jul 2012, 12:46 by Chris Morris

Only two new songs to blog about this week as Calvin Harris' remix of Florence & The Machine's Spectrum is released and Nicki Minaj creeps into the top 10 with Pound The Alarm. Sadly, we say goodbye to fun.'s nice little effort which means there is one less human drummer in the UK Top 10 this week. Sigh.

This weeks top ten looks like this:


10. Pound The Alarm - Nicki Minaj

I was disappointed to see Nicki Minaj back in the top 10 this week, and this song is a poster-song (does that even make sense?) for why. Minaj's voice is very irritating, the backing music is full of awful cartoonish sound effects, and I can't make out one real instrument in there bar Nicki Minaj's voice. The worst part is where Minaj or whoever really wrote this song obviously runs out of ideas and just puts in a noise for what I think is supposed to be the chorus. Not much of a treat to listen to but thankfully it's mercifully short.

9. Wide Awake - Katy Perry

I found this song to be pretty standard electric stuff – There was no human drummer... In fact the only musician involved in this song is Katy Perry herself as the rest of music is made by man on a computer. 
The chord progression remains the exact same throughout the verse and the chorus. And speaking of the chorus, I found it pretty bland in comparison to the verse. So all in all this song involved a guy sitting at a computer laying down a simple chord progression then adding sound effects, and then getting Katy Perry (Who, don’t get me wrong, is a good singer) to sing over it. Actually one of the better ones from the chart this week though...

8. Princess of China - Coldplay & Rihanna

A lot of people think this is a Coldplay song featuring Rihanna, but let me tell you that this is the complete opposite. Rihanna completely outshines Chris Martin in the song in terms of vocals, and the other members of Coldplay are missing in action. It’s strange to see Coldplay mixed with a completely different act like Rihanna and to be honest, I didn’t think it worked very well. Coldplay used to be in the same genre as Travis and Oasis but now they’ve gone a little strange. A shame as well because most of the guys in Coldplay are good musicians.
The song features the same chords over and over and is really unimaginative – Especially the chorus. Not a very good effort from Chris Mar... Uh, I mean “Coldplay” and Rihanna.

7. Feel the Love - Rudimental (feat. John Newman)

Who on earth is John Newman? I tried my best to find out, even Wikipedia’d him and found a list of politicians, a bishop and a mayor among others. I’m guessing he is none of them. But I was listening out for a standout feature for a singer that never came. There was a trumpet solo at one point and I’m wondering if perhaps John Newman is a brass player? Who knows.
This song is terrible. Cheesy sythns, annoying voices, and surprise surprise, a drum machine. The song gets even worse towards the end when the rhythm changes to a shuffle which kills whatever momentum the song had.

6. Whistle - Flo Rida

There’s a nice use of guitar in this song and it’s unfortunate that the best drum beat I’ve heard so far is from the drum machine in this song. No prizes for guessing that this is a cheesy song about whistling (Well, we all know what it’s really about but that’s for another blog), involving someone actually whistling. The singer isn’t anything special and my memory tells me that neither is the rest of the song as I can’t recall any lyrics.

5. Black Heart - Stooshe

If it’s a drum machine in this song it actually sounds pretty good. Could be an electric kit played by a human drummer but most likely just a programmed thing. However I thought this song was one of the better ones this week. Quite creative and listenable to, but not my cup of tea. Unfortunately the songwriter runs out of ideas after a while and the chorus is simply repeated in slightly different styles.

4. Don't Wake Me Up - Chris Brown

Next up is a man who shouldn’t even have a music career, for more than one reason. The least of which not being that this is a terrible effort at making music. It’s a very dancey, electric, factory produced song with the most outrageously horrific use of auto-tuning on Chris Brown’s voice that I may have ever heard in my life. This song has no value musically and is a real slap in the face to any real music fan. Fortunately it looks as though we’ll never get to see Chris Brown live over here in Scotland because the last time he attempted to enter the UK his Visa was declined. I wonder why? Oh, isn’t it because Chris Brown’s music isn’t the only crime he’s committed?

3. This is Love - will.i.am (feat. Eva Simons)

Pretty standard stuff here with a not very exciting drum machine and more electric music going on. However, the piano is really nice (Played by will.i.am?) and the singing is pretty good, which confused me actually because I heard this guy singing at the Queen’s Jubilee concert a few weeks ago and he wasn’t very good. There’s a good feature for Eva Simons, but I think will.i.am should stuck to his rapping as it was definitely better than his singing.

2. Payphone - Maroon 5 (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

If you go to Google Images and type in “sell outs”... You get a picture of a jar of peanut butter. But there should be a picture of Maroon 5. Back in 2002 this band were a semi-promising act with a couple of hit songs. Now they play standardized pop music so that they can shoot to number one. The vocals are pretty shocking in this song – They sound auto-tuned and there is a lot of very unnecessary swearing – I’d expect this in a gangsta rap song but it just sounds very out of place here. The drums have a very weird rhythm all the way through and sounds again like it may be a drum machine. The snare falls on the 4th beat making the music lose a bit of momentum. 
Again, this is a song which features someone who is better than the main act – Wiz Khalifa. The rapping is certainly the best part of this otherwise forgettable song.

1. Spectrum (Say My Name) (Calvin Harris Mix) - Florence + The Machine

New number one entry this week with Calvin Harris' remix of a Florence + The Machine song. I'm not a fan of the electric dancey way in which this has been produced. The vocals are very good, and there are some nice sounds in the background, particularly in the strings. Unfortunately it's one of these songs that doesn't need three minutes - you've heard the song in the first few seconds, and ideas are simply repeated. It's hard to judge who is to credit (or blame depending on your opinion) for the songwriting as it's a remix, and I'd certainly like to hear the original song to decide. No drums in this song of course, just some very standard electric beats behind a pretty forgettable song.



     

My order of songs this week based on their quality and creativity would be:

1.       Black Heart – Stooshe

2.       Payphone – Maroon 5 (feat. Wiz Khalifa)

3.       Princess of China – Coldplay & Rihanna

4.       This is Love – will.i.am (feat. Eva Simons)

5.       Wide Awake – Katy Perry

6.    Spectrum (Say My Name) (Calvin Harris Remix) - Florence + The Machine

7.       Whistle – Flo Rida   

8.       Don’t Wake Me Up – Chris Brown

9.   Feel the Love – Rudimental (feat. John Newman)

10. Pound the Alarm - Nicki Minaj


Best Drummer - Matt Flynn from Maroon 5.

I have chosen Matt Flynn simply because Maroon 5 are the only act in the charts this week who I know definitely use a live drummer (although most of the drums in Payphone sound suspiciously electronic). Nothing special at all but if I find out that Stooshe used a live drummer, he will most certainly be replaced next week.

Very disappointing from a drummer's perspective this week in the charts. It seems that being a drummer in a band is becoming a lost art in the United Kingdom, although the Billboard charts haven't been so welcoming for drummers either. A lot of these acts don't even use a drummer when they perform live... Will drum kits even exist in ten years time?

More music blogs to follow later this week and I will be reviewing the number one album very soon which is Write It On Your Skin by Newton Faulkner.

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