Monday, 21 November 2011


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, 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


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.