Thursday, 31 January 2013

Romania Reloaded

No, your eyes do not deceive you. The world's worst (and perhaps best) English language rundown of the Romanian Top 100 singles chart has returned after a year away. So that's good, probably.

Anyway, when this stream of uninformed nonsense last darkened the internet's door at the end of 2011, Lykke Li was in the middle of a record-breaking 14-week run at the top of the chart with the pretty bloody brilliant Magician remix of 'I Follow Rivers'. 14 weeks! Lykke Li! Incredible. What better place to start then, than with Lykke Li's 'I Follow Rivers'? Almost a year since it was deposed from the Number One spot, it's still as high as Number 37. 37! Lykke Li! Incredible. Bizarrely the Magician remix has been unavailable for purchase in the UK for a good few months now, so an assault on the British charts is no doubt imminent*. (*Never going to happen.)

Also 'of interest' outside the Top 10 - not sure exactly where, apols - is 'Onoare', the latest release from one of Romania's most popular rappers, Guess Who. It's a melancholy affair that sounds a bit like it could have been produced by Rudimental and if you like it then you might also enjoy 'Tot Mai Sus', his long-running Number One from 2011.

One of the more surprising entries in the chart is at Number 9: Bedouin Soundclash's Coeur De Pirate-featuring 'Brutal Hearts', a song that has, until now, elicited little interest anywhere since it first appeared in 2010. A mournful boy-girl duet on the subject of love, it is in many ways like 'Somebody That I Used To Know' (just without the shouting) and even a bit like that Asaf Avidan one (again, without the shouting). The reason why a group only really known by anyone for that one song they had in an advert that time are having such success with it in Romania now is that it has been remixed by someone called Sylvio. All he's really done is make it a bit more propulsive, but it works pretty well.

Ahead of that there's Antonia at 6 with 'Jameia', which is more instant than her next single 'Marabou', though maybe not as good; and at 4, Smiley, who, after tormenting millions with the self-pitying 'Dream Girl' in 2011, has now decided to use his powers for good with 'Cai verzi pe pereți', which, says Google Translate, means 'Goose Wall'. Anyway, it has lots of catchy 'la la la'-ing in it so that's nice.

The best Romanian track in the Top 10, however, lies at Number 3. What's Up and Andra's 'K la meteo' is an absolute triumph, the highlight being the chorus, which has an amazing melody delivered at each other by the two vocalists. Seriously, lovers singing at and over the top of each other in a song can only ever be brilliant. And there's no evidence to the contrary.

But enough of that, what's at Number One? It's only one of the best songs of 2012! It's 'Oliver Twist' by D'banj! Hurrah. Here is the Top 10 in full, alongside some more thankfully brief reviews.

10 Faydee - 'Laugh Till You Cry' feat Lazy J PLEASANT/MISOGYNISTIC
9 Bedouin Soundclash - 'Brutal Hearts (Sylvio Edit)' feat Coeur De Pirate GOOD
8 Rihanna - 'Diamonds' SHE CHOSE TO BE HAPPY
7 Connect-R - 'Love Is The Way' PASSABLE
6 Antonia - 'Jameia' NOT ABOUT JAMELIA; STILL OK
5 Low Deep T - 'Casablanca' CASABLANDA MORE LIKE
4 Smiley - 'Cai verzi pe pereți' feat Alex Velea and Don Baxter LA LA LA L-ETC
3 What's Up - 'K la meteo' feat Andra FANDRASTIC
2 Loredana - 'Apa' feat Cabron JAUNTY
1 D'Banj - 'Oliver Twist' REBETE

And, sadly, that's it. Except...
  • That Sylvio/Bedouin Soundclash remix is available for free from the former's Facebook page (after you 'like' it, anyway).
  • This wasn't as good as the old ones, was it. And that's saying something. Still, you probably haven't read any of them, so at least there's that.
  • And the Toyah song used in the Patsy Kensit Weight Watchers ad really is something. No idea what, but something.