Sunday, November 06, 2005

UK Charts Commentary, 11/12/05


#1 "You Raise Me Up" - Westlife

A second week at #1 for Westlife and "You Raise Me Up." Of their 13 #1 hits, this is only their fourth to spend more than one week at #1 after "Swear It Again" (2 weeks), "I Have a Dream" (4 weeks), and "Against All Odds" (2 weeks). Their next single, "When You Tell Me That You Love Me (with Diana Ross)" is just six weeks away and the current favorite for Christmas #1.

#3 "Can I Have It Like That" - Pharrell Featuring Gwen Stefani

Pharrell teams up with Gwen Stefani and scores his highest charting hit yet. Pharrell Williams is also 1/2 of the Neptunes (with Chad Hugo), the production team responsible for big hits for Justin Timberlake ("Rock Your Body"), Britney Spears ("I'm A Slave 4U"), Usher ("U Don't Have to Call"), N Sync ("Girlfriend"), and Gwen Stefani ("Hollaback Girl"), among others. This is a simple hip-hop track with a hypnotic double synth bass beat that really gets under your skin. I can't help feeling that Gwen Stefani is a bit underused though, as all she does is say "you got it like that" over and over. Still, it's a fine single.

#4 "Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry)" - Craig David

Craig David earns his twelfth top 10 hit with a mid-tempo ballad a failed relationship. It's a bit chipper for the subject at hand, but the tune is very catchy; I find myself humming it all the time. Once known for somewhat edgy R&B/two-step hits, David's edge is now gone. With two-step no longer in vogue, David took the easy road, rather than risk some other modern sound. It's pleasant enough, and he seems to be charting higher with the current album's singles than the last (only 1 of which made top 5), but it's no "Fill Me In" or "7 Days."

#9 "Number 1" - Goldfrapp

#1 it is not, but still #9 is not bad for a group that until last summer had never charted higher than #20. Goldfrapp's first two albums earned much critical praise, but neither they, nor their singles ever caught chart fire. Their work was always consistently good though, apparently good enough to build their fanbase to a point that this year allowed them to finally break into the mainstream. Their album, Supernature, debutted at #2 and its first single, the thundering electro stomper "Ooh La La" went to #4. "Number 1" is mellower than "Ooh La La," but still a lot of fun. If fame doesn't go to Alison Goldfrapp's head too much (her interviews already prove that she's a loon), then we should have years of good material to come.

#14 "I've Got a Life" - Eurythmics

Annie and Dave appear to be serious about keeping their band alive, as they release a new track just in time to promote next week's Ultimate Collection. They haven't had a top 10 hit together in nearly 20 years, and this wasn't good enough to do the trick. It's decent, but not memorable.

#65 (Yikes!) "Crazy" - Alanis Morissette

How the mighty do fall. Remember 1995-1996, when Alanis Morissette took the world by storm? Now, hardly anyone cares. Even fans who own all her albums and presumably won't be buying her The Collection when it comes out in two weeks, couldn't be troubled to round out their collection with this tepid Seal remake. Judging from her chart placings, Alanis was never as big in the UK as she was in the US, but she did manage two top 10s (#7 "Head Over Feet" and #5 "Thank U"). Time to cash in and retire off those Jagged Little Pill (1995 version, not unneeded 2005 remake) royalties.


Congratulations are in order for Westlife, who this week top both the singles and albums chart. New release Face to Face, their sixth album (seventh counting the 2002 hits collection), becomes their fifth to top the chart. Impressive for a so-called boyband, that is no living well past the death knell for their kind. Three other debuts in the top 10, Rod Stewart at #3, Katherine Jenkins (?) at #4, and Blink-182 at #6 with their Greatest Hits (already?!). After holding on to high rungs for about a month, Sugababes and Katie Melua take 7-place dives to #10 and #11. Thankfully, Hilary Duff's Most Wanted, which topped the US albums chart earlier this year, manages to debut only at #31.


Madonna tops the airplay chart with "Hung Up" in her third week, two weeks after her astounding debut on the chart at #4. The single comes out tomorrow, is a favorite for next week's #1. Three future singles move into the top 10. Will Young is at #6, with "Switch It On;" Kaiser Chiefs at #7 with "Modern Way," also out tomorrow; and Jamiroquai's "(Don't) Give Hate a Chance" is #9, also out tomorrow. Not much else to report, other than that Daniel Powter's Bad Day (at #8) still is being outplayed to his new single "Free Loop"(#16), which is out tomorrow.

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