Friday, May 30, 2008

Personal Chart, 6/1/2008

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 2 .... Warwick Avenue - Duffy (1 wk @ #1)
2 .... 4 .... Violet Hill - Coldplay
3 .... 1 .... 4 Minutes - Madonna and Justin Timberlake (7 wks @ #1)
4 .... 5 .... Take a Bow - Rihanna
5 .... 3 .... American Boy - Estelle Featuring Kanye West
6 ... 14 ... That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
7 .... 8 .... Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield
8 .... 6 .... No Air - Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown
9 .... 7 .... Black and Gold - Sam Sparro
10 .. 13 ... Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis (7 wks @ #1)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Billboard Hot 100, 6/7/2008

This week the chart is all about American Idol (and iTunes, but that chart is always about iTunes). In more ways than you'd expect. But first...

1. Lollipop - Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major

Lil Wayne holds the top spot for a second in a row with "Lollipop," third week in total at the top. But that's really an aside to this week's real chart news.

3. The Time of My Life - David Cook

That begins here. David Cook won American Idol last week, becoming the 7th person thusly crowned, following in the footsteps of Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks and Jordin Sparks. "The Time of My Life" is the expected victory lap so to speak, the rushed out debut single written and produced in advance for the pleasure of the winner to perform and release. That it falls short of #1 is a bit of a surprise. After all, such "victory" singles from Kelly Clarkson ("A Moment Like This"), Fantasia ("I Believe"), Carrie Underwood ("Inside Your Heaven"), and Taylor Hicks ("Do I Make You Proud") all hit #1. Jordin Sparks' had the lowliest such single--"This Is My Now" only hit #15--But she's more than made up for that with her real singles, "Tattoo" (#8) and "No Air" (#3).

The chart intrigue doesn't just end there though. This time around iTunes made available--for one week only- the artist's performances throughout the show. Consequently, David Cook breaks the record for the most Hot 100 debuts in a single week with 11, 4 of which enter in the the top 40. The other entries:

#15 "Dream Big"
#22 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
#28 "The World I Know"
#42 "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
#47 "Billie Jean"
#67 "Always Be My Baby"
#73 "Hello"
#77 "Music of the Night"
#92 "Eleanor Rigby"
#99 "I'm Alive"

That tally beats the previous record of six singles set by Miley Cyrus. Only in the age of downloads.

#10 Viva la Vida - Coldplay

American Idol doesn't just benefit the winner--it helps Coldplay too! Two weeks ago "Viva la Vida" debuted at #15, owing to the fact that it was made available for pre-orders of their upcoming fourth album. Then last week it dropped like a stone to #41. Like a manic chart slingshot, it's back up at #10 this week, thanks no doubt to iTunes choosing it as for their new commercial that debuted during the American Idol finale. In fact, it's #1 on iTunes at the moment, so it will probably climb next week. It's Coldplay's second top 10 hit.

#18. Apologize - Timbaland Featuring OneRepublic

Remember when this was a hit like 6 months ago? Well it's still been kicking around the top 40 ever since, and this week, due to OneRepublic performing it guessed it..the American Idol finale, "Apologize" leaps back up 14 spots to #18. The song's now been on the Hot 100 for 43 weeks. It's this year's "Before He Cheats."

#36. Imagine - David Archuleta

Even the Idol runner-up gets a top 40 hit this week, but only one. And only at #36. Sorry Archuleta.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The lastest from Rihanna

Here's the latest from Rihanna. She's been stripped onto Maroon 5's "If I Never See Your Face Again," turning the track from pretty good to excellent. Two years ago I thought she was only mildly interesting, having delivered a fantastic single in "SOS," but who'd have known that she'd follow that with enough massive hits to make her one of the most formidable female pop stars of the moment. She just had her second single to hit #1 in the both the U.S. and the UK, "Take a Bow," and "Umbrella," "Don't Stop the Music" and "Hate that I Love You" were all big hits too.

Check out the video for "If I Never See Your Face Again." Remarkably, she has more presence than Adam Levine.

Monday, May 26, 2008

UK Singles Chart, 5/31/2008

1. Take a Bow - Rihanna

After only a week at #1, The Ting Ting's "That's Not My Name" is knocked from #1 by Rihanna's "Take a Bow," which become's the Barbadian singer's second #1 hit after last year's "Umbrella." The Ting Ting's can take more than a little solace in the fact that they have this week's #1 album with their debut, We Started Nothing. This rather quick turnover--two new #1s in two weeks--reverses this year's trend of long stays at the top, with the four #1 singles previous to The Tings Tings--Madonna's "4 Minutes," Estelle's "American Boy," Duffy's "Mercy," and Basshunter's "Now You're Gone" all spending 4 or 5 weeks at the top.

7. Warwick Avenue - Duffy

Up six spots to #7 this week is Rihanna's competition for #1 next weekend, Duffy's "Warwick Avenue." The soulful track is Duffy's follow-up to her massive #1, "Mercy," still the biggest hit of the year so far. I'm really hoping to see this at #1 in 6 days.

10. Violet Hill - Coldplay

After peaking at #8 last week, Coldplay's "Violet Hill" slips two spots to #10. Surely the decision not to release this as a physical single is hurting its chart promise. Could this have been Coldplay's first #1 hit if it had been fully released? Perhaps. The single spends its second week at #1 on the airplay chart this week.

12. Closer - Ne-Yo

Could Ne-Yo be heading to his second UK #1? Possibly. "Closer" is already up to #12 on download sales, and the physical single isn't out until June 23rd--plenty of time for further growth. Ne-Yo hit #1 with his first single, "So Sick," and has had two other top 10 hits since then.

16. Love Song - Sara Bareilles

Also doing well on advance download sales is American singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles with her debut "Love Song." I'm a little sick of this song (it wore out its welcome on U.S. radio) at this point, but in Britain, where it's a new quantity, it appears to be doing well, up seven spots this week, with its full release still 3 weeks away.

18. Sweet About Me - Gabriella Cilmi

Finally it's time for me to write about Gabriella Cilmi. I can no longer ignore this record. This single was released in March, at which time it didn't perform very spectacularly, spending only 1 week in the top 40 at #38. Then the unexpected happened--3 weeks later it returned to the top 40 and has kept climbing ever since, up one spot to #18 this week. It finally attracted the attention of Radio 1, where it's now on the B list. The single is currently spending its third week at #1 in her native Australia.

19. I Can Be - Taio Cruz
23. 10,000 Nights - Alphabeat
27. Mistress Mabel - The Fratellis
28. Always Right Behind You - The Zutons

Here's a cluster of tracks all selling on downloads that all get a physical release today. It will be interesting to see how they do this weekend. I'm betting the best performance will come from the Fratellis' first single from their second album--top 5 for sure. Taio Cruz and Alphabeat should be top 10 too. Zutons are the wild card here. "Always Right Behind You" has been doing well on airplay (it's #6 this week), but their biggest hit to date was "Valerie," which hit #9 in June of 2006 (and was since remade by Amy Winehouse, whose version became her biggest hit to date).

33. Great DJ - The Ting Tings

This is an interesting entry. "Great DJ" was released as The Ting Ting's first single in March, but was found to be chart-ineligible (I think it was being offered for free or something). However, now that the track can be downloaded as an album cut, it is finally able to chart, debuting at #33. How big a hit this would have been we'll never know.

36. Rhythm Is a Dancer - Snap!

What's this doing here? Apparently it's been featured in a TV ad, rekindling interest in it. This single spent 6 weeks at #1 in the summer of 1992, Snap's second #1 hit after "The Power."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Personal Chart, 5/24/2008

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... 4 Minutes - Madonna and Justin Timberlake (7 wks @ #1)
2 .... 8 .... Warwick Avenue - Duffy
3 .... 2 .... American Boy - Estelle Featuring Kanye West
4 .... 12 .... Violet Hill - Coldplay
5 .... 10 .... Take a Bow - Rihanna
6 .... 5 .... No Air - Jordin Sparks Featuring Chris Brown (1 wk @ #1)
7 .... 6 .... Black and Gold - Sam Sparro
8 .... 9 .... Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield
9 .... 4 .... In My Arms - Kylie Minogue
10 ... 3 ... Cold Shoulder - Adele

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Believe Again" Delta Goodrem

I may lose any shred of credibility here, but I love Delta Goodrem's "Believe Again," the second single from her third album, Delta, which is supposed to get a U.S. release soon. What can I say? I've always been a sucker for pop singles with a big sense of drama, and this certainly qualifies. If Celine Dion ever does a song featuring cannons...I'm there (actually there may be cannons in the "It's All Coming Back to Me single mix). The best part is the opening, which gets truncated in the video, so here's the full album version:

And the totally over the top video:

Other Delta must haves are her post-cancer survivor epic "Out of the Blue," which was written by Guy Chambers, who is the current king of dramatic pop music (best known for Robbie's "Angels"), and "Lost Without You," the second single from her first album.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

UK Singles Chart, 5/24/2008

1. That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings

Here's an old-fashioned chart surprise. Newcomer British pop band The Ting Tings soar to a #1 debut this week with "That's Not My Name." Released one week in advance of their debut album, We Started Nothing, the single far surpasses the performance of their first release, "Great DJ," which failed to chart when released in March. The single knocks Madonna's "4 Minutes" from #1 after 4 weeks at the top, keeping Madonna from having a single spend more than 4 weeks at the top, a feat she's scored twice before with "Into the Groove" and "Vogue."

2. Take a Bow - Rihanna

Also making a big splash near the top is Rihanna, who debuts at #2 this week with "Take a Bow," the new track added to the upcoming re-release of Good Girl Gone Bad. This is a downloads debut, and with the physical single out tomorrow, it will be a strong contender for #1 next weekend. If "Take a Bow" does hit #1, it will become her second chart-topper following last year's "Umbrella." If it doesn't, it will join Rihanna's three other #2 hits, "Pon De Replay," "SOS," and "Unfaithful," all of which spend 2 weeks at #2.

13. Warwick Avenue - Duffy

Still 2 weeks away from its physical release, Duffy keeps climbing with "Warwick Avenue." Check out the moving video.

Album Review: The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing (4/5)

Here's another hotly anticipated debut album. The Ting Tings were one of those bands the music press mentioned in January as being something to watch out for this year. First taste was the promising single "Great DJ," followed recently by their second single "That's Not My Name" and the use of one of their songs ("Shut Up and Let Me Go") in an iTunes advertisements, currently the music world's version of an Oprah book endorsement.

Those upbeat tracks are among the album's best moments. "Great DJ" is a winning mix of guitar, keyboard, hand claps and the band's female/male vocal blend. "That's Not My Name" is even better--irresistible, simple, and stuck in your head after just a few listens. "Shut Up and Let Me Go" is the best though. One of those infectious songs you can't help but not move to.

Also good is propulsive "Keep Your Head," which moves along at a rapid clip with keyboards. I also like the mellower, guitar-driven "Be the One." Insistent "We Walk" opens with a melancholy piano and has a minor key, making it perhaps the darkest track here, but for this band that's about like a cloud briefly covering the sun. This is sunny upbeat stuff.

Other moments are fine, but less interesting. "Fruit Machine" has some nice guitar work, but doesn't have the hooks of the first two tracks. Same goes for the title track. Where the album stumbles most are with a couple of tracks that don't sound finished. Goofy "Traffic Light" sounds like it could use a nudge in the tempo department and maybe a couple more layers of sound, not getting interesting until the near the end. On "Impacilla Carpisung," which also sounds like its missing some instruments, the band puts too much emphasis on strange clangy noises, which, up against the great melodies of most of these tracks, doesn't hold much appeal.

These are minor flaws though, The group excels at crafting upbeat pop melodies. It's nice to hear pop music that isn't rooted in electro or R&B, which are so popular at the moment. This isn't a serious work and it's not meant to be. The Ting Tings are clearly having a good time and so are we.

Best: Shut Up and Let Me Go, That's Not My Name, Great DJ, Keep Your Head, We Walk, Be the One

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Duffy's Warwick Avenue video

Here's the video for Duffy's new single, "Warwick Avenue." Duffy shows off her acting chops here--the camera never strays from her face, reminiscent of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2U." Strangely captivating in its simplicity.

Singles Roundup

I haven't done this in almost two months. Here's some of what I'm listening to these days...

That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings. The Ting Tings just put out their second single, "That's Not My Name" in advance of next week's release of their debut album, We Started Nothing. It's more upbeat than "Great DJ" and more radio friendly. Expect this to be a big end-of-spring hit--and this week's surprise #1 on the UK singles chart. Check out the video above.

Warwick Avenue - Duffy. Following "Mercy" isn't an easy task, but "Warwick Avenue" was absolutely the best choice. I love this song, another highlight from Rockferry. It's a lovely ballad with a soaring, string-backed chorus. And it mentions the tube station near my flat when I lived in London, so I have to love it.

Violet Hill and Viva la Vida - Coldplay. Coldplay offer up not one but two advance singles from their forthcoming album. "Violet Hill" is the official single, moody and dark, a little harsher even than we're used to hearing from Chris Martin & Co. "Viva la Vida" is more unusual for them, relying heavily on strings for its melody.

I Love to Move in Here - Moby. This is the second single from his latest Last Night, which is supposed to be more dancefloor and less moody trance like his last couple albums. I was interested in Last Night's first single, "Alice," but this song is pretty cool.

If I Never See Your Face Again - Maroon 5 Featuring Rihanna. The first track from Maroon 5's It Won't Be Soon Before Long gets an invigorating facelift--a bit of a remix plus the welcome addition of Rihanna, turning this into a worthy single. After the flagging performance of their last single, "Won't Leave Home Without You," this should give them another hit.

Take a Bow - Rihanna. Balladry has never been Rihanna's strong suit, but she is getting better. Compare this to "Unfaithful," for example, and she sounds much stronger now. It's a pretty straightforward piano ballad, tastefully restrained.

Daylight - Kelly Rowland featuring Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes. Credit Kelly Rowland for not giving up. After her second album pretty much flopped, she kept at it, first bringing in cousin Beyoncé's favorite remixers, the Freemasons, to reinvigorate "Work," then actually re-releasing her album with new tracks and remixes, including this breezy winner. Look for McCoy's great line: "I'll be back in 3 days like Paris's jail sentence."

One Day Like This - Elbow. This anthemic track is long--over 6 minutes--but features all the elements of a stadium sing-along, soaring music, big chorus repeating the same refrain, full orchestra, etc. Best track from their latest album.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Album Review: Neon Neon - Stainless Style (3.5/5)

Between Sam Sparro, the Blade Runner Final Cut (which I watched last weekend) and this--Neon Neon's debut Stainless Style, I seem to be living the early-to-mid '80s electro dream at the moment. It's all synths and sci-fi for me these days.

Stainless Style is, as I've read, a loose concept album based on the life of John De Lorean, who founded the DeLorean car company that left its indelible mark in the Back to the Future series for Doc and Marty McFly's flying, time-travelling car. I don't know about that, but the album's pretty good, very '80s sounding. It's not enough to just borrow from the '80s, now bands want to immerse themselves in the instrumentation and vibe of that decade so fully that music like this could have just come from then.

First there the instrumental opening "Neon Theme," which is mostly mysterious early '80s synths over a keyboard-generated beat (I'm pretty sure my grandma's organ that I used to play with does this beat). Then there's "Dream Cars," where the auto theme begins, a chorus intoning "motor city blues" behind the singer's tale. Fabrizio Moretti of The Strokes does the drums on it--no joke.

The best track follows. "I Told Her on Alderaan" isn't just cool for name-checking Princess Leia's doomed homeworld, but because it really really sounds like it was plucked right from 1984/85. I remember some music video that I saw on Showtime around then that was mostly animated that I'm pretty sure sounded like this. "Raquel" is also very '80s cool, borrowing that electronic percussion effect Whitney Houston used in "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" that I love. This song takes a little while to get going, but it's pretty good when it does. Guys with high voices singing over synth lines--very Erasure.

"Trick for Treat" is a little harder sounding, and in keeping with the auto industry theme, mentions a "Michigan boy." This is the first of several tracks that include rap, which frankly, isn't welcome here. I like the '80s synth tracks, but the rap-flavored ones just don't work. Same goes for "Sweat Shop" and "Luxury Pool." It's too bad, since there's lot of other good songs among them.

"Steel Your Girl" for example, is great. Reminds me of Ben's Brother's current single "Stuttering," owing to a similar melodic '80s rock influence. "I Lust You" has a harder electro-beat vibe, featuring female vocalist Cate Le Bon. No idea if she's related to Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, but she should be. "Belfast" is another heavy synthesizer track in the Erasure vein, as is "Michael Douglas." Michael Douglas? Yes, another '80s stalwart who gave us Fatal Attraction, Wall Street, and Romancing the Stone, to name a few. "Make it out of silicone" the song says, "I need more stuff--I see my reflection, Michael Douglas's mirror sunglasses." Okay, it lays the '80s materialism on a little thick, but it's having fun and so are we.

Aside from the annoying rap forays, this is a pretty enjoyable album, with an enjoyable self-conscious dose of '80s chic.

Best: I Told Her on Alderaan, I Lust You, Raquel, Dream Cars, Michael Douglas

Personal Chart, 5/17/2008

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... 4 Minutes - Madonna and Justin Timberlake (6 wks @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... American Boy - Estelle Featuring Kanye West
3 .... 5 .... Cold Shoulder - Adele
4 .... 6 .... In My Arms - Kylie Minogue
5 .... 3 .... No Air - Jordin Sparks Featuring Chris Brown (1 wk @ #1)
6 .... 4 .... Black and Gold - Sam Sparro
7 .... 9 .... Daylight - Kelly Rowland Featuring Gym Class Heroes
8 ... 24 ... Warwick Avenue - Duffy
9 ... 15 ... Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield
10 .. 19 .. Take a Bow - Rihanna

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Billboard Hot 100, 5/24/2008

1. Take a Bow - Rihanna

Owing to a very strong sales week, Rihanna shoots up the chart 52 spots to land her third #1 hit with "Take a Bow." Those scratching their head over why they cant find this on Good Girl Gone Bad should know its a bonus cut on a re-released version of that album due out later this month. This is Rihanna's 8th top 10 hit and third #1 following "SOS" from 2006 and last year's "Umbrella." By ascending to the top, Rihanna, who is from Barbados, unseats Brit Leona Lewis. The last time a non-American replaced a foreigner on the top of the Hot 100 was when Rihanna herself scored her first #1, knocking Canadian Daniel Powter from #1 with his "Bad Day."

10. Damaged - Danity Kane

The MTV Making the Band product returns to the top 10 with the lead single from their second album Welcome to the Dollhouse. They reached #8 in 2006 with their first single, "Show Stopper." I suspect "Damaged" will end up the bigger hit.

15. Viva La Vida - Coldplay
40. Violet Hill - Coldplay

Other than Rihanna there are two other entries in the top 40 this week--both from Coldplay. At #15 is "Viva La Vida," the title track from their upcoming fourth album that you can get from iTunes for pre-ordering the album. At #40 is the album's first single, "Violet Hill," which the band had, for 1 week, offered as a free download from their Web site. The singles are only the band's 3rd and 4th top 10 hits. Their biggest was their last, "Speed of Sound," which became the band's only top 10 hit in 2005 when it debuted (and peaked) at #8. Interestingly, "Viva La Vida" is also available as a pre-order bonus from iTunes in the UK, but their chart people decided to disqualify the song from appearing on the UK singles chart. Over their, "Violet Hill" debuted in the top 1o at #8.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Album Review: Sam Sparro - Sam Sparro (3.5/5)

Having a massive debut single is both a blessing and a curse. It gets your name out there, but it can be awfully hard to live up to, a story played out time and again from acts like Gnarls Barkley, Daniel Powter, James Blunt, etc. "It's not as good as 'Black and Gold'" is something I suspect Sam Sparro will be hearing for some time. His slinky, vibrant first single is so endearing (and a massive hit) that it's hard to imagine him topping it anytime soon. On the album, it's given a slightly longer mix that allows the warm, milky synths room to build at the beginning and fade away at the end. That's the good news.

The bad news is that nothing else on this uneven album comes to matching "Black and Gold's" greatness, but there are some good moments, many of which clearly seek to emulate particular '80s artists. My vote for second-best track would have to be groovy "Hot Mess," an early-'80s Prince-like disco stomper. On an album that celebrates the past, it reaches the furthest back. Most of the tracks' inspiration comes from mid-'80s synth pop. Slinky "Too Many Questions" struts along with deep, warm synths. "21st Century Life" is pleasingly upbeat, almost clubby. I also like "Sick," which has a synth line reminiscent of Erasure. "Waiting for Time" is dreamier.

Where the album loses its way are when it gets bogged down in being a little too silly. Right in the middle, it particularly sags with the useless "Recycle It" interlude, and "Cottonmouth." I'm also not partial to most of the tracks on the second half. "Cut Me Loose" has a throbbing Frankie Goes to Hollywood beat, but not a very interesting melody. "Sally" has a good synth foundation but lacks a good hook. Messy "Clingwrap" borrows that weird instrument they used for the Seinfeld theme. Besides "Hot Mess," the only other track I really like from this part of the album is moody "Pocket." I love its "keep your friends close and your enemies in your pocket" refrain. I like that it's a little darker too.

Sam Sparro fits nicely into the current '80s pop revivalist trend, which seems to be reaching fever pitch. Everybody seems to be mining the '80s these days: indie bands, big pop acts, new pop acts, R&B, rap, you name it. It will get old soon, if it hasn't already, but until then, I'll keep on playing "Black and Gold."

Best: Black and Gold, Hot Mess, 21st Century Life, Pocket, Too Many Questions

Friday, May 09, 2008

Personal Chart, 5/10/2008

TW LW Title - Artist
1 .... 1 .... 4 Minutes - Madonna and Justin Timberlake (5 wks @ #1)
2 .... 2 .... American Boy - Estelle Featuring Kanye West
3 .... 4 .... No Air - Jordin Sparks Featuring Chris Brown (1 wks @ #1)
4 .... 5 .... Black and Gold - Sam Sparro
5 .... 8 .... Cold Shoulder - Adele
6 ... 11 ... In My Arms - Kylie Minogue
7 .... 6 .... Cry for You - September
8 .... 3 .... Touch My Body - Mariah Carey
9 ... 14 ... Daylight - Kelly Rowland Featuring Gym Class Heroes
10 .. 10 .. Mercy - Duffy (6 wks @ #1)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Billboard Hot 100, 5/17/2008

1. Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
2. Lollipop - Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major

"Bleeding Love" holds on to #1 this week, managing 2 weeks in a row for the first time, bringing its total weeks to four. Lil Wayne's former #1 "Lollipop" holds at #2, earning this week's Airplay Gainer award.

8. Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield

Natasha Bedingfield moves up 11 spots this week to score her second top 10 hit with "Pocketful of Sunshine," earning the Sales Gainer award in the process. That makes two British female artists in the top 10 this week.

10. Leavin' - Jesse McCartney

Jesse McCartney scores his first top 10 his with "Leavin'." As one of the songwriters of "Bleeding Love," he begins and ends this week's top 10.

20. Realize - Colbie Caillat
21. What You Got - Colby O'Donis

I thought it was interesting that this week there are back to back singles by people with the same name spelled differently. Crazy.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

UK Singles Chart, 5/10/2008

1. 4 Minutes - Madonna and Justin Timberlake

It's Madonna and Justin for a third week with "4 Minutes." That's just one week shy of Madonna's longest run at #1. Both "Into the Groove" and "Vogue" spent 4 weeks at the top. Wouldn't it be cool if 4 minutes could go 4 weeks at #1? People would talk about it 4 days. Madonna actually does a double this week, also debuting at #1 on the UK albums chart.

2. Black and Gold - Sam Sparro
3. Wearin' My Rolex - Wiley

The competition for #2 was very tight this week. In fact, according to available midweek sales data, only 11 copies separated these two on Wednesday, at which point Wiley was ahead. In the end, Sam Sparro pulls out a third week at #2. Wiley, however, may still get the upper hand. With his single out in stores Monday, he's a strong contender for #1 next week.

4. Love in This Club - Usher Featuring Young Jeezy

The physical release of "Love in This Club" gives Usher's latest single a boost into the top 5, giving him his 10th top 5 hit. Not bad, but still a disappointment in comparison to having seen the first two singles from his last album hit #1, someplace I don't this single going.

9. Propane Nightmares - Pendulum

Australian band Pendulum scores their first top 10 hit this week with "Propane Nightmares." The band has had three top 40 hits previously, the biggest of which, "Gravity," peaked at #29. Originally from Perth, Australia, the band now hails from the UK.

15. We Cry - The Script

I was hoping for bigger things for Irish newcomers The Script, who manage to make only #15 upon the physical release of their first single, "We Cry."

20. Sweet About Me - Gabriella Cilmi

This has been on the UK singles chart for 9 weeks now, but this week finally climbs into the top 20. How old school.

24. Cops and Robbers - Hoosiers

The Hoosiers makes an unusual 11 week jump the week after its physical release. Not a top 20 hit, but still better than they fared with their last single, "Worst Case Scenario," which lived up to its name, failing to chart after the band's first two singles were both top 5 hits. I believe "Worst Case Scenario" was released too soon, falling prey to the enduring popularity of the band's previous single, "Goodbye Mr. A," which was still big at the time.

26. Who's that Girl - Robyn

Robyn lands her fourth recent top 40 hit. A bit shy of the top 10 placing of her last single, "Be Mine," although it wouldn't surprise me if this climbed a bit. Another great track from her.

29. Warwick Avenue - Duffy

Proving once again that she's no Adele, Duffy's already attracted strong interest in "Mercy's" follow-up, "Warwick Avenue," which doesn't come out until May 29. Expect a steady climb until then.

36. Daylight - Kelly Rowland Featuring Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes

Kelly Rowland scores her 8th UK top 40 hit, this time with special guest Travis McCoy, who scored two top 5 hits last year with his band Gym Class Heroes, "Cupid's Chokehold (#3)" and "Clothes Off (#5)." "Daylight" is the third single from Kelly Rowland's second album Ms. Kelly, although like the single version of her last hit, "Work," this track is from the forthcoming "Deluxe" re-release (known in the U.S. as Ms. Kelly: Diva Deluxe). It's physical release is out tomorrow, so hopefully it will join her last two singles into the top 10.

So next week there's some pretty big competition for Madonna and Justin. Wiley and Will.I.Am ("Heartbreaker"), both in the top 10 this week, get their physical releases. Plus there are new singles out from Kelly Rowland, Kylie Minogue ("In My Arms"), and emerging act Santogold ("L.E.S. Artistes"). But don't count out an important digital player--Coldplay--who tomorrow are releasing "Violet Hill," the first single from their forthcoming fourth album, Viva la Vida. Despite being on of the decade's bestselling acts and scoring eight consecutive top 10 hits (four of which topped the airplay chart), Coldplay has never had a #1 hit single.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Billboard Hot 100, 5/10/2008

1. Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis continues to set chart records this week, returning to #1 for her third non-consecutive week at the top with her third run at #1. Having an interrupted run and returning to #1 isn't that uncommon. It happened twice last year--Maroon 5 spent 2 weeks at #1 with "Makes Me Wonder," yielded 1 week for T-Pain's "Buy U a Drank" and then returned to #1 for a third week. Soulja Boy gave way to Kanye West's "Stronger" after two weeks at #1 with "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" and then returned to #1 for 5 more weeks. But having a run at #1 interrupted twice is very rare. The last time it happened was 1978-79 when Chic's "Le Freak" hit #1 in December 1978, gave way to Barbra Streisand's "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" for 1 week, returned to #1 for 2 more weeks before giving way again for the Bee Gee's "Too Much Heaven" for 2 weeks, followed by 3 more weeks at #1 for Chic.

2. Lollipop - Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major

So Lil Wayne slips back a notch, but keeps his bullet, and is, in fact, this week's airplay gainer (Leona is the sales gainer).

4. 4 Minutes - Madonna and Justin Timberlake

Madonna further rebounds this week, up two more spots to #4, just one place shy of the single's original peak from a few weeks ago. Numerologists will note with glee that for the first time the single, who's title includes the numeral "4," is actually at #4.

9. Forever - Chris Brown

Chris Brown makes the rather remarkable H0t 100 debut at #9 with "Forever." Counting guest appearances, this is Brown's 9th top 10 hit. Pulling a T-Pain, this week Brown has three singles in the top 10. He guests on Jordin Spark's "No Air" at #3, this new single, and his previous single still holds on to the top 10, falling a notch to #10.

14. Leavin' - Jesse McCartney

Another strong Hot 100 debut at #14 for Jesse McCartney. This is McCartney's third top 40 hit, and already his biggest, beating the #16 peak of "Beautiful Soul." One wonders what he is enjoying more--this debut, or his songwriting credit on this week's #1 hit, "Bleeding Love."