Cheryl “Only Human”

Can we have a fair assessment of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini‘s new album?

Cheryl Only Human deluxe

Only Human is the ex-Girls Aloud siren’s fourth solo offering, another piece of the ever-expanding Cheryl brand which includes a high-profile role as a judge on the X Factor, a signature fragrance and autobiography. While she is unquestionably one of Britain’s hottest celebrities, Cheryl is quick to remind folks that she’s got all the makings of a proper popstar. This has been her bread and butter for the past 12 years after all. Naturally, Only Human is predicted to debut somewhere in the Top 3 as Cheryl has never had problems getting decent first-week sales. But beyond that, what will this album reveal and add to the Geordie entertainer’s oeuvre?

First thing’s first, as a body of work, this is Cheryl’s most cohesive album since her 2010 debut 3 Words. The vocals on the album are some of her most consistent yet and sonically it keeps her in the safe equilibrium of pop with electronic and R&B leanings. Only Human‘s main shortcoming is being a tad heavy on mid-tempos, even though most of which are pleasant enough and carry some form of life-affirming message. On one hand it borders on being too prosaic, especially since we know Cheryl is capable of dishing proper bangers like ‘Call My Name’, but at the same time it is quite a pleasant switch after her last album’s peppery break up themes.

The first single ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ (featuring Tinie Tempah) is surprisingly the album’s most rhythmic and addictive tune. The blaring horns, handclaps and merry ‘la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!’ bits seem to light up the album in ways unmatched by any other track. The song is produced by Wayne Wilkins, who was behind Cheryl’s first #1 hit ‘Fight For This Love’, and is his only involvement in the project. It’s a pity there isn’t nearly enough of this energy pulsating through Only Human.

 

The only other moment we get this burst of vitality is in ‘Firecracker’, a track co-written by Sia and produced by Greg Kurstin, who has done huge records for Lily Allen and Kylie. The track is a wig-snatching and semi comical index-finger waving alert to women eyeing up Cheryl’s man. She warns in about 100 words per minute: “He love a girl who can dance, not a girl with implants and a fake tan, wham bam thank you ma’am! Now I’m lit up like a firecracker. Don’t do well with a man highjacker. My man’s so cool, you know he just flattered. But you better run girl before I catch ya, catch ya!”

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Chart Feed – 09.01.12

“There shouldn’t be much to report on this week’s Chart Feed because Beyoncé had her baby and nothing else would be on the news, right?” Sometimes I feel like my little brother is the only one who gets the way the world should be run.

On this week’s Chart Feed, the festive season’s definitely been canned now with Michael Bublé‘s career-defining Christmas album freefalling out of the Top 20 everywhere. We all knew it would come to this. Meanwhile, Empress Adele returns to top the US and UK album charts and comes closer to breaking more records, Kelly Clarkson discounts her way back up the charts, and I have a fit over the new Will Young, The Saturdays and Rebecca Ferguson single choices.

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Feed Limmy Albums of 2011: #10 – #1

Look at your tired ass coming back here for the sixth time in three weeks – thank you for your curiousity and dedication to the most unnecessarily prolonged albums and songs of the year countdown ever.

These final 10 albums that stand before us have all been on high rotation from the minute they shuffled into my iTunes library, so there’s really no second guessing my love for them. They’re not necessarily the most critically acclaimed or commercially lauded albums, but all 10 of them had me hooked with their stunning combination of pop correctness, soul and sparkle.

Some of these albums have been rather defining because they showcased a different musical angle for the artists. It is these “turning points” that I reckon we’ll be debating about for years to come. We’ve also got a small gathering of flawless debut albums that have no doubt raised the bar for all subsequent releases. I’ve spent far too much time compiling this list and writing the reviews only because these albums have made such an impact in my year.

So here’s a quick refresher on Feed Limmy’s Top 30 Albums of 2011 before I let y’all have it with the final 10:

#30 – Megalomania by Aqua
#29 – Prismophonic by Christophe Willem
#28 – The Sea by Melanie C
#27 – Miss Little Havana by Gloria Estefan
#26 – When The Sun Goes Down by Selena Gomez & The Scene
#25 – Parade by Parade
#24 – As If! (EP) by Sky Ferreira
#23 – From Here to Anywhere by Sneaky Sound System
#22 – Love? by Jennifer Lopez
#21 – Sticks + Stones by Cher Lloyd
#20 – Killer Love by Nicole Scherzinger
#19 – Who You Are by Jessie J
#18 – Heaven by Rebecca Ferguson
#17 – Secret Codes and Battleships by Darren Hayes
#16 – Vows by Kimbra
#15 – Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
#14 – Falling & Flying by 360
#13 – 21 by Adele
#12 – Up All Night by One Direction
#11 – 2nd Mini Album (EP) by 2NE1

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Feed Limmy Songs of 2011: #10 – #1

This is it, readers. Do you need me to put on my best impression of Steve Jones‘ woeful hosting antics to get y’all hyped for the finals?

Feed Limmy’s Top 10 songs of 2011 is finally here and this stage of the game, I’m throwing all caution to the wind and nominating my absolute faves. What you see here are songs that have defined my year – songs that will always remind me of where I was and my state of mind in 2011. We’re talking about the ten tracks I totally could not get enough of [Editor’s note: True talk. Limoncé managed to play one of them 88 times in a day and he’s still not over it].

Here is a quick recap of Feed Limmy’s Top 30 before I try to justify the final 10:

#30 – ‘Show Me’ by Jessica Sutta
#29 – ‘Loud’ by Stan Walker
#28 – ‘Glad You Came’ by The Wanted
#27 – ‘She Always Gets What She Wants’ by Florrie
#26 – ‘Until You’re Over Me’ by Zoë Badwi
#25 – ‘Going Crazy’ by Song Jieun feat. Bang Yongguk
#24 – ‘Bullet’ by Clare Maguire
#23 – ‘Asthma Attack’ by CockNBullKid
#22 – ‘After NYE’ by Rosaline Yuen
#21 – ‘Nu Shoes’ by Wonder Girls
#20 – ‘Believe’ by Jennifer Hudson
#19 – ‘Cameo Lover’ by Kimbra
#18 – ‘Come Back You Bad Person’ by Kahi
#17 – ‘Free’ by Natalia Kills
#16 – ‘Bloodstained Heart’ by Darren Hayes
#15 – ‘All Fired Up’ by The Saturdays
#14 – ‘Big’ by Sneaky Sound System
#13 – ‘Video Games’ by Lana Del Rey
#12 – ‘Who You Are’ by Jessie J
#11 – ‘The Edge of Glory’ by Lady Gaga

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Nicola Roberts ‘Yo-Yo’ Music Video

Anyone who has spent any amount of time with me would know that ‘Yo-Yo’ is my everything. I have long sung the praises of Chairman Nicola but really, the bulk of my appreciation obsession didn’t happen until I heard this emotional pop ballad.

The world has painfully slept on our Girls Aloud siren’s solo album Cinderella’s Eyes. Not even the catchy, front-running singles ‘Beat of My Drum’ and ‘Lucky Day’ could ignite commercial interest, so I’m not holding out for ‘Yo-Yo’ to save the day.

There was definitely a collective raising of eyebrows and throwing of side glances when Polydor went ahead with Nic‘s third single. Look, I am grateful that they saw enough promise in ‘Yo-Yo’ to give it a spin [Editor’s note: there goes your one free pass at a yo-yo pun] but making a video for a song I have spent months dreaming up a concept for will only end in tears.


 
The vision we’re treated to with ‘Yo-Yo’ couldn’t be further from the brief prepared in my head. The end result here is an effortlessly cool, hipster editorial video that’s more style than substance – which would be acceptable for any Cinderella’s Eyes track but ‘Yo-Yo’.

Why is it a complicated reality?

I am not sure what happened on set to cause this infuriating disconnect between Nicola, the camera, and the emotional lyrics.

I can accept that she’ll never be that dramatic show pony type but bitch, I saw you ripping out hearts in the acoustic performance of ‘Yo-Yo’ so I know you can connect better and I know you can bring out the appropriate emotional faces.

Nicola‘s overall on-screen presence feels redundant. Could she not have hired me to lip synch this song in her place? I’ve practiced in front of the mirror for months. She failed to deliver soap-level intensity in several key scenes like the one where she’s throwing dishes or the part where she’s sooking in the shower – I mean, it looks like she could’ve done with a bit more direction.

All of the things you promised, I’m trying so hard to make it work.

‘Yo-Yo’ at its climax is positively overpowering. When you hear Bossbitch Roberts desperately pleading in her falsetto, you automatically imagine some sort of hectic flashback sequence that plays like a montage of quick cuts. Think of Sophie Muller-directed videos.

The narrative in ‘Yo-Yo’ is extremely basic, depicting an infatuated and torn Nicola who catches her boyfriend cheating on her. It’s a good starting point but it’s not at all acceptable as a vehicle for such an emotional song.

They could’ve fleshed it out a little more by colouring the production with more scenes of Nicola and her man hanging out and having happier times. Y’know, that last shot of the pack of them leaving the apartment for a night out looked like a good opportunity for further development? I reckon having a variety of scenes would’ve given the story more depth and their relationship more complexity.

Voodoo, yoga, diet soda – look at me now.

Nicola Roberts is definitely the queen of quirky, youthful, designer messy chic. I am continually in awe of her visual presentation. I don’t think y’all give Nic enough credit for the brand and image she’s quietly building for herself here.

The 80s inspiration with the perm, velvet dress and various colours really pop on the brightly lit set. The fashion and the crowd of London model-types she’s hanging with remain the centrepiece throughout, effortlessly standing out from the bare walls and very ordinary apartment settings.

Footnotes:

‘Yo-Yo’ will be released on 9 January in the UK.

Europe/UK residents, pre-order your exclusive signed CD copy of ‘Yo-Yo’ here – featuring live acoustic versions of ‘Yo-Yo’, ‘Lucky Day’, ‘i’ and ‘sticks + stones’. There will also be a demo version of the latter tacked on this.

Meanwhile, I will continue to be hysterical over Universal Music’s refusal to ship this to Australia.

Chart Feed – 10.10.11

Kelly Clarkson scores her first ever Australian #1 single. I know, right? ‘Mr Know It All’ has done the unthinkable: 1) dethrone Gotye and Kimbra after a record-breaking eight-week stay on top, 2) overtake Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Moves Like Jagger’, which was riding at #2 for months, 3) bettered her previous chart peak of #3, as trekked by ‘Since U Been Gone’ and ‘Miss Independent’. Over in the States, ‘Mr Know It All’ climbs back up to #30 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It’s also finally moving up the airplay charts to a new peak of #28. Friends in the UK won’t be getting ‘Mr Know It All’ until 17 October.

Rihanna debuts straight in at #1 in the UK this week with ‘We Found Love’ (featuring Calvin Harris). The Barbadian bombshell is now the first female solo artist to score six UK chart-toppers in five consecutive years. ‘We Found Love’ now joins the glittery #1 club alongside ‘Umbrella’, ‘Take A Bow’ and ‘Only Girl In The World’. ‘We Found Love’ managed to sell 87,000 copies in the four days it was out last week – such an effortless qualifier for #1.

Spare a thought for ‘Moves Like Jagger’, which is spending its sixth consecutive week at #2, beaten to the top by a different #1 single each week. Consolation: ‘Moves Like Jagger’ is still the most played song on UK radios. ‘We Found Love’ rises to #9 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It’s also the sixth most downloaded song in the States, selling 147,000 copies in the last week.

360 scores the biggest selling new album of the week in Australia. His brilliant debut Falling & Flying managed to enter at #4, racing ahead of five other new releases in the Top 30. I know he’s nothing like the kind of artist I normally listen to or write about on Feed Limmy but I’m quite impressed with this record. I was totally sold after hearing the first two singles ‘Just Got Started’ and ‘Throw It Away’.

Check out 360 having a track-by-track chinwag here:


 

Bruno Mars has the highest selling new single in Australia this week with his Twilight track ‘It Will Rain’ entering at #22. Elsewhere, Nickelback‘s ‘When We Stand Together’ enters at #46. The song is also incidentally the most added new song to Australian radios this week. Vom.

Katy Perry‘s sixth Teenage Dream single ‘The One That Got Away’ enters at #87 this week on our ARIA charts and becomes the second most added new song to local airwaves. Kitty‘s Teenage Dream album also made a surprise return to the Top 50 at #12 this week after a flash sale on iTunes. I’m well tired of her ass already.

Adele‘s Gossip-esque ‘Rumour Has It’ is the eighth most added new song to Aussie radios this week. Are we onto the next one already? I thought ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ was only getting warmed up down here. Said single drops to #14 this week while the mega-selling album 21 remains on top of our ARIA charts for its 21st week. Meanwhile in the States, ‘Someone Like You’ returns to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 as predicted. ‘Moves Like Jagger’ may still be the most played song on American radios but ‘Someone Like You’ overtook it with digital sales. For those keeping score: ‘Someone Like You’ sold 222,000 downloads while ‘Moves Like Jagger’ did 198,000.

Elen Levon‘s ‘Naughty’ cracks the ARIA singles chart at #60 this week, appearing more favourably on the Australian singles chart (#5) and ARIA dance charts (#17). The 17-year old pop vixen’s already prepping her follow up single. I reckon there’s a good chance it’ll be the James Ash (Rogue Traders) produced ‘Like A Girl In Love’.

Listen to my radio interview with Elen on Diff’rent Strokes:


 
Anthony Callea‘s nouveau disco comeback single ‘Oh Oh Oh Oh’ is currently charting at #115 on our Aussie iTunes store. Meanwhile, Vanessa Amorosi‘s ‘Amazing’ sits at #144 while Stan Walker‘s ‘Light It Up’ continues to rise ahead of the pack of new Aussie pop releases, currently sitting at #58. V Mama‘s album – V – has been pushed back to 11 November. The 13-track record comes with an Almighty club remix of ‘Amazing’.

The Wanted‘s ‘Glad You Came’ is currently placed at #30 here. Great news for fans Down Under. It seems like the local label will be dropping the lads’ forthcoming sophomore album Battleground here on 18 November, two weeks after its UK release. The Wanted‘s ‘Lightning’ leapt to #19 on the British airplay charts this week, all in good time as the single gears up to drop on 30 October.

Aussie teen pop sensation Cody Simpson sees his album Coast to Coast debut at #26 this week – largely thanks to his Sunrise “concert” performance where they absolutely felt no guilt whatsoever dubbing him the “Australian Justin Bieber”. Please.

Simple Plan‘s ‘Can’t Keep My Hands Off You’ enters at #56 in Australia this week, thanks a quick promo stopover which included a jaunt on our local X Factor stage last week. The Canadian band’s current album Get Your Heart On re-enters at #35. Meanwhile, Natalie Bassingthwaighte – who also took to the same stage and same episode to flog her single – has yet to see ‘All We Have’ crack the ARIA Top 100. To say that the general response has been unsavoury would be too kind. The track is currently sitting at #71 on our Aussie iTunes chart.

Watch Nat‘s underwhelming debut performance of ‘All We Have’, live on X Factor last Tuesday:


 
Sneaky Sound System‘s ‘Big’ climbs 10 places to #68 this week. All movement in the right direction considering that the album just dropped on Friday. From Here to Anywhere is currently placed at #11 on the Aussie iTunes chart. I’d like to call it out now to be the biggest debut on next week’s chart but I’m pretty sure that new Evanescence album will outsell it.

Nicole Scherzinger‘s ‘Wet’ debuts at #81 in Australia this week after it was finally serviced to local radios last week. This trashy piece really deserves to be a commercial success. Her Killer Love album has done surprisingly well considering the zero promo work in Australia but with ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ and ‘Right There’ slowly waning off radio rotation, the record slides to #83 this week. Despite some drastic price slashing, ‘Wet’ never generated enough sales to break the UK Top 20. This unfortunately puts an end to the ex-Pussycat’s string of UK Top 3 solo singles.

David Guetta and Usher‘s ‘Without You’ cracks our ARIA club charts at #49 this week. The video for the song is expected to drop sometime this week. Looking around the globe, ‘Without You’ makes a new peak of #15 in the UK this week and #8 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It has also just cracked the American airplay Top 20. The club remixes for ‘Without You’ managed to debut at #30 on the US Billboard Dance/Club charts.

Listen to the absolutely bonkers R3hab remix of ‘Without You’ here:


 
Marina & The Diamonds‘ new single ‘Radioactive’ enters at #25 this week, making it the Welsh warbler’s fourth UK Top 40 smash. Her biggest chart feat to date has been ‘Hollywood’ (peaking at #12) while my personal fave ‘Oh No!’ only managed to go #38 last August. Will British and local radios lap up her new “commercial” sound? Meanwhile, Florence + The Machine‘s ‘Shake It Out’ debuts at #27 in the UK, not bettering the position of its predecessor ‘What The Water Gave Me’ (which peaked at #24 last month).

Darren Hayes‘ new international single ‘Black Out The Sun’ drops from #31 to #39 on the UK radio airplay charts this week. The track is now nowhere to be found in the iTunes Top 200. Speaking of new choons on the British airwaves, Cher Lloyd and Mike Posner‘s summery ‘With Ur Love’ debuts at #46 on the airplay charts while Dionne Bromfield‘s ‘Ouch That Hurts’ rises to #32.

Lady Gaga‘s fourth Born This Way single ‘You and I’ finally makes a new peak of #24 in the UK this week thanks to TV appearances there and some strategic digital track discounts on iTunes. Funny thing is, the song actually fell out of the UK airplay Top 20 this week. ‘You and I’ drops to #38 in Australia this week and dips a little to #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the last week, ‘You and I’ managed to sell over 95,000 digital copies in the States, making it the 11th most downloaded song in the country.

The pop sensation has confirmed that the next Born This Way single will be the Real McCoy-esque stomper ‘Marry The Night’. Fans can also expect the Monster Ball Tour DVD and Born This Way remix album to both arrive on 21 November (possibly 18 November for Aussies).

Check out Gaga‘s recent Jonathan Ross interview. Yes, she brought him a sheep. That’s what she did:


 
Jennifer Lopez‘s ‘Papi’ drops from #67 to #83 in the UK this week. What, leaving already? The album’s frontrunner ‘On The Floor’ is still in the UK Top 100 after like a lifetime and has become the sixth biggest single so far of 2011. Over in the States, ‘Papi’ shoots to #4 on the dance charts.

Laidback Luke & Example‘s ‘Natural Disaster’ leaps to #73 in the UK. The hit DJ has been promising his track with Wynter Gordon – ‘Speak Up’ – all year and he’s finally confirmed that it’ll be his next single. The pair had played the track at Coachella and various dance music festivals around the world for months.

Ms Gordon‘s own ‘Buy My Love’ is still down for a 24 October release in the UK and the album With The Music I Die slated for 7 November. However, something tells me that the UK version might contain some new material she’s currently recording. Her manager has tweeted me to say that new songs are coming “so soon”. Make of it what you will. ‘Buy My Love’ is currently placed at #91 on our Australian iTunes chart.

Nicola Roberts‘ ‘Yo-Yo’ has appeared on the UK release schedule but with no date assigned as yet. The Girls Aloud siren’s album Cinderella’s Eyes makes a death drop from its #17 debut last week to #72. *Clutching my chest* Speaking of underrated British pop, Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s Make A Scene has surprisingly climbed to #76 on our iTunes chart. Unfortunately, there’s no Aussie release date set yet for Nicola‘s material.

Matt Cardle‘s ‘Run For Your Life’ picks up more radio rotation as it shoots to #13 on the UK airplay charts. The 2010 X Factor winner returned to the show last night to flog the track but despite the major promo coup, it has only so far managed to go #4 on the British iTunes charts. It seems like I’m stating the obvious here but I reckon – given Matt’s fan base and style of music – he might just be a better album seller. They should’ve dropped the album and single on the same day. Matt‘s debut LP Letters will arrive this coming Sunday. The project’s second single ‘Starlight’ is slated for a 5 December release.

Watch Matt performing the Gary Barlow-penned ‘Run For Your Life’ on X Factor:


 
Gloria Estefan‘s fun Latin dance comeback Miss Little Havana debuts at #28 on the US Billboard 200 this week. Meanwhile, the album’s infectious lead single ‘Wepa’ goes #1 on the dance charts. Other noteworthy new entries this week include Jason DeRulo‘s Future History debuting at #29 and LeAnn Rimes‘ country album Lady & Gentlemen coming in at #32.

Beyoncé‘s ‘Party’ finally appears on the mainstream US Billboard Airplay 100 at #71 as the track climbs the R&B/Hip Hop charts to #16. When is this goddamn video gonna appear? I hear rapper J Cole has already filmed his bit for the remix video. OK, that did sound a little petulant and ungrateful given that we only just got the ‘Countdown’ video last week and copped a teaser for ‘Love On Top’ less than 24 hours ago.

Watch the teaser for ‘Love On Top’ here:


 
‘Countdown’ shoots up to #71 on the US R&B/Hip Hop charts while ‘Love On Top’ expectedly falls there. I believe Australia’s the only territory kinda going hard for this song. ‘Love On Top’ is currently bolting back up the iTunes charts, landing at #16. We might actually see this go Top 20 on the ARIAs this Sunday. ‘End of Time’ has disappeared off the UK release schedule after weeks of seeing it etched there for a 30 October launch alongside ‘Countdown’. The latter will obviously still go ahead in that region on that day. Funnily enough, ‘Love On Top’ has now appeared on the UK release schedule – down for a 12 December drop date.

Kelendria Trene Rowland‘s Here I Am exits the American Top 100 this week but her new single ‘Lay It On Me’ continues to move up the R&B charts, breaking higher ground at #43.

Chart Feed – 03.10.11

Rihanna becomes the clear biggest new entry on the world charts this week with ‘We Found Love’ (featuring Calvin Harris) entering Top 10 in the following places: Australia (#3), Canada (#10), New Zealand (#14) and US Billboard Hot 100 (#16). Over in the US, ‘We Found Love’ managed to sell 117,000 first week copies and even before its official radio release, the song has already made its mark at #75 on the airplay charts. The Barbadian beauty’s sixth studio album, which was originally slated for an early 2012 release, is now due 21 November.

Kelly Clarkson‘s ‘Mr Know It All’ climbs to #12 on our ARIA singles chart after her quick promo stopover last week which include performances on X Factor Australia [Editor’s note: she was so charming and sweet y’all] and the NRL Grand Final. The song is currently reigning at #1 on our Aussie iTunes chart so expect for it easily go Top 10 on the ARIAs by week end. Meanwhile over in the US, ‘Mr Know It All’ falls to #38 on the Billboard Hot 100. Radio support ain’t crash hot for it right now. The song isn’t even in the nation’s Top 30 airplay.

Watch Kelly Clarkson performing ‘Mr Know It All’ on X Factor Australia:


 
LMFAO‘s ‘Sexy and I Know It’ cracks a new peak of #13 on our Aussie singles chart this week, largely due to their X Factor Australia appearance once again, just like Ms Kelly. I have to say, their energetic show stopping performance of their #1 smash ‘Party Rock Anthem’ really did lift the atmosphere. The song, which is perched at #15 this week, is officially the longest staying single in our ARIA Top 50 right now. We’re talking 31 weeks and counting, racking up a “monstrous” eight times platinum sales certification (which equates to approximately 560,000 copies). The duo’s also double dipping in the US right now with two of the aforementioned hits simultaneously inhabiting the Top 10.

Sneaky Sound System‘s flawless ‘Big’ cracks the ARIA Top 100 at #78 this week. Look, I don’t understand why the underwhelming chart entry. Weren’t they also on X Factor like the two aforementioned international acts? I guess what’s standing between ‘Big’ and commercial success that lives up to its namesake is actually decent radio rotation. The new Kelly Clarkson and LMFAO singles will have no issues getting added across the nation but for some reason a SSS dance ballad’s missing out. The Aussie dance pop duo’s last release ‘We Love’ scraped in at #29 at best.

Watch Sneaky Sound System blow up ‘Big’ on X Factor Australia last Wednesday:


 
Foster The People‘s corker of a single ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ rises to #19 in Australia this week, making this a belated smash for the American indie rockers. The song first dropped in the States in September last year and look at it now, ascending to #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Fun fact: ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ was the first US Billboard Alternative Songs #1 hit to actually crossover to the mainstream Billboard Hot 100 Top 5 since Kings of Leon‘s ‘Use Somebody’ in 2009. Golf claps. You know this automatically translates to daft talent show covers now, right?

Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull‘s new collabo ‘I Like How It Feels’ crashes in at #47 this week on our ARIA charts. In terms of hit singles, the Euphoria era is actually the best Enrique’s ever performed here in Australia. Yes, even bettering that of his smash Escape album. Every song released here circa Euphoria has so far managed Top 50, see: ‘I Like It’ (#2), ‘Heartbeat’ (#5), ‘Tonight (I’m Loving You)’ (#2) and ‘Dirty Dancer’ (#24). I have no doubt that ‘I Like How It Feels’ will also reach Top 30 status in no time. The “Reloaded” repackage edition of Euphoria will arrive on Aussie store fronts on 11 November – featuring three new recordings including ‘Mouth 2 Mouth’ with Jennifer Lopez (a track that was co-written by UK X Factor’s Diana Vickers of all people).

Sophie Ellis-Bextor finally releases her stunning Make A Scene album in Australia last Friday and after a weekend of only playing two 40-minute sets in Melbourne and Sydney, the best I’ve clocked the album charting was #94 on iTunes (it’s currently at #136).

It was an absolute dream come true to finally see her live. Y’guys know that she’s one of my all time fave pop singers, right? Sure it’s not everything she could’ve given after nine long years away – and she knows it. But the “greatest hits” set featuring classics like ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’, ‘Groovejet’ and ‘Get Over You’ was a well worthwhile joy ride and Sophie utterly radiates warmth, joy and stage presence throughout her time on stage. You can tell she was just living to be there for her fans.

Check out this short recording I took of her Melbourne gig at GH Hotel last Saturday. This is ‘Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer’:


 
This has to be some kind of record for our ARIA charts so far this year. This week Australia saw nine new entries in its Top 30 albums chart but alas, none have been able to topple the almighty Adele who spends her 20th week at #1 with 21. The album is now equal eighth longest-running chart topper in ARIA history, sharing the record with Shania Twain‘s epic Come On Over.

In case you were wondering, the albums to have spent longer #1 in Australia include: The Sound of Music soundtrack (76 weeks), Dire StraitsBrothers in Arms (34 weeks), The BeatlesSgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (30 weeks), Neil Diamond‘s Hot August Night (29 weeks), Delta Goodrem‘s Innocent Eyes (29 weeks), The Original Broadway cast’s Hair soundtrack (28 weeks) and John Farnham‘s Whispering Jack (25 weeks).

The aforementioned nine new releases to crack our Top 30 this week include: Blink 182‘s Neighborhoods (#2), Tony Bennett‘s Duets II (#3), Kasabian‘s Velociraptor (#8), Machine Head‘s Unto the Locust (#10), Jason DeRulo‘s Future History (#11), Alice Cooper‘s Welcome To My Nightmare (#16), Mastodon‘s The Hunter (#18), Demi Lovato‘s Unbroken (#20), Kasey ChambersStorybook (#21) and Wilco‘s The Whole Love (#23).

Watch the video for Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga‘s ‘Lady Is A Tramp’, taken from his new Duets II album:


 
Tony Bennett must be doing something right to score his first ever US #1 album this week after making music for six decades! His brand new Duets II compilation – which features some young gun collabos like Lady Gaga, Michael Buble, Carrie Underwood, John Mayer and the late Amy Winehouse – managed to sell 179,000 first week copies to debut on top. Tony is now the oldest living artist to have an album debut at #1 on the US charts. Amazing.

Demi Lovato‘s third album Unbroken cracks the US Billboard charts at #4, making it the second biggest new album there this week. Tony might have the overall #1 but as far as digital sales are concerned, Demi reigns on top. Unbroken is also incidentally the former Disney pop princess’ best-charting album here, bettering the #40 peak of its predecessor Here We Go Again. This is a dawn of a new era for the girl. The project’s lead single ‘Skyscraper’ is already her biggest US hit since her debut ‘This Is Me’ and on the flip side, it also became her biggest smash in Australia – peaking at #45.

Havana Brown‘s ‘Get It’ cracks the ARIA club charts at #38 this week while over on the ARIA Top 100, the single sinks to #63 in its third week. Oh dear. Isn’t it baffling that we only have three Aussie artists represented in our ARIA Top 50? Perhaps Aussie artists are better at selling albums than singles? While we’re doing an Aussie pop head count, where’s Stan Walker‘s new one ‘Light It Up’, Darren Hayes‘Bloodstained Heart’ and Vanessa Amorosi‘s ‘Amazing’? The latter should have at least cracked the Top 100 by now but maybe we need to wait for sales to snowball after the Van Am‘s AFL grand final warble.

Preview tracks from Darren Hayes‘ forthcoming Secret Codes and Battleships album here:


 
Natalie Bassingthwaighte‘s ‘All We Have’ has arrived on our local iTunes store front and right now it’s sitting at #170. The digital bundle comes with two kick arse remixes – including the Khalid one that her label previewed early last month. Looks like the diva’s running in the same circles as Havana Brown these days – sharing the same producer More Mega and video directorial team Silo. The ‘All We Have’ video will be uploaded sometime this week on YouTube. Y’all can expect for her to perform the song for the first time on X Factor tomorrow night.

Nicola Roberts‘ amazing debut solo album Cinderella’s Eyes enters at #17 on the UK charts this week while the current single ‘Lucky Day’ disappears from the Top 100 altogether. Look, it’s pretty respectable if you ask me given the singles’ chart performance. Still better than Insatiable is not usually a consolation but it’ll have to do in this context.

Elsewhere, Will Young‘s ‘Jealousy’ leaves the UK Top 10, The Saturdays‘All Fired Up’ exits the Top 20 while Leona Lewis‘ underperforming ‘Collide’ drops out of the Top 30. The former two have singles raring to go next month but what’s the sitch with Leona? Will we simply  not hear anything until the new year? Her Glassheart album, which was originally slated for a November release, will now arrive on 26 March.

Rebecca Ferguson‘s much-anticipated debut single has appeared on the UK release schedule. ‘Nothing’s Real But Love’ is slated for a 5 December release (the same day as the album drop) and someone on the Popjustice forums have tentatively described the song as more Corinne Bailey Rae than Adele. Holy shit. I’m about to lose my mind.

Let’s reminisce a little on old Becky covering Corinne Bailey Rae‘s ‘Like A Star’ on UK X Factor last year. So on point!


 
Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Moves Like Jagger’ spends its fourth week at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 – already the longest staying #1 the band’s ever had. Having said that, I reckon Adele‘s ‘Someone Like You’ might rise from #2 to claim the top spot next week. ‘Someone Like You’ has picked up significant radio airplay in the States in the last week and its digital sales is not too far from what M5 is doing right now. ‘Moves Like Jagger’ sold 233,000 digital copies while ‘Someone Like You’ did 201,000. Speaking of impacts on the digital sphere, Jason Mraz‘s new single ‘The World As I See It’ debuts at #149 on the US Billboard Digital Tracks chart. Glad to have him back.

Beyoncé‘s ‘Party’ (featuring André 3000) cracks the US Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Top 20 while its predecessor ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ tumbles to #8 there. Speaking of tumbles, Kelendria Trene Rowland‘s ‘Motivation’ finally leaves the said Top 10 while its successor ‘Lay It On Me’ is taking its time, only inching up one spot to #46. Elsewhere on the urban scene, Mary J. Blige‘s new single ’25/8’ bullets to #53.

Luciana‘s ‘I’m Still Hot’ makes #1 on the US Billboard Dance/Club play charts. We can all thank Betty White for that, right? Other big gainers there include Lady Gaga‘s ‘You and I’ (reaching a new peak of #8), Jennifer Lopez‘s ‘Papi’ (#10) and Gloria Estefan‘s ‘Wepa’ – which by the way is one of my favourite jams right now. Her new Latin-dance album Miss Little Havana is good fun, y’guys. You need to check out the slightly ‘We No Speak Americano’ album highlight ‘Hotel Nacional’.

Watch Gloria Estefan‘s ‘Wepa’ music video. Glam ma’s mane is serving some volume and body, y’all.