Chart Feed – 26.03.12

It’s just past midnight and I’ve been compiling this post for the past four hours non-stop. It’s somewhat understandable that I want to just drop dead now to the sound of Madonna‘s ‘Gang Bang’ on repeat and never wake up again.

This week’s Chart Feed is one for the history books – especially if you’re the world’s biggest boyband of the moment: One Direction. Their legendary storming of the US Billboard charts makes them the first ever British band to have their first album go #1 in the States.

Elsewhere, Katy Perry blasts to #1 on the UK charts and we also look ahead to new releases by The Saturdays, Scissor Sisters and Calvin Harris.

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Will Young ‘Losing Myself’ Music Video

Excuse me, you weren’t happen to be looking for the first truly amazing pop video of 2012, were you? Well, bitch, you’ve come to the right place.

Will Young is one of very few British male pop stars with a knack for consistently turning out top-shelf, classy and intelligent music videos.

‘Losing Myself’ – the third effort launched from his splendid Echoes era – is no different. Here the suave pop sire delivers a stunning representation of isolation and being lost in one’s thoughts.

Needless to say, it completely complements the song’s stark lyrical content, but what’s commendable is the level of production and choreography involved here. You know so many basic bitches would’ve settled for a video of them rolling about in bed for four minutes.

Slick, cool and precise.

I am detecting an element of Gattaca up in here. There’s a touch of classic gentlemen’s attire and grooming/daily practices – from shaving to getting suited up (using a shoehorn) and making coffee – but it is all rendered against a cool, modern living space.

I love the deliberate use of cool colours in Will’s attire from the greys and dull blue in his sleepwear to the charcoal two-piece suit and almost metallic blue tie. Even the home itself is deliberately angular, cold and very polished to match the character’s icy state of mind.

“Keep walking to my own beat.”

There’s a splendid moment halfway through the video where you see the four characters pause and mimic Will’s actions like the old school Windows mouse trail effect you set via Control Panel.

The dramatic sequence that followed with Will pacing and flailing about the darkened room, only to have his actions mirrored by one of the dancers is also pretty solid gold.

It would’ve been too easy to fork out an extra grand to get special effects that create “multiple Wills” but it’s just that bit more special to see the concept achieved with well practiced choreography.

Watch the flawless video for ‘Losing Myself’:


 
Footnotes:

Will Young will release ‘Losing Myself’ in the UK on 18 March.

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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Will Young ‘Come On’ Music Video

I don’t wanna ruin it for you lot but there is a pivotal emotional crux to this video that might have you blinking hard to fight back the tears.

Pop Idol sire Will Young has to be one of my favourite music video story tellers. The 32-year old singer is always known for creating wistful and rather British looking videos where he’s playing a character engaging in some sort of scenario with a comedic et au profound twist. Do you follow?

‘Come On’ sees our old friend Will serving some Oxford University linguistics lecturer realness in them tortoise shell glasses (I had a pair in the 90s), woolen turtleneck and sensible slacks. The scene is set in a posh dog show of sorts – similar to the world famous Cruft Dog Shows – where Will is trying to get his trusty canine friend to do tricks.

Alas, y’all get a feeling that the pair are not off to a very good start when the pooch fails to perform the bare minimum and you see the judges’ stank faces. However, as predicted, there is a glorious turn around at the end but why read about it when you can live the sentiments shot-by-shot here?


 

‘Come On’ was originally released by Kish Mauve in 2009 before Will adopted it for his career-defining Echoes album. The song does come with an inspirational thrust about manning up to a situation rather than running away. However, in the context of the video ‘Come On’ plays out rather nicely as a tribute to a life-long friendship through triumphs and lows, and picking yourself up again.

What more could he give?

Footnotes:

Will Young will release ‘Come On’ on 21 November in the UK. Listen to both the acoustic version and Cahill club remix.

Will Young ‘Come On’ Live Acoustic and Cahill Club Mix

Will Young can almost do no wrong at this point as he gears up to release ‘Come On’ – the second single from his chart topping Echoes album. We’re talking about one of my favourite albums of 2011 here, y’guys.

This sensible and subtle dance pop direction the Pop Idol veteran’s nodding to is so on point, considering how it complements his vocal tones and back catalogue of adult contemporary smear. Every binge listen of Echoes I go through always end up with me falling madly obsessed with a different track. I’ve gone through the motions with the sly disco romper ‘I Just Want A Lover’ and nouveau 80’s ‘Good Things’ but I’ve yet to develop a similar connection with ‘Come On’.

‘Come On’ – written and originally released by Kish Mauve – was always the obvious second single from the get-go. It seems like a more realistic choice for mainstream radio, given the running pace that accelerates in the chorus and compelling vocal delivery. Here we’re about to see the track interpreted in two very different ways in a live acoustic performance and a hands-in-the-air club remix. Who said you can’t have it both ways?

Watch Will Young‘s gorgeous live acoustic performance of ‘Come On’, which I have a feeling was actually filmed months ago when he did the album track-by-track video:


 
Now take a listen to ‘Come On (Cahill Club Mix)’ via Pop On and On:


 
Both versions have actually heightened my appreciation for the song. One for the Saturday night out and the other for the Sunday morning come down – Will Young has got chu covered.

Footnotes:

Will Young will release ‘Come On’ to UK store fronts on 21 November. Expect the music video to premiere real soon.

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.