Each week Duncan Greive performs some low grade analysis on the week’s New Zealand Singles Chart and reviews a few new release pop singles.
Chris Rene swoops from the US X Factor to go straight in at number one, with Carly Rae Jepsen breathing down his neck, a prospect he should love but probably finds deeply uncomfortable because her dress isn't made from fair-trade organic cotton. Such a piss-weak song. Jepsen should roll him by next week, hopefully. The big gainer is "DJ" Havana Brown's We Run the Night, rising from 30 to five, giving lie to my poorly founded predictions of an end to pop trance's chart domination.
The big moves don't end there, with last week's number one single, K'Naan's Is There Anybody Out There? dropping to number seven, and the week prior's a slot behind it at eight.
The only new entry aside from the chart topper is Taylor Swift's Safe and Sound from The Hunger Games soundtrack, in at 22. Given how wowed the crowd was at her shows last week that could go a little higher, and she's also got three albums in the long trousers chart, including her cute debut album finally entering a mere five-and-a-half-years after it was released.
Other charts of note include the US, where One Direction's debut album just debuted at number one, and the UKs singles chart, where Kimbra and Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know has its fourth week at number one, and is the best-selling single of the year so far. Who knew it would run like that, huh?
RIANZ Top 10 New Zealand singles chart
1 Chris Rene - Young Homie
2 Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
3 Fun. Ft. Janelle Monae - We Are Young
4 Nicki Minaj - Starships
5 Havana Brown - We Run the Night
6 Emeli Sande - Next To Me
7 K'Naan ft. Nelly Furtado - Is Anybody Out There?
8 Reece Mastin - Good Night
9 Train - Drive By
10 Cher Lloyd - Want U Back
SINGLE OF THE WEEK: Lana Del Ray - Blue Jeans
VOLUME rating: 8/11
I was trying really hard not to pay attention to all that Lana Del Ray stuff that was going round. Are we really still worried about whether someone's "indie" or whatever? Jesus Christ. Anyway, this song has a few things which are great, namely the slow-burning immensity of the production and the deep-seated longing of the chorus. I'm also okay with the r'n'b affectations of the lyrics ("fresh to death", "gangsta", "ride or die") - that's the world we live in, or we'd want to, right?
I do have a problem with that "You were like/ James Dean" line, though. I mean seriously, does anyone think she's seen anything other than a Rebel poster? THERE HAVE BEEN OTHER HANDSOME MEN. What's with continuing to venerate these boomer icons? That cannot be all we're good for, endlessly repeating the falsehoods handed down to us by that most self-obsessed generation. That stars and drugs and f**king and music and everything were never so good as when they were growing up. It crushes us, diminishes our power and makes the future a game of "who can do the most with what tiny fragments of uncharted cultural territory are left". Um, no.
Still, it's a neat song.
B.O.B. - So Good
VOLUME rating: 4/11
I'm sure this guy used to be good. Like he came out and people would talk about him. Now he's just some schmuck, maybe the least credible rapper this side of Flo Rida. It's like he's been taken into a room and told you can have hits, or be great, but not both. Maybe there are some people who still believe that, but a large percentage of the biggest rappers of the last 10 years (DMX/Jay-Z/50 Cent/Eminem/Game/Outkast/Lil Wayne/T.I./Kanye West/Drake et al) have been untouchably great at some point in their arc. I'm certain that B.o.B. had it in him to be more than what he has ever been. Instead we get this bouncy, empty petrol station forecourt rap produced by OneRepublic. No fun at all. If you're going to listen to a song named So Good, let it be by Electrik Red, okay?
Chris Rene - Young Homie
VOLUME rating: 2/11
Bruno Mars' new single Young Homie features the trilby king singing about happiness and good times over a lush, piano-led production. This is his third number one single, following that one where he wears a trilby and plays with a cassette tape, and that one where he wears a trilby in a convertible (a dangerous game, but Mars has never been anything but a "crazy guy"). Young Homie should cement Mars' place in the hearts of hip dads everywhere. Oh damn. Just realised this isn't by Bruno Mars. Eh. Same diff.
Stan Walker - Music Won't Break Your Heart
VOLUME rating: 3/11
Ironic title alert! Stan Walker's approach is basically a neutered version of late-period Chris Brown. Which wasn't the most teste-heavy music ever created to begin with. It's sort of Ne-Yo's fault, all this stuff. While Because of You was a killer single, it basically invited all the erstwhile r'n'b singers to the club, and they just got smooth and curiously unsexual (for such a nominally arousing environment). As I said last week, the charts appear to be tiring of this stuff, and this only enters at 17 in the New Zealand singles charts, so probably sold somewhere in the region of 12 digital downloads. Party on!