The Sound of the Overground format will see a slight re-jig in 2012, including singles reviews along with a portion of chart analysis. In typically useless SOTOG fashion, this has commenced in the slowest week of the year. Oh well. If you’d like to submit a song to Duncan Greive for consideration, please email a YouTube/Bandcamp link to

The New Zealand Top 40 this week is 100 per cent stagnant - not a new entry in sight. It is notable for Rihanna's golden - and wholly justified - run at No. 1 being ended by LMFAO's Sexy and I Know It.

The weird thing about this one is that it's been on the chart 15 weeks, and there's no obvious reason for it to have shot north so violently this deep into its run.

It performed a similar feat in Australia - the conspiracy theorist in me wonders whether, at a very soft time of year sales-wise, it couldn't have been manipulated somehow to reclaiming those spots.

Surely no major label would ever stoop so low? Or maybe people just got to downloading because, hey, it's New Year's and they're the unequivocal party kings.


Either way, it starts 2012 at the top, but is unlikely to dominate the first weeks the way Poker Face (2009) or Little Black Box (2010) did, so hopefully we're in for a repeat of the madness of 2011, when the first seven weeks saw seven different singles top our charts.

To illustrate just how crazy that period was, you only need to check the rest of the year's charts - we had only another seven No. 1 singles the whole year. I'll definitely take the British constant churn approach to chart action over the American endless runs.

Rianz TOP 20 New Zealand Singles Chart
1 LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It
2 Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa - Young, Wild and Free
3 Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris - We Found Love
4 One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful
5 Coldplay - Paradise
6 David Guetta ft. Sia - Titanium
7 Bruno Mars - It Will Rain
8 Ed Sheeran - The A Team
9 Six60 - Only To Be
10 Flo Rida ft. Sia - Wild Ones
11 Annah Mac - Girl in Stilettos
12 Gym Class Heroes ft. Neon Hitch - Ass Back Home
13 Flo Rida - Good Feeling
14 Labrinth ft. Tinie Tempah - Earthquake
15 Pitbull ft. Chris Brown - International Love
16 Gotye ft. Kimbra - Somebody That I Used to Know
17 Jessie J - Domino
18 LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem
19 Christina Perri - A Thousand Years
20 Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera - Moves Like Jagger
Single of the Week
Mystikal - Original ft. Lil Wayne & Birdman

Over 10 years ago Mystikal released an album named Tarantula that was pretty near perfect. The Neptunes made a lurching future funk beat for Bumpin' Me Against the Wall (Bouncin' Back) which remains one of the duo's most dazzling moments, but it was Mystikal's unhinged New Orleans voodoo rant-rap that was the album's strength. Unfortunately he then did some pretty repellent stuff, including forcing his hairstylist to perform sex acts on him and the entourage, and served six years in prison as a result.

It's hard to know if he's repentant, as he presages this comeback single by announcing that he was "a political refugee", but I can't deny that this is a phenomenal single which recalls why he was so wildly appealing back in the day. Accompanied by his new label managers Lil Wayne and Birdman on an ominous, bassy production, Mystikal complains of enemies "callin' me jiggaboo/ When I know you wanna f**k my wife/ And eat my barbecue". Despite its depths of winter US release, it sounds about perfect for that imminent New Zealand summer and, with his time done, it might just be Mystikal's time again.

Little Boots - Shake

I really loved the first Little Boots record. She had a background in a fake indie band called Dead Disco (seriously) prior to reinvention as "thinking person's pop star". I thought she had just figured it out - that pop music was just more fun. Then I had the misfortune of interviewing her. Turned out she wanted to be taken seriously... so depressing. Anyway, she's back. This new single is her new direction. It stinks of desperation and doesn't really have a chorus. Good luck with that.

WILL.I.AM - T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever) ft. Jennifer Lopez & Mick Jagger

You know you suck when your guest rapper is 68 years old, has never rapped before, and is still way better than you.

Adam Lambert - Better Than I Know Myself

Hard to know what to make of Adam Lambert. Vaguely terrible, but infinitely preferable to most other singers in that he at least got arrested for brawling with his boyfriend (Finnish reality TV contestant Sauli Kostinen) outside a Helsinki nightclub. This is Dr Luke's epic megalomaniac routine (think Teenage Dream, only slower and not nearly as good), and as such will become a radio fixture while making you feel slightly queasy.

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