This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 MAKE LUV (Room 5 featuring Oliver Cheatham)

A quiet chart week? Well in relative terms I suppose yes, with just eight singles charting as new entries inside the Top 40. That isn't to say things are quiet throughout though with a number of interesting moves (or even non-moves) in the upper reaches. Prime beneficiaries of this apparent lull though are Room 5 who with ease clock up a second week at the top of the pile. In our recurring theme of "how long has it been" it is once again time to note that Make Luv is now the sixth successive Number One single to top the charts for at least two weeks, and to find the last time that happened you have to look back to late 1994 and early 1995 when there were nine successive singles topping the charts for lengthy periods of time. To return to the theme of last week's essay, it is almost certainly no coincidence that record sales are currently hovering at the same kind of levels that they were in the early-mid 90s.
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3 MOVE YOUR FEET (Junior Senior)

Popping up for their weekly mention in these pages are Junior Senior, the single now six weeks old but with plenty of life in it yet. Move Your Feet this week climbs two places to Number 3, reclaiming the peak position it last achieved four weeks ago in its second week on release.
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4 LOVE DOESN'T HAVE TO HURT (Atomic Kitten)

The highest new entry of the week is at a comparatively lowly Number 4 but there are very few surprises here as Atomic Kitten make it look easy with yet another Top 5 smash single. In a cute moment, they continue their links with the Bangles, having taken a cover of Eternal Flame to the top of the charts in 2001 they now chart with this new song co-written by Susannah Hoffs, the lead singer of the famous American girl group. This single reuses the familiar mid-tempo cod-country formula of singles such as It's OK and is in truth lacking just that little something that would raise it above being just average. Still, the biggest new hit of the week it is, leaving us to marvel either at the way the three girls have just notched up their sixth successive Top 10 hit or alternatively at how even when it was the biggest release in a very slow week the single fell a long way short of topping the chart.


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5 IN DA CLUB (50 Cent)

Colour me slightly unconvinced by the whole 50 Cent concept, in spite of the way his debut album has raced to record-breaking sales in America. Dare I suggest that the video for In Da Club tells its own story, portraying as it does 50 Cent as a manufactured robot in a secret location whilst Eminem and Dr Dre look on like proud parents. Anyhow, his debut chart single also benefits from the quiet nature of the chart this week, rising three places to reclaim a place in the Top 5. The single first peaked at Number 4 in its first week of release a month ago.
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7 I'M WITH YOU (Avril Lavigne)

Has any teenage act managed to polarise opinion as much as Avril Lavigne? On the one hand, she attracts a veritable army of acolytes, full of praise for the Let Go album and its accompanying singles and hailing her as the greatest musical discovery of a generation. On the other hand are the detractors, more than happy to create entire websites dedicated to pointing out that she is more manufactured than most people like to admit, how her supposedly self-penned songs actually credit several different writers and how she seems suspiciously reluctant to actually play the guitar she carries in live performances. Whatever your point of view at least the music is genuinely appealing and with Complicated and Sk8ter Boi having already become Top 10 hits in 2002 the album is now mined for one of its mellower moments, the ballad I'm With You. The single sails into the Top 10 with apparent ease, beating the Number 9 peak scaled by Sk8ter Boi at Christmas to become her second biggest hit to date. Granted her voice is probably better suited to out and out rockers rather than sensitive heartbreak songs like this and although it won't convert any unbelievers she remains one of the more interesting female singers of the moment.
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18 JUST A FRIEND (Mario)

Down we go to the bottom end of the Top 20 for the next couple of new singles, first up being the debut single from Mario, the latest hot new US R&B prospect. His gimmick? Well, he is just 15 years old for a start, mentored by the legendary Clive Davis. The single is good enough and with a hefty beat that turns your head the moment it comes on the radio but it clearly doesn't contain anything to turn its initial appeal into a smash hit.


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20 SATISFACTION (Eve)

Also creeping into the Top 20 is Eve, Satisfaction being the follow-up to Gangsta' Lovin which hit Number 6 in October last year. That last single had the added appeal of a co-vocal from Alicia Keys and this single perhaps lacks the novelty of some extra superstar input. Not that this is a bad rap single, far from it and Dre's production is as immaculate as ever, but there is little here for the non-diehard fan to grasp hold of.
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29 LOOK AT ME NOW (Jessy)

Down to the tail end of the Top 40 now and just creeping into the Top 30 is this four minutes of Belgian trance from Jessy. In the endlessly incestuous trance world, producers on the single are Reggie and Fillip who are better known for their work with Milk Inc.
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33 THE SEED (2.0) (Roots featuring Cody ChestnuTT)

An interesting one this. Roots are possibly hip-hop's most famously lost souls, touted for years as the planet's next big thing, winners of Grammy awards in the past but oddly lacking in hit records. In this country, their solitary Top 40 chart appearance came back in 1999 when You Got Me limped to Number 31. Their chart return comes thanks to a collaboration with a rising star - Cody ChestnuTT. ChestnuTT made waves in the States last year with his debut album. Said album was recorded on a bedroom studio which of course meant that the potential was there to rework some of these tracks, a notion which has led to this single, Roots backing up the soloist on version 2.0 of The Seed. The result is a hip-hop soul track that comes smack out of left field with ChestnuTT's vocals providing the perfect counterpoint for the newly-written rap breaks. Chalk this one up as an underrated masterpiece. [The second and final UK hit single for the Tonight Show house band. If it took Jimmy Fallon to turn Questlove et al into mainstream stars then so be it, but every single Roots album is an utter joy].


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36 SHOW ME HEAVEN (Saint featuring Suzanna Dee)

This one, however, is not an underrated masterpiece, instead of being another rather tedious northern house remake of the track that Maria McKee took to Number One back in 1990 and which famously featured on the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise film Days Of Thunder. Let us never speak of it again.
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38 TAKE IT OFF (Donnas)

Bringing up the rear this week, and maybe sadly so are the Donnas, fresh sounding female rock band who fizzle with the kind of energy that hasn't been seen since the early days of L7. Older rock fans will love the way they evoke memories of the likes of the Runaways and Girlschool for indeed this is old skool crunching female rock at its very best. Excuse me while I go grow my hair long.


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