This week's Official UK Singles Chart

1 BRING ME TO LIFE (Evanescence)

No real surprises at the top end this week with Evanescence retaining their Number One crown for a second week, as was widely predicted. Even the record they deposed, R Kelly's Ignition Remix, is still selling strongly, holding firm just behind them at Number 2. Most mainstream press commentary on Evanescence's rise from apparently nowhere has centred on their roots as a Christian rock band, in spite of the fact that the band themselves appear keen to distance themselves from their spiritual roots, perhaps believing rightly or wrongly that their current coolness may be harmed by a belief they are still God-rockers. Is a third week at the top a possibility? Well maybe, but never underestimate the power of a Big Mac.
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2 FIGHTER (Christina Aguilera)

Whilst her American career appears to be floundering in quite a disturbing manner (this single struggled to even make the US Top 20) over here Christina Aguilera is going from strength to strength. Following on from the ballad Beautiful (which gave her a second successive Number One single when it spent two weeks at the top in March) the star switches styles once again for this energetic three minutes of pop-rock. In the face of some strong competition it cannot repeat the chart feats of its immediate predecessors but makes a strong debut as the biggest new hit of the week. Quite why US audiences appear to have gone cold on her when she is in the middle of one of the biggest commercial streaks of her career is something of a mystery although a clue may lie in the contrasting styles of her last three singles which have of course played havoc with American radios insistence on pigeonholing artists and tracks. Over here nobody really cares whether she is doing R&B raunch, torch songs or rocking out - we just love Christina.


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5 DON'T WANNA LOSE THIS FEELING (Dannii Minogue)

Hit single Number 3 of Dannii Minogue's current run and the follow-up to the rather wonderful I Begin To Wonder which hit Number 2 back in March. This new single doesn't quite hit the same creative or chart heights as its predecessor but still does well enough to land nicely in the Top 5. After years struggling to escape the tag of Kylie's little sister, the lady who is of course Kylie's little sister is on the hottest chart run of her career. Counting her appearance at the end of 2001 on Riva's Who Do You Love Now, this is her fourth successive Top 10 hit, an impressive achievement when you consider that before now she had never managed to even have two consecutive Top 10s.
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6 MISFIT (Amy Studt)

Remember Amy Studt? She was the latest bright new British talent who was launched in a blaze of publicity almost a year ago with her debut single Just A Little Girl. Despite a strong push the single could do little more than hit Number 14 and suspicions were raised that the entire project had been aborted when no follow-up single emerged. Clearly though all that happened was that her backers went away for a rethink and now with a slightly retooled image the time has been judged right for Amy Studt to be relaunched. So here she is with a single that actually knocks her debut into a cocked hat. She is being pitched as a slightly less miserable British version of Avril Lavigne with songs about female angst wrapped up in a delightfully commercial package. Hence Misfit kicks a good degree of arse as she rails about the unfairness of having to conform instead of being allowed to be her own person. Right on kids. The single charges into the Top 10 and if nothing else proves that those who decided to wait after last summer actually made a very good call.


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8 SUNLIGHT (DJ Sammy)

After two consecutive Top 3 hits with trance covers of 80s pop classics (Heaven and The Boys Of Summer), DJ Sammy proves there is more to him than just this concept by releasing an original track as his third single, this the opener to his debut album. As a result Sunlight maybe lacks a little of the magic that made his first two singles such large hits but of course even the slightest concession to originality is to be welcomed. With the sun beating down on a scorching weekend here in the UK the single could actually not have been better timed.
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10 GIRLFRIEND (B2K)

Having finally made a commercial breakthrough back in March with the P Diddy assisted Bump Bump Bump, B2K are now stars in their own right and clearly ready to set off on a run of hits. Their third Top 40 single is the funky little number that is Girlfriend and it does enough to creep inside the Top 10 to give them their biggest hit to date, beating the Number 11 peak of its predecessor. They do of course have one previous flop hit waiting in the wings for a re-release, their first single Uh-Huh having made a lowly Number 35 in April last year.
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11 I'M GLAD (Jennifer Lopez)

Is it possible for a video to eclipse even the song it accompanies? That certainly seems to be the case with J-Lo's latest release, most of the attention revolving around the Flashdance-inspired video for I'm Glad. What makes it more entertaining is that of course Geri Halliwell did the exact same shot for shot remake of the audition scene in the video for It's Raining Men back in 2001 which lends the whole thing an eerie familiar feel, even to those who are not familiar with the famous 1980s dance movie. All of this means that the song itself is largely ignored although given that I'm Glad is perhaps the weakest single the star has released for a long time that may not actually be a bad thing. Still, it has not helped its sales so much and I'm Glad can only make a disappointing Number 11, only her second single ever to miss out on a place in the Top 10. Her only other single to chart lower was Feelin' So Good which could only make Number 15 in April 2000.
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15 FAINT (Linkin Park)

A respectable enough chart placing for Linkin Park, this single being the follow-up to Somewhere I Belong which was a Number 10 hit back in March (this week incidentally exposing the regularly spaced nature of the singles market with several of this week's new hits being followups to records that were released in March). The only point of note is that it brings to a halt their run of three consecutive Top 10 hits that was kicked off by In The End when it hit Number 8 in October 2001.
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17 BIG SUR (Thrills)

Still only just living up to the hype as the next big thing in waiting, Irish act The Thrills follow up the much underrated One Horse Town (a hit in March spookily enough) which hit Number 18. This new single follows on in much the same form, a quite delightful slice of laid back rock that virtually defies you not to find it appealing. They still await a Top 10 breakthrough though.


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21 GIRL IN THE MOON (Darius)

Is that all she wrote for Darius? Well not necessarily of course as this is of course the fourth single from the Pop Idol runner-up. Nonetheless the failure of Girl In The Moon to live up to the Top 10 pedigree of his previous hits will raise a few eyebrows and his next challenge will be to prove that he is set for the long-term recording career he has always craved rather than just being a one-shot wonder riding on the back of his performance in the original Pop Idol series. Indeed with auditions for Pop Idol 2 currently taking place, the stage is set for the first batch of reality TV contestants to find themselves increasingly pushed aside for the next wave of freshly discovered starlets.
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22 GIRL'S NOT GREY (AFI)

Underground rock favourites for some time now, AFI (short for A Fire Inside) make a bid for the mainstream with this, their first ever chart hit. I won't pretend this is the most commercial rock track you are going to hear all year but there is energy and much to like inside the noise they make.
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31 CINDERELLA (Lemonescent)

Scotland's favourite girl band are still struggling to make an impact in the rest of the country it seems. A startlingly large proportion of their record sales come north of the border but this is still not enough to push them into the Top 30. Cinderella is the follow-up to Help Me Mama which made Number 36 back in April but until they can generate more support south of Carlisle this is as far as they are likely to get. [Their next single was a track called Unconditional Love which was released in September 2003 but which famously became what I think is one of the last ever high-profile singles chart disqualifications after copies were found to be being bulk-bought in and around the Glasgow area. As if the personnel changes just prior to the release of Cinderella weren't bad enough, this more or less derailed their career completely before anyone outside of Scotland had been given the chance to care]. 
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37 BOUT (Jamelia featuring Rah Digga)

Once upon a time this lady was the future of UK R&B, a female star who could hang with the best of the American imports in terms of attitude and talent. Two Top 20 hits came her way in 2000, Money and Call Me, both lifted from her debut album Drama. Since then she has been quiet and it is clear that the time away has caused her appeal to slip rather. Bout is in truth a rather fine record, helped along enormously by the guest appearance of female rapper Rah Digga but the single is nothing more than a very minor Top 40 entry.
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38 ALL YOU EVER DO (Violent Delight)

Bringing up the rear this week are Violent Delight, the rock act at the very least able to celebrate their second Top 40 hit, this the follow-up to I Wish I Was A Girl which hit Number 25 back in March. Meanwhile we enjoy the sunshine and prepare for next weeks novelty invasion as at least one of the party hits of the summer appears to be heading straight for the top.