So long Babycakes we hardly knew ye. That may not actually be a bad thing given that the damn record has been stuck in my head for the last three days - but then again isn't that the sign of a really good pop record.
Or maybe this is the sign of a really good pop record. The second single from a new artist, one which is being highly acclaimed as one of the best singles of the summer and whose arrival at the Number One position will be almost universally welcomed. Such is the fate that befalls Natasha Bedingfield's These Words, the follow-up to her debut hit Single which made Number 3 back in May. The two place improvement chalked up by this new hit follows weeks of promotion which have helped to label her as the hottest sex symbol around, a young lazy oozing with talent, who has a hand in penning her own songs and who has most definitely become a star on her own merits rather than hanging on the shirt tails of her brother (which you have to admit was a suspicion at first). These Words is no cheesy pop track either, a thoroughly uplifting song whose appeal is obvious from the moment you first hear it. Indeed the only negative emotion generated is the desire to shoot the person who believed that the world "hyperbole" is pronounced "hyper-bowl". When you hear that bit of the song, it is OK to snigger.
The second biggest new hit of the week is from a group who appear to finally be living up to the hype. Goldie Lookin Chain break all manner of rap stereotypes simply by not being either American or from South London. Instead, the lads all hail from the Welsh valleys and bring to the scene a freshness and a lyrical turn that has made people sit up and pay attention. They had a slow start to their chart career, debut hit Half Man Half Machine made an understated Number 32 back in May. With this second hit, Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do replete with tongue in cheek lyrics they have a veritable smash hit on their hands. I don't think there are many people who will feel this is not deserved.
The Number 6 position marks the direct chart debut of one of the veterans of the club scene. Stonebridge began his career back in the 1980s and by the turn of the decade was a well-regarded remixer, remixing tracks for the likes of Rozalla and Robin S. He scored with the occasional production as well - early 90s club hits such as House Of Virginism bearing his name. He finally makes a chart debut under his own name thanks to his position as the resident DJ with Hed Kandi which carried with it the chance to make music on their label as well. Put Em High features a vocal from Swedish star Therese and after the requisite tour of European clubs is well placed to become a late summer smash hit. The track itself is a grower, with a thundering bassline into which Therese's vocals dovetail nicely. Odds are you've heard this in the past few weeks without even realising what it is.
At Number 10 is hit single four for Keane who have elevated themselves to being one of the discoveries of the year thanks to an album stuffed with tunes that all sound like the bastard child of Radiohead and Coldplay. Bedshaped doesn't quite set the charts alight but this single release is for completists only really, the appeal of Top 5 hits Somewhere Only We Know and Everybody's Changing has been enough to make the album one of the biggest sellers of the year. They will be happy with a third Top 10 hit in a row.
The second hit for Kristian Leontiou slides into the chart at Number 13, four places below the June peak of his debut Story Of My Life. I suspect as a pop artist he is set to struggle to manage any bigger hits, his image doesn't exactly result in him being a teen sex symbol and yet his hits are just a little too pop-orientated for him to become an artist with adult appeal. Shining actually could have done with being released a few months ago, having appeared on the soundtrack of the film 'Win A Date With Tad Hamilton' which hit cinemas earlier in the spring. Whilst a film tie-in isn't always a route to a big hit (especially when the film itself is rather a smash) it can be a neat marketing hook - just the kind of thing that Leontiou rather seems to lack at present.
Captain cock-up came visiting at the office of Franz Ferdinand's label this week when they inadvertently released new single Michael in a chart ineligible format. The single came in two different CD formats you see, but both versions of the single had three tracks - in violation of the rule that says one of the CD formats has to be a traditional "single" package with just an a-side and a b-side. Cue lots of red faces and a quick withdrawal from sale of the second CD whose sales from earlier this week will thus have not counted towards the chart position of their third hit. Did it make a difference? We, l there is no doubting that Michael has performed slightly worse than their previous hits (both of which were Top 10). Then again they are in the same boat as Keane, anyone who cares will probably have the album already. Still, Keane managed a third Top 10 hit with their single, Franz Ferdinand are languishing slightly further down the chart than you would have expected.
Down among the also-rans, we have a new hit for ATL at Number 21, their second hit of the year following on from Calling All Girls which hit Number 12 back in May. A former Number One hitmaker lands at Number 25, veteran rapper LL Cool J with his first hit single since he made a guest appearance alongside Jennifer Lopez on All I Have in March 2003. His last hit under his own steam came just a month earlier than that, Paradise hitting Number 18. Impressively Headsprung is now his 19th chart hit, his Number One triumph coming back in 1997 when a cover of Ain't Nobody made an unexpected debut at the top.
Finally one of the more curious new entries of the week is right at the end of the Top 40. In at Number 40 itself are Soda Club, Euro-cheese remake experts of this parish. Their big hits came at the end of 2002 and the start of 2003 with cheesy club remakes of Take My Breath Away and Heaven Is A Place On Earth. Their return to the Top 40 after well over a year away comes thanks to a remake of Ain't Not Love (Ain't No Use) a track which was first a club smash back in 1993 - Sub Sub and Melanie Williams hitting Number 3 with their version. Sub Sub toured for a while after that one and only hit before one day having their gear stolen. They subsequently decided to buy some proper instruments and became Doves, this process culminating in a Number One album The Last Broadcast back in 2002.