This week we begin with a constant, Frankee sitting proudly atop the singles chart for the third week and in turn extending the Number One run of the combined sides of this rather messy relationship breakup to seven. Am I alone in wanting this all to be over? We've heard every kind of PR spin possible on the veracity of the stories the pair are telling, the sweary nature of the songs have long lost their capacity to shock (heck, even the lowliest local radio station is comfortable playing the censored versions in the middle of the day) and in short there are no stories left to tell. Bring on the football records, you never know one of those may turn out to be noteworthy. [He means "the one I'm involved with", but we are about to get to that fun story].
Just failing to give us reason to smile and topple Frankee from the top is Kelis, here with her second Number 2 single of the year. Her last hit Milkshake arguably set the tone for rude sounding records earlier this year, although the exact meaning of the lyrics caused a fair amount of debate both in schoolyards and around water coolers. Catchy as her last hit was, this new hit Trick Me actually manages to top it, adding guitars to the mix to sprinkle that touch of extra magic on the track. Beyond that what more can you say? Easily the best new hit of the week and had it been Number One I doubt there would have been few complaints.
Slamming in at Number 6 this week is Blood Sweat And Tears, the debut single from new boy band on the block V. The fivesome come from what is rapidly becoming a dominant clique in pop music, hailing from the same stable as both Busted and McFly. Proof of this is handily provided by the songwriting credits on the b-side which list both James Bourne from Busted and Tom Fletcher from McFly, Tommy and Danny incidentally also make an appearance on the track Chills In The Evening. As for the a-side it is co-written and produced by Stargate, whose last chart hit was their work on Love You Like Mad, a Top 10 hit back in March for VS. Wonder how they avoided getting the two mixed up on the studio booking sheets.
Also making a Top 10 debut this week is Kristian Leontiou who despite the exotic sounding name hails from London. No ordinary pop star he, either for he is a young MOR singer songwriter who depending on which way you look at it is either the male Katie Melua or a younger David Gray. Either way, his debut single Story Of My Life is nothing less than a captivating track, one which catches the ear and the heartstrings from the moment you hear it. Something tells me that he is going to sell rather more albums than he does singles but if his future material is even half as good as this then you can expect a few more chart hits for 2004s next big discovery. [The official video (if there ever was one) has gone walkies over the years, so rather than something cobbled together, here is his TOTP performance].
[And now, the chart debut of the all-time record holder. The single which for some bizarre reason has now gone on to spend more weeks in the Top 100 than any other. Because the British public appear to have a strange, insatiable addiction to it]. One act definitely on the rise are The Killers. Their first single Somebody Told Me made a none too shabby Number 28 when released back in March but that performance is eclipsed in dramatic style by this second single Mr Brightside which slams into the Top 10 in style. Lead singer Brandon Flowers is fast becoming a style icon in his own right and although their rather noisy style may grate on a few people, there is no doubting the momentum they have - and who would have ever had them down as Top 10 hitmakers? Debut album Hot Fuss is out next week. Look out for it.
The biggest new hit outside the Top 10 goes to Sarah Connor, this marking the second attempt to turn the German singer into a star outside mainland Europe. She first made the charts back in 2001, a collaboration with rapper TQ helping Let's Get Back To Bed - Boy to Number 16. A follow-up single was scheduled for later that year but failed to appear. Three years on and it is time to try again. Bounce is notable simply for not being the expected trance based Europop but instead is a rather funky R&B influenced pop track of the kind that you would expect to hear from a British or American pop act and indeed its appearance here is an offshoot of an attempt to market her in America for the first time. There were hopes that this would go Top 10 but in the event the single lands just outside - still beating the peak of her first hit. Wonder if this is enough for her to make it to a second single this time.
Next at Number 15 is a rather tragic story. One of the next big things on the block, Hope Of The States had already had one hit single, Enemies Friends hitting Number 25 in October last year. The band had recorded sessions for their debut album in Russia and were putting the finishing touches to it in this country in January when news emerged that guitarist James Lawrence had killed himself. Deciding what to do next is the kind of decision we can all hope we never had to make. After a period of reflection the remaining members of the band elected to go ahead with the release of the album, and so as a result here is their second single The Red The White The Black The Blue which slides easily into the Top 20. Critical evaluation of a track is always hard when its main aim is to uphold the memory of a colleague and allow the world to enjoy what he created before his untimely demise. That tour with Avril Lavigne seems a whole world away now.
There is a rather unusual entry at Number 16, a second appearance in the space of a year for a single which had already been a rather sizeable hit. Australian rockers Jet made their chart debut in September last year with Are You Gonna Be My Girl, the single hitting Number 23. Two more hits followed, both rather smaller ones admittedly, their last chart appearance coming back in March when Look What You've Done hit Number 28. Then their debut hit was signed up to soundtrack a TV ad campaign by Vodaphone [pre-dating its use in iTunes adverts by several years you will note] - which is as good a reason as any to make it available once more. Hence this re-release and a greatly improved chart position for the track which now gives the band their first ever Top 20 hit single. This is not the first time in recent years that a Vodaphone ad campaign has reactivated an underperforming rock hit from the last few years, although Jet will be hoping that the effect on their career lasts a little longer than it did for the Dandy Warhols.
The prize for the least successful follow-up to a Number One hit of the year must surely go to Pop Idol losers Sam & Mark. Their cover of With A Little Help From My Friends quietly slipped into Number One back in February but now with an original song The Sun Has Come Your Way the two gents can barely scrape a place in the Top 20. I guess the plan was to market them as the new Robson and Jerome. Instead, they look like they will end up as the new Rik Waller.
Bubbling under the Top 20 are Supergrass, still going strong as they approach the tenth anniversary of their chart debut. This new hit Kiss Of Life is taken from a forthcoming new album and is their first chart hit since Seen The Light made Number 22 in February last year. I'd always been a casual fan of the group but then last year had the privilege of seeing them at the Festival Of Dreams in the City Of London, playing a set that was slick, energetic and a joy to behold. For me, that was enough to elevate them to the status of national treasures, and although their last Top 10 hit was five years ago you get the feeling that they are not going away for some time to come.
To round things off this week, here is evidence that being ranked as the best single of the week by many reviewers is no guarantee of a strong chart entry. Is It A Sin is Deepest Blue's third chart and in the minds of many people was more than equal to their first two which were easy Top 10 hits just like their eponymous debut from last summer and the follow-up Give It Away which made Number 9 back in February. Something tells me they could have done with adjusting the formula a little. Good, bubbly and pleasant to listen to though this single is, it has wound up a minor entry and is liable to sell rather more ringtones than it is actual records.