No change at the top, as August draws to a close with Natasha Bedingfield holding firm for a second week at Number One, 3 Of A Kind clinging on grimly to the runners up slot. By topping the charts Bedingfield Minor has managed to set a piece of chart history that proved to be beyond two of pop's most famous musical dynasties. True enough, Natasha and Daniel Bedingfield are the first brother and sister ever to have separate solo Number One hits. The first family to come close were the Osmonds back in the 1970s but whilst Donny Osmond had three Number One hits his sister Marie could only reach an agonising Number 2 with her one and only solo single Paper Roses back in 1973. She had a series of hits duetting with her brother but the biggest of these was also only a Number 2 hit. Next to attempt the feat were the Jacksons but whilst Michael has had seven Number One hits, sister Janet has only ever climbed as far as Number 3 on her own (hitting Number 2 in a duet with Luther Vandross). Spookily enough even big brother could not help her work the same magic, their 1995 duet on Scream also only made Number 3. The only other brothers and sisters to top the charts have done so either as a family group (eg The Corrs or The Honeycombs) or as members of two separate groups - most notably the Lynch clan who had Shane as a member of Boyzone and sisters Edele and Keavy who formed one-half of B*witched.
I don't think you will find many people willing to argue that 411's debut hit On My Knees ranks as one of the most memorable of the year, if only because it was probably the best record that Portishead and Tricky never made in trip-hops mid-90s heydey. After hitting Number 4 with that first release the girls go one better with this second single which regrettably turns away from the distinct sound of their last hit and ventures down a rather tired R&B alley down which Mis-Teeq were last seen vanishing. Tickle me a little underwhelmed and disappointed. Anyone else feel the same way? [I'd disagree with that analysis now. Dumb was indeed only half the record its predecessor was, but that didn't stop it being a quite marvellous bit of R&B pop].
Hit Number 3 for Maroon 5 is the second biggest hit of the week and a new entry in fourth place this week. You should know the story by now, two really good pop tracks under their belt in the shape of Harder To Breathe and the awesome This Love made for a guaranteed high new entry for this latest release. She Will Be Loved actually lacks the kind of killer hook that made their previous singles so special and in truth is probably their weakest release to date. Still, it is hard to knock a Top 5 new entry - but that was my attempt.
OK let us move on to brighter things and records that it is possible to get excited about. German production mastermind Mustafa 'Mousse T' Gundogdu has hitherto only ever had two major chart hits in this country, but both were memorable and lasting hits. First in 1998 came Horny, a track that was originally an instrumental named after its most prominent musical component but which took on a new meaning when combined with vocals from female pair Hot N' Juicy. Two years later he was back in the charts as the producer for Tom Jones' Number 3 hit Sex Bomb, a hit which Jones has almost made his theme tune in recent years. Now Mousse T is back with a whole new album of which Is It Cos I'm Cool is the lead single. To say it is a revelation is to understate its impact slightly for the single is a rock and dance hybrid, a tune you can dance to despite the guitar solo slapped in the middle. Its sheer distinctiveness is enough to elevate it head and shoulders above almost everything else released this week. This isn't the first time singer Emma Lanford has charted on a Mousse T hit, she was the singer on his only other chart hit, Fire which made a lowly Number 58 in August 2002.
One man with a reason to celebrate this week is Dizzee Rascal who introduces his second album, the follow-up to 2003's Boy In Da Corner which won him the coveted Mercury Music Prize. His first solo single in over a year, Stand Up Tall charges into the Top 10 to give him his biggest ever hit single. The lyrics of the single are of course incomprehensible, but then again maybe I'm just too old. Or too white. Or maybe both.
Welshmen Lostprophets clock up their third hit of the year with Last Summer, a Number 13 hit that represents a five place improvement on the peak of their last single Wake Up (Make A Move) which charted back in May. Their biggest hit remains the Number 8 single Last Train Home from back in March. Just below them at Number 15 is Raghav who is having either his second or his fourth hit of the year, depending on which way you count them. In pure solo terms Let's Work It Out is only his second single, the follow-up to Can't Get Enough which made Number 10 back in February. The prolific star does, however, have claim to two more chart hits thanks to his vocal contribution to 2Play's brace of Number Top 10 hits So Confused and It Can't Be Right.
Down amongst the also-rans it is still rather sad to see Faithless at a lowly Number 22, I Want More their second single of the year following on from Mass Destruction which made Number 7 back in June. Reaction to their new album has been muted, to say the least. Could it possibly be that Maxi Jazz has simply run out of new things to say?
Let's end this on a positive note then and celebrate the first ever hit single for 21-year-old Jamie Scott. The single charts following his support slots with Lemar in recent months and although Just hasn't exactly set the charts on fire he is certainly worthy of further attention. At the end of the day we live in a world where musical giants such as Har Mar Superstar cannot have Top 40 hits (NUMBER 46 FOR HIS NEW SINGLE DUI IS NOTHING SHORT OF INSULTING) so for Jamie Scott to hit Number 29 is a worthy feat in itself.