The old glass ceiling effect comes into play at the top of this weeks singles chart. Nothing but nothing can shift Rihanna and Jay-Z from Number One. With physical sales finally added to the mix this week, Umbrella surges ahead in sales to outstrip the competition by a considerable margin. Trailing in its wake by almost a half is the similarly released Real Girl from Mutya Buena which moves 9-2 but which looks destined to progress no further.
Aside from her, nobody else penetrates the Top 5, Bey-kira hold steady at Number 3 with Beautiful Liar, hellogoodbye remain at 4 with Here (In Your Arms) leaving Maroon 5 to be the only losers of the week as Makes Me Wondertumbles 2-5.
Fortunately, there is plenty of action going on below although precious little that is showing signs of becoming the next big crossover hit. Not that we should sneer at the performance of The Twang who soar 33-8 following the physical release of Either Way. At a stroke, the melodic half-spoken half-sung track becomes their biggest hit to date as they enter the Top 10 for the first time. More so than Wide Awake, this is the single which proves the buzz surrounding them was entirely justified, its delightful combination of 90s-style baggy musicianship and 21st-century real life inspiration makes for the kind of single that can bring tears to your eyes. Or maybe its just my hay fever, who knows. I'd ear mark this for a Top 5 placing, but for the fact, it will now have competition from their debut album Love It When I Feel Like This which hits the stores this week.
Speaking of follow-up hits, Calvin Harris arrives with yet another huge splash with a new entry at Number 9 for second single The Girls, the track charting one week ahead of physical release. If you liked Acceptable In The 80s then you will be delighted to know there is more of the same here in this unashamedly sexist (but still tongue in cheek) new wave revivalist track. Already it has charted higher than its predecessor, Acceptable.. having reached Number 10 and needless to say you can safely bet on his first ever Top 5 hit in seven days time.
Incidentally, if you are in a bad mood reading this, then it is best that you click away now because the lavishing of praise is set to continue for some time yet. The next big mover arrives at Number 12 with Reverend and the Makers ready to hit the mainstream. The band are a cover story for Sheffield singer-songwriter Jon McClure whose work has attracted local attention for a number of years, his talents now set to go mainstream. Comparisons with the Arctic Monkeys are rife, not least due to McClure's distinct Sheffield accent which comes over loud and clear on the record, and indeed in was a support slot for Reverend and the Makers on the first Arctics tour that had major labels sniffing around them. Debut single Heavyweight Champion Of The World has had a gentle stroll up the lower end of the chart already but is now vaulted to Top 20 status following physical release, arriving at Number 12. Rest assured there are even bigger and better things to come.
After all that we need an incredibly shit record to get our teeth into, so let's focus on This Is Why I'm Hot from New York rapper MIMS which shoots 41-18 this week to give him a Top 40 debut. The single has already topped the charts in America but as a rather uninspired piece of by the numbers hip-hop it is unlikely to go on to have quite the same impact over here. As with most hits of this nature, it isn't so much a bad record as I personally don't get it, and neither I suspect does anyone else who hasn't snapped it up already.
The second highest chart new entry of the week arrives at Number 19 in the shape of the long-awaited new single from Marilyn Manson. His first release in two and a half years, Heart Shaped Glasses arrives on the chart after a simultaneous online and physical release. Longtime fans will delight in the fact his intense gothic tones sound just the same as ever, others looking for a little more innovation will wind up disappointed, the main buzz surrounding the single focusing on the worryingly explicit video featuring the rocker and new squeeze Evan Rachel Wood rather than what it actually sounds like. At the very least the single is his seventh Top 20 hit since his 1997 debut. His only Top 10 hit was a cover of Tainted Love which reached Number 5 in March 2002.
We go back to the clubs for the next new Top 40 arrival, Armand Van Helden's NYC Beat which arrives at Number 22 after landing just outside the Top 40 on download sales last week. His first Top 40 appearance since last summers long-stayer MyMyMy, the track suffers from the same problem that afflicts much of his music, fannying around on the edge of inspiration without ever turning into the kind of killer track he has produced in the past. NYC Beat spends just over three minutes going precisely nowhere and really has little more use than being the second disc on in the warm up DJ's set.
Never mind, it has at least outsold (just) the cheesiest club hit of the week, Kim Sozzi making her chart debut at Number 23 with bubblegum pop-dance hit Break Up. On the surface, the bubbly record from the similarly bubbly American singer has a great deal going for it until 1 minute and ten seconds into the song when mixers Cascada inflict a cheesy keyboard breakdown on us to drag things down into the toilet. This is when you consider things a deeply worrying trend. At the start of the decade, every American pop act beat a trail to Sweden for inspiration and genius. It appears now they are heading for Germany with quite painful consequences.
There was wide speculation that we would see a spectacular new entry this week for a track which has received more than its fair share of mainstream media attention recently. The end product of a series of documentaries on old age, the recording and release of My Generation' by The Zimmers was the subject of a BBC2 programme "The Great Granny Chart Invasion" over the bank holiday, the programme recounting the exploits of a series of pensioners, some close to 100 years old performing a somewhat bizarre cover of the famous Who hit single. In the event, the hype has come to nothing as the single limps in at a rather lowly Number 26 but it does at least give the groupthe honour of being the oldest hitmakers ever, with an average age of 78 and lead singer Alf clocking in at the grand age of 90. The original version of My Generation has been a Top 40 hit twice for The Who, originally reaching Number 2 in 1965 and creeping to Number 31 in July 1996.
Finally, for this week one future hit single which is well worth keeping an eye on. Absent from the charts for over three years (well let's face it if you have Anna Kournikova to play with you are bound to be distracted) Enrique Iglesias returns to the music business with his new single Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song) which lands at Number 28 on download sales, physical release set for June 11th. The subtitle of the song refers to the tick-tock rhythm which helps to make the track more distinctive than your average pop release, but aside from this gimmick, you can't escape the feeling that the song is in desperate search of a hook that never actually arrives. 1999 flop Rhythm Divine aside, Enrique has consistently made the Top 20 with all of his singles and with Do You Know something of a grower despite its faults, it is a tally he seems set to add to shortly.