According to a well-known Irish newspaper this week, it was a little over the top for me to celebrate the chart performance of The Man Who Can't Be Moved by The Script as something that reaffirms your faith in mankind. Well they can sod off because it still holds true particularly this week as the single not only climbs back into the Top 3 but their self-titled album crashes straight in at Number One to prompt lovely warm feelings amongst music fans everywhere. Also benefitting as a knock-on effect is their earlier Top 20 single We Cry which re-enters the Top 40 this week and sits comfortably at Number 33.
The Script sit in the Top 3 of the singles chart locked in behind the seemingly immovable Katy Perry and Kid Rock who hold steady at 1 and 2 respectively. All this is to the detriment of The Verve who despite the presumed surge from physical sales of Love Is Noise can only creep up one place to Number 4, a placing which you suspect is as good as they are going to get. Word is as well that the love/hate/love/hate/love/hate dynamic within the band is swinging over to the "hate" stage again, so make the most of them while they are around.
The biggest new single of the week is one which arrives seemingly from nowhere - Beggin' from Madcon gatecrashes the Top 10 at Number 7. The song is one with a long and chequered history, recorded originally by the Four Seasons who made the Top 20 of the US chart in 1967. Their version was never a hit here, and most people are familiar with the track thanks to a cover by Timebox a year later which was a minor Top 40 hit in the summer of 1968. The Four Seasons version finally made the UK chart just over a year ago thanks to an innovative remix by French producer Pilooski which twisted the original Bob Crewe production in several strange new directions, although despite much hype it could only reach Number 32. As a result, the Madcon rendition can lay claim to be the first ever major hit version of the song. A hit in their native Norway last year, the single is that all too rare beast - a hip-hop reworking of a classic which treats the source material with genuine respect. Hence the rap breaks dovetail seamlessly with the 60s beats and raw, soulful chorus to make a single which stands head and shoulders above just about any comparable single you have heard all year. Or maybe I'm just being over the top again, you decide.
Also back inside the Top 10 is a single which neatly proves I'm right about something for a change. When Coldplay's Viva La Vida bolted swiftly down the chart after its brief cup of coffee at Number One a month or so back, we speculated here that it stood a very good chance of returning once it became a single for real and promotional activity and airplay shifted away from the then still current Violet Hill. So it proves and so the lavish epic now moves 14-10 to return to the Top 10 after a six-week absence. Expecting it to return to the very top is perhaps just a little too much to ask for, but as the greatest single they ever will make it deserved more than just a perfunctory chart run and this I suspect should ensure its sales longevity.
At Number 16 is Mercury, the well-anticipated brand new single from Bloc Party which debuted to much fanfare on the radio last month following a well seeded viral campaign which saw their official website turn itself into a countdown that ultimately pointed to the Zane Lowe show on Radio One which had the historic first play. A track that is set to appear on their as yet untitled third album, it is a natural successor to their last single Flux, drenching the group in electronics and phase-distortions to mesmerising effect. Will it wind up as their fifth Top 10 hit single? I'll keep my options open for now.
A trio of new singles invade the Top 30 and they are led at Number 26 by a single which marks the triumphant reinvention of a very underrated performer. Imaani Coppola began her career as a solo artist, signing to Columbia Records when she was just a teenager. Although big things were expected of her, she turned out to be just a one-hit wonder, her debut single Legend Of A Cowgirl becoming a minor Number 32 hit here in early 1998 despite copious radio airplay and a genuine selling point in its reworking of the old Donovan classic Sunshine Superman. When her album failed to sell she was dropped like the proverbial hot potato and spent years in independent artist wilderness, her only other chart credit coming in 2001 when she appeared on the Baha Men's You All Dat.
Following a spell with all-star collective Peeping Tom in 2005 she apparently rediscovered her commercial magic and as if to put the past firmly behind her has now reinvented herself as Little Jackie, even if her alter-ego is possibly the worst kept secret in the history of music. The great news is that her debut/comeback single is insanely, gloriously good. The World Should Revolve Around Me is a sassy, summery Motown pastiche with a feelgood vibe that belies the tongue in cheek feminist mantra of its lyrics. The kind of single you hear once and fall in love with forever, it is heading for the Top 10 within weeks if there is any justice in the world.
Coincidentally there is a Motown vibe running through the next single down, the handclap beats from Where Did Our Love Go providing the base for I Decided from Solange. Her big selling point is, of course, the family connection given that she is of Beyonce's baby sister, one listen to the delicate tremolo in her voice indicating that the two ladies have more in common than just their looks. Her first attempt at musical stardom actually came five years ago with her album Solo Star but it was never granted a UK release, making this single her British chart debut. The track itself is the very definition of breezy, a simply jazz piano and double bass providing the bulk of the instrumentation in a record that may not be an immediate smash but which virtually demands a second listen.
This has been a rather gushing and enthusiastic piece this week hasn't it? Damn all these acts for releasing singles that are hard for a reviewer to hate. Next in line are Keane who are now in "difficult" third album territory having possibly milked the pretty vocals and tinkling piano formula as far as they can with their previous two releases Hopes And Fears and Under The Iron Sea. Hence Spiralling, the first single from forthcoming new album Perfect Symmetry is a rather unexpected surprise, a single replete with buzzing synths and razor edge guitars that would not have sounded out of place in the charts of 1984. Critical reception to the single has been enthusiastic to say the least, although I'm not totally convinced this isn't out of a sense of relief that they have mixed it up and done something new rather than serve up another sugar sweet dose of the same old material. For the brand new single from a band as big a name as they are, a Number 28 first week entry has to be regarded as something of a muted welcome and whilst it may be the most negative thing you read about it all week, for the moment it has failed to convince commercially.
Next week - Oasis are back. [Bothered].