A new week so it must be time for another new Number One as the reign of the Black Eyed Peas is cut short by the arrival of Tinchy Stryder with Never Leave You. It is the second Number One hit for the 22-year-old rapper, hard on the heels of Number 1 which had a three week run at the top in April and May. He follows the example of both Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas in scoring a brace of Number One hits, the first time so many acts have managed chart doubles since 2005 when no less than four acts - Elvis, McFly, Oasis and the Pussycat Dolls - pulled off the trick.
Guest star on Never Leave You is Amelle Berrabah, better known as one-third of the Sugababes Mark 3. Despite the best efforts of Mutya Buena (whom she replaced in the trio), she is the first Sugababe to score a Number One hit outside of her work with the group. At the very least this extra-curricular activity helps her catch up with her bandmates in terms of Number One hits, the Sugababes having had just one chart-topper since she joined the lineup in late 2006.
As for the record itself, well it actually has a great deal in common with Tinchy Stryder's previous hit in that it is very hard to dislike. Whilst American rap stars spend their time being as cool and as hardcore as possible, their British equivalents are grasping the more commercial end of the hip-hop rod with wild abandon. As a result Never Leave You is a bright and energetic pop record that deserves to rank as one of the years best. Thumbs up from this end both for the way it sounds, and the fact that it gives its stars the chance to celebrate a well-deserved chart-topping hit.
Never Leave You isn't the only new entry into the Top 10 either, the Ian Carey Project landing neatly at Number 10 with debut single Get Shaky. Although American, Carey was born in America but plies his trade as a DJ on these shores. Despite this Get Shaky first became a commercial smash hit in Australia and New Zealand at the tail end of last year. Although its insistent female vocal line and general vibe just screams "anthem" at you, my only critique would be that the track's synthesised bassline is straight out of Bodyrox's Yeah Yeah which instantly has the effect of making the track sound very 2005 and hardly the groundbreaking effort it set out to be. There is no denying its popularity and it hasn't become an instant Number 10 hit from nowhere, but for a club track, the worst crime possible is sounding like it has all been done before.
Several of last weeks lower new entries make strides into the Top 20, among them in a manner which is most pleasing are Little Boots with Remedy (33-14) and Eminem with Beautiful (31-12). Also making great strides is Sean Kingston who flies 29-17 with new single Fire Burning. The American teenager had the honour of becoming the first child of the 90s to top the UK charts when his debut hit Beautiful Girls flew to the top in September 2007 but since then he has struggled for a follow-up. His next single Me Love stalled at Number 32 and it took last years duet with Natasha Bedingfield on Love Like This to return him to the Top 20. He now gets there again under his own steam thanks to this lead single from his forthcoming second album Tomorrow which is due out in September. A world away from the cynical charm of his debut hit, the track discards lilting reggae for club-friendly electronica in a manner which is actually far from unpleasant. The track is helmed by producer of the moment RedOne, the architect of both of Lady Gaga's chart-topping hits as well as Little Boots' current hit Remedy to which it bears more than a passing resemblance.
Also making a sharp move is Flo Rida's Jump which appropriately enough gets a 15 place jump to sit at Number 25 on its second chart week. The follow-up to the slightly underperforming Sugar (which peaked at Number 18 in June after an extensive chart climb), the track is the third to be taken from his second album R.O.O.T.S.. Guest star of choice this time is a returning Nelly Furtado who thus makes her second chart appearance of the year duetting with a male star. Her last chart appearance was on the James Morrison hit Broken Strings which hit Number 2 in January.
Now for the answer to a question that I'm not sure anyone asked. Girls Can't Catch are the latest all-girl pop group to crave your attention, allegations that they are merely a poor Saturdays clone being answered by the fact that not only are there just three of them, but they are signed to the same label (Fascination records) as their apparent rivals (as well as Girls Aloud, meaning that the same stable is responsible for all three). Their debut single Keep Your Head Up sits neatly on the 80s revival zeitgeist, featuring a whiplash synths intro that is oddly reminiscent of Tainted Love. Once the song gets going, however, it is slightly less derivative and is blessed with an unusual structure which moved Popjustice to note that "you think you're listening to the chorus then the actual chorus happens" which in truth is more than a little magical. Their greatest potential claim to fame is that one of their number just happens to be Phoebe Brown, one-fifth of manufactured X Factor 2007 hopefuls Hope and who during the series was pushed to the fore as it was clear she was far and away the best singer of the bunch.