All good things come to those who wait. After two albums of material and a respectable year and a half run of hits (including Top 3 smash Kickstarts last summer), British singer/rapper Example finally gets his just reward and a first ever Number One single. Changed The Way You Kiss Me is the track in question, the first track to be lifted from his forthcoming third album Playing In The Shadows. All the elements that make him such an outstanding act and such an attention-grabbing talent are present and correct, the track featuring the star effortlessly slipping between singing and rapping, set to an infectious electropop backbeat and - perhaps most notably of all - is bereft of any "as featuring" credits, the single the work of its creator and him alone without any need to shoehorn in another act to give it some crossover boost. Not that Example is above appearing on other people's tracks of course, this single arriving on the charts just a few short weeks after he made Number 2 as a guest on Wretch 32's Unorthodox, but to date every one of his singles has been credited to him as sole performing act, a trend which is set to continue with further singles from what promises to be a very interesting album indeed.
Example is joined in the Top 3 by the chart single with the greatest momentum of the week, Right There by Nicole Scherzinger which flies 14-3 to become her third solo Top 3 hit in a row. The single has come alive doubtless thanks to her appearance on the BGT final, a performance which provoked much press comment not just because of her outfit and dancing but also due to the astoundingly explicit nature of the lyrics in which she details the exact moves that her man can make to excite her properly. Never mind, perhaps the best thing a pop record can have is talkability and if it means this one sticks in the mind better than some of her previous solo hits then the fuss is not something to be sniffed at.
A pleasing addition to the release schedules this week saw the arrival in the shops of the brand new Coldplay single, unleashed without prior warning in a neat on air on sale move. Once upon a time the most lauded and easily the biggest band in Britain, questions were starting to be asked about their ability to extend their success into a second decade. Three years on from the Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends album, the fates of many of their chart contemporaries have been called into question as popular music and singles buying tastes in particular have swung away from the boys with guitars (and indeed pianos) genre in quite decisive fashion. When seasonal teaser single Christmas Lights limped to Number 13 last December after some rather lukewarm reviews, you could be forgiven for making peace with the idea that Coldplay were about to move past the era where they needed hit records and started simply playing to the crowd.
Then new track Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall debuted on the radio last week and there was an almost palpable sense of relief that it was actually far from a disappointment and was by contrast "rather good". Built around a piano riff taken from the 1976 Peter Allen track I Go To Rio, the single is a smouldering stadium anthem which builds gradually to a pleasing crescendo in a manner which suggests the group are walking the line between the elegant simplicity of their earlier work and the big production values of Viva La Vida. [The album turned out to be crammed with the latter].
Truth be told, Coldplay are indeed long past the point where they actually need hit singles to function, so the fact they are capable of them is a testament to their continuing massive appeal, albeit an appeal which is so tightly focused that Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall is almost certain to be as much of a one week wonder as the last Saturdays single was. For now it is their 11th Top 10 hit, their first since Viva La Vida made Number One in 2008 and if you don't expect their as yet untitled fifth album to be one of the biggest released of Q4 when it comes out at the end of the year, then you really aren't paying close enough attention.
As you might expect, the chart ripples from the Britain's Got Talent final continue to be felt this week, most notably in the expected rebound for Tracy Chapman's Fast Car which is now back up to Number 13 again after being featured as a performance on the live show. Oddly enough after a strong start to the week, the song performed by eventual contest winner Jai McDowell doesn't even make the Top 40, although a Number 53 entry for To Where You Are is enough to give Josh Groban his highest charting single ever, eight years after his debut album, from which the track is taken, first charted.
Making good progress up into the Top 20 this week are both the Black Eyed Peas with latest slow burning single Don't Stop The Party (up to Number 17 as the follow-up to 'Just Can’t Get Enough') and also Nicki Minaj with her current single Super Bass, the rather rapid follow-up to her last hit 'Girls Fall Like Dominoes' which stalled at Number 24 at the end of April. Super Bass is her highest charting single ever as a lead artist, although she did of course recently make a Top 3 appearance on David Guetta's Where Them Girls At.
The career of American rock band Paramore took an interesting twist at the end of last year when the founding duo Josh and Zac Farrow announced they were leaving the group they had helped to form as teenagers. For the moment reduced to a trio of Hayley Williams, Taylor York and Jeremy Davis, they make their first chart appearance since the schism with Monster which lands at Number 21 as their first Top 40 single in over a year. For now this is a one-off release, lifted from the soundtrack of the new Transformers movie, recording for a new album set to start later this year.
From the way certain pop websites [Popjustice, inevitably] were talking, you would have thought that the release of the first ever solo single from Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts was something akin to the second coming. I prefer to see it as an interesting experiment in substance over style. Here is the paradox we face at the moment - far and away the most successful member of the celebrated girl group is a certain Cheryl Cole with both a brace of Number One singles and Number One albums to her name. This is all the while being merely the fifth best singer in the group, albeit the prettiest.
Hence the grooming of Nicola Roberts for solo stardom is seen as the flipside of that particular coin. Never the most glamorous member of the five, despite the efforts of a string of makeovers, she has always been one of the strongest singers in the lineup, a legacy that can be traced right back to her impressive performances on the Popstars - The Rivals talent show which led to their selection nine years ago. Her debut single is the sparky Beat Of My Drum which has oddly been released via OAOS, hitting the stores within days of its first radio play. In retrospect this may end up being a colossal mistake, as the single is by no means an instantly appealing pop track but more an addictive brain-burrowing irritant in the same manner as Willow's Whip My Hair. Based on three weeks of radio and video play, the single could have built up enough of a head of steam to charge straight into the Top 10. As it stands however the track almost lifelessly flops onto the chart at an incredibly disappointing Number 27 and is set to otherwise vanish without trace - unless she and her label put in some damage limiting work immediately.
Maybe the oddest new entry of the week has to be the track that sits at Number 32. Mellow classical piece I Giorni by 55 year old Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi first appeared on his album of the same name back in 2001. It's apparently random elevation to the status of Top 40 single is all thanks to Radio One DJ Greg James who during a discussion about revision aids reminisced about using the track to unwind and to help his concentration during his own student days. One swift spin of the track later and it has suddenly become the must have study aid of a whole generation of GCSE and A-Level candidates, charting in a live version dating from 2003 as the original studio piece isn't actually available on iTunes in this country. I Giorni is now just the latest in a long line of rather wonderfully random spontaneous hit singles - charting not because everyone has signed up to the notion that is should be in the charts, but simply because enough people have connected with it emotionally and sought out a copy to turn it into one of the most popular hits of the week.
If you thought the singles chart was buzzing with activity, just wait until you see the album chart. Four Top 10 new entries and several more below, but most attention will rightly be focused on the very top where Lady Gaga tumbles to Number 3 to be replaced - gasp - not by Adele once more but by the Arctic Monkeys with their fourth album Suck It And See. To clarify the rather odd statistic which I referred to last night, the Arctics do indeed sit alongside Keane as the only act to have four successive albums debut at the top of the album chart, but they are a long way short of the record of most consecutive Number One records of any kind, Led Zeppelin comfortably holding that particular honour since the 1970s. Indeed, given than the "straight in at Number One" honour has to be qualified by discounting Boyone and George Michael from the table on the basis that they did so with at least one Greatest Hits collection, I'm going to call it as a lame record. Far better to note that the Glee Cast are at Number 6 with Glee The Music - Volume 6 which despite its title is actually their ninth Top 10 chart album in less than 18 months. Now that's prolific.