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So Long To The Summer Of Shawn
Welcome back if you have been away. Trust me, you haven't missed all that much. The summer of Senorita drags inexorably on, the Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello duet this week enjoys its fifth consecutive week and sixth in total at the summit of the Official UK Singles chart. That makes it the fifth single in the last 12 months to enjoy a spell of at least six weeks at Number One. The others: Promises by Calvin Harris/Sam Smith, thank u, next by Ariana Grande, Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi, and I Don't Care by Ed Sheeran/Justin Bieber.
On the slide in terms of chart sales for almost its entire spell at Number One, Senorita slumps once more this week to a career-low of just 53,000 chart sales, this the lowest sale of any Number One single so far in 2019. Those wondering if this surely can last will possibly be reassured that this is almost certainly the single's last week at the top of the charts. Irrespective of how many time it is played or copies it sells next week, Senorita will be ten weeks old and with three consecutive weeks of streaming decline to its name. ACR oblivion is calling.
Just what will replace it remains the true mystery for the moment. It would be extraordinary if it turned out to be Ed Sheeran's Beautiful People, the single which caused the one-week interruption to Senorita's run at the top of the charts back in July. Deposed from the top of the charts, it has been lodged in place at Number 2 ever since. Although it took has repeatedly declined in sales and streams for each of those five weeks, being one week younger than Senorita it still has another seven days before the ACR fairy comes knocking. One last chance to return to the top of the charts? Let's see if it takes it.
The Sound Of 2000
The Top 3 may well remain immobile but the situation lower down the Top 10 remains relatively fluid. Lil Tecca's Ransom makes good on its promise and after a 10-week climb finally becomes a Top 10 single with a jump to Number 7. Joel Corry's Sorry is also on the rise, a six-place climb taking it to a brand new peak of Number 10 as well. The success of this single is a story just as extraordinary as that of Higher Love six places above. Sorry is a reworking of a Top 30 garage hit from 19 years ago and Corry's reworking pays little heed to musical developments in the two decades since, leaving the track rather delightfully retro and sounding almost incongruous next to the hardcore British rap which in turn accounts for four of this week's Top 10 singles.
There's a pleasingly large number of brand new entries to the Top 40 this week as if we are reaching one of those moments in the musical landscape where everyone is keen to move on. Heck, even Old Town Road isn't top of the American charts any more.
The highest of these new singles slams in at Number 18. Be Honest is by some distance the biggest hit single to date for Walsall's finest Jorja Smith. At a stroke, it becomes the hotly-tipped 22-year-old's first-ever Top 20 entry, the first time she has charted beyond Number 34 as a lead artist. To date, her best chart showing was the Number 24 scaled by the Drake track Get It Together and on which she guested to make her singles chart debut. The single arrives in the same week the singer has made some rather more unfortunate headlines, named in tabloid gossip as one of the reasons for the Stormzy/Maya Jama love split which has occupied those who spend their time pondering celebrity relationships. Back to musical matters, and the obligatory guest star on Be Honest is Burna Boy who effectively replaces himself in the Top 20 after the Dave track Location (on which he also guests) crashes 17-40 in another ACR-induced slump.
New at Number 22 is drill artist Headie One, he of the surprise Number 6 hit 18Hunna which charted back in January when nobody was paying attention. New single Both is his biggest chart success under his own steam since then, although he did land a co-credit on Krept & Konan's I Spy which charted at 18 back at the end of July.
Brixton Not Mentioned Here
The identity of next week's Number One single may be open to speculation, but it seems more or less a given that Taylor Swift will be enjoying another Number One album next time around with the release of her eagerly-anticipated new collection Lover. Just to whet our appetites the title track lands on the chart in its own right this week, the final "official" single released ahead of its parent collection. Why the quotes? Because Lover is actually the fourth track from the album to chart, instant grat release The Archer made a low-key chart bow a fortnight ago at Number 43. Officially though Lover is hit three and a worthy companion to both Me! and You Need To Calm Down.
In fact no, even to say that is to undersell it. Lover is possibly the most compelling track she has released in some considerable time. It is a gorgeous, melancholy and yet romantic ballad which for the first time in a long time harks back to her all but forgotten country roots. Reviewers claim they can hear shades of everything in there, from Tim McGraw to even Bob Dylan. I spent the entire week trying to work out just what the narrative style of the verses reminded me of. Then I decided it was Crazy by Aerosmith, although nobody on Twitter seemed to want to agree. Anyway, this hardly matters. Lover makes a lower key bow than early midweek figures suggested, landing at Number 23. But with the album set to give its streaming numbers a pounding you suspect this is a track with the power to do what few Taylor Swift singles have managed to do lately - climb in week 2.
One Fifth Or One Quarter?
With her former Fifth Harmony bandmate sitting proudly at the top of the charts, Normani this week begins her latest attempt to land a hit even half as big. Motivation marks her solo debut on the singles chart, the Atlantan native having first come to attention as the guest of Khalid on Love Lies and then earlier this year alongside Sam Smith on Dancing With A Stranger. Those tracks made 12 and 3 respectively, but given she was just the guest star on those two it remains to be seen just how she does in her own right. I'm unsure if this slightly insubstantial pop single was quite the vehicle to launch her as a solo star, although its twerk-tastic video is diverting enough. At least it appears on the ten times I've watched it so far.
Moves Like Sheeran
It has taken its sweet time getting there, but Sam Feldt's single Post Malone finally reaches the Top 40 with a climb to Number 34. We thus have the unusual although not totally unknown sight of a hit record namechecking another contemporary artist in its title and lyrics. Memories of The Wanted's Walks Like Rihanna, Yxng Bane's own Rihanna and She's Madonna by Robbie Williams all spring to mind. The single marks a surprise chart comeback as a performer for Dutch DJ Feldt, his only other hit to date was Show Me Love, a reworking of the 1990s hit which reached Number 4 a little over four years ago.
For the second week running a big-name American female star falls slightly short of the Top 40. Last week it was Katy Perry who slipped in at 43 with Small Talk (the single dying gently it appears with a drop to 58 this time around). Now it is the turn of Miley Cyrus who can't quite ride the wave of endless press coverage about her own private life and slams onto the chart at Number 42 with Slide Away, this the follow-up to Mother's Daughter which itself could only struggle to Number 29 earlier in the summer. The new year success of Nothing Breaks Like A Heart seems but a distant memory. Her dad is now enjoying bigger singles than she does.