Echanted Encanto

We long passed the point where we'd done every single "talking about Bruno" joke to death some time ago, which is a bit awkward as the Encanto soundtrack hit continues to dominate popular music tastes. We Don't Talk About Bruno is proudly No.1 for the third straight week as it presides over an all-static Top 4. The most notable moment of the week in pop was possibly the interview Justin Hawkins (he of The Darkness) gave to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2, during which he dissected the song as a musicologist to identify just why it is so catchy. Check it out:

The latest accolade for the Encanto soundtrack is to now spawn three simultaneous Top 10 hits. As well as Surface Pressure which remains locked in place at No.4, it is finally joined by The Family Madrigal which becomes the second single in a row to climb from No.11 into the Top 10, setting aside all notions of a glass ceiling. The third most popular song from the movie is now No.7 as the Disney-fication of the Top 10 continues apace. That isn't quite the first it is being sold as, three simultaneous Top 10 hits from the same soundtrack album happened twice in 1978 with both the Saturday Night Fever and Grease movie soundtracks.

Foreign Travel

There are plenty of other songs on the move this week. Lost Frequencies and Callum Scott edge still further forward with Where Are You Now rising to No.5 but after two weeks locked at No.8 D-Block Europe's Overseas finally lands itself another brand new chart peak as it sits at No.6. We've kind of overlooked its chart progress so far, so full credit to the group as the single now lands a sixth week in total as a Top 10 hit, a total that in truth should be considerably more given it spent most of December being jolted out of the way by Christmas hits.

New to the Top 10 this week are two singles which have been rising the charts in tandem since the start of the year. Make Me Feel Good by Belters Only featuring Jazzy is up to No.9 while Luude and Colin Hay rise to No.10 with the DnB reworking of Down Under. The original version (which Hay also sang) was coming to the end of its three-week spell at No.1 exactly 39 years ago this week.

Also in the category of "hits rising without trace", Enemy by Imagine Dragons is back in the Top 20 after a week away returning to its No.18 peak for a third time. Now 11 weeks old the track (taken from the TV series "Arcane League Of Legends" appears set to become yet another in a surprisingly long line of hits from the Las Vegas rock band which linger in the charts for months without ever quite becoming the huge smashes they should be. Back in 2013 they debuted with Radioactive which enjoyed an epic chart run lasting most of the year without ever climbing higher than No.12, following it later than year with Demons which also charted for months and peaked a rung lower. Enemy is the group's fifth Top 20 hit and I suspect yet another which won't make the Top 10.

Obsessed With New Guys

The week's highest new entry is… not the one we originally expected. Three weeks after Retail Therapy made No.21, Central Cee is back at No.25 with Cold Shoulder, both cuts (along with the already classic Obsessed With You) taken from his second mixtape 23 which is set for release at the end of the month.

Also brand new to the chart this week is Beg For You by the eternally misfiring Charli XCX. My fascination with this woman remains undimmed, her every move the subject of gushing profiles from music journos to give her a level of critical acclaim which is often at odds with the actual popularity of her music. Who could forget the gushing praise for her 2020 spontaneous lockdown album How I'm Feeling Now but whose lifespan was comparable with that of a mayfly? This time around of course she is in theory coming off the back of her biggest hit in years, her contribution to Joel Corry's Out Out taking her into the Top 10 last autumn for the first time in six years. Although this was notably to the detriment of her own Good Ones single which stalled at No.44 in September.

So the new single does at least return Charli to the Top 40, even if it begins life at a lowly No.29. Like its predecessor it is taken from her forthcoming fifth album Crash set for release in March. Guest on the single is Japanese-born up and coming starlet Rina Sawayama, hitless to date in the UK but notable for her campaign to change the rules on nationality after her debut album Sawayama was ruled ineligible for the 2020 Mercury Prize on the grounds that she herself isn't a British citizen, even though the album itself was recorded and produced on these shores.

There's a similarly low-key arrival for Anyone For You, the first new material (Christmas specials aside) for George Ezra since the golden summer of 2018 when his second album spawned numerous hits including modern-day classic and long-running chart-topper Shotgun. The same questions we asked back then apply now, can the golden-voiced singer-songwriter remain relevant given the lightning in a bottle nature of his previous successes? Everyone overlooked the fact that the promotion for his last album Staying At Tamara's actually got off to a misfiring start when first single Don't Matter Now bombed at No.66 in summer 2017. And even later smash Paradise charted at No.70 before vanishing from sight, meaning it was a triumphant piece of marketing that eventually propelled it to No.2.

So what do we make of the No.32 entry for Anyone For You? Better than some of his opening gambits (in fact this is the first time he's ever made the Top 40 with the first single from any of his albums as his debut single release Did You Hear The Rain missed the charts altogether in 2013). But George Ezra takes time to warm up and perhaps for us to warm to him. Let's hope there are some more earworm gems on the way. We need a British superstar who isn't Ed Sheeran after all.