Back in the summer of 2012 dance music fans became intrigued by the appearance on the scene of a mysterious new deep house talent, his music credited to the alias of Route 94. Intense speculation as to his identity lasted for some considerable time before he was outed as Londoner Rowan Jones, who had previously produced dubstep music as Dream. After a handful of remixes to his name, Route 94 almost from nowhere finds himself at the top of the Official UK Singles chart as My Love, a gloriously uplifting house track which first circulated late last summer, storms straight to Number One, selling 120,000 copies in the process.
Clues as to why this particular Route 94 track has been launched to commercial success in favour of all the others and at this precise moment too can be gleaned by the identity of the co-credited lead vocalist on the track - Jess Glynne. Hard on the heels of her turn as the voice of Clean Bandit's Rather Be the superstar in waiting finds herself the performer of her second Number One single of the year, returning to the top of the charts just three weeks after her previous single surrendered its sales lead. With Rather Be still selling in strong numbers she can this week boast a presence on two of the Top 3 singles, only Happy standing in the way of becoming one of only a tiny handful of acts to occupy both first and second place on the singles chart.
Take nothing away from Route 94 and his creative work in constructing a worthy Number One hit single, but this is without a doubt Jess Glynne's moment of glory and all but guarantees a rapturous reception for the girl from Romford when she finally gets her own solo push.
Pharrell Williams may well have surrendered his Number One single crown (again) but gets the consolation of the biggest selling album of the week as GIRL makes similarly inspired progress to the top of the Official UK Album chart. It is far and away the highest charting long-playing record of his career, beating the Number 7 peak of his previous solo work In My Mind back in 2006 and the Number 4 peak of the highest charting N.E.R.D album Fly Or Die in 2004. After weeks of sales direness GIRL restores some measure of credibility to the flagging market, selling 70,000 copies to become the fastest selling album of 2014 so far.
Lily Allen's big chart comeback after a five year career break turned into a rather amusing misfire last December, her much-heralded new single Hard Out Here only just making the Top 10 during a pitifully brief three week chart career and outsold in the process by her cover version of Somewhere Only We Know recorded for a TV commercial and which topped the charts instead. Theoretically, this week was her chance to start over and push the reset button with new single Air Balloon but once again it falls short of expectation by entering at Number 7 - although this is at the very least two places higher than the peak of Hard Out Here. It wouldn't be a Lily Allen single without a creative nod to someone else's style although Air Balloon has raised eyebrows by the way it is almost a chord for chord copy of MIA's 2008 hit single Paper Planes, except this time without the lyrical dexterity and unabashed charm which has characterised Lily Allen classics in the past.
Another comeback of sorts is that of Coldplay who technically returned with movie soundtrack single Atlas last summer but who in reality are preparing for the release of their first new material proper since 2011's Mylo Xyloto album. With their lavish, anthemic style having clearly reached its zenith with that work, new single Magic marks an inevitable return to the more basic sound of their earlier material. The track charts at Number 10, the 13th Top 10 hit single of their career and their highest charting single since Princess Of China (with Rihanna on co-vocals) reached Number 4 in the summer of 2012. Curiously this is now the fourth Coldplay single to debut on the charts at Number 10, the previously three unable to advance beyond that original entry point.
As you might have expected, its victory in the Best Original Song category at the Oscars ceremony last week has had a positive effect on sales of Idina Menzel's version of Let It Go, the single advancing 31-22, just short of the peak (so far) of Number 18 the single scaled a fortnight ago. Demi Lovato's version which has been charting simultaneously all the time also gets a chart boost, albeit on a smaller scale moving 74-70. [And we still haven't reached peak 'Frozen' - that comes later in the spring].
The most surprising chart reversal of the week, however, is that of Ellie Goulding's How Long Will I Love You which refuses to die despite now being 20 weeks old. The charity release and former Number 3 single climbs 28-18 to reach its highest chart position for five weeks and indeed does so at the expense of Ellie's 'current' hit single Goodness Gracious which reached the Top 20 for the first time last week but now takes a 16-21 dip.