You WILL Break Her Album
There's a risk here that I do nothing more than repeat myself, but as it was seven weeks ago that I first made this point you may have all forgotten. It has been a long time since Beyonce was properly relevant, a proper pop star with a proper mainstream pop record. It is all too easy to forget that until about 10 years ago she was one of the biggest and most high-profile American stars on the planet with a string of huge hits and a set of acclaimed albums in her wake.
But then she kind of went off the boil a little bit, her profile not helped in the slightest by her being sucked into Jay-Z's desire to make Tidal the streaming destination of choice - meaning that her last album proper Lemonade was exclusive to that platform for fully three years. She's done stuff since then of course, but husband and wife vanity project The Carters and her Lion King movie soundtrack were just… there. Nobody jumped off any rooftops about it.
And that's why the release of her new album RENAISSANCE is such a big deal. Beyonce has made her first proper pop record in years, enjoyed a major worldwide hit single prior to its arrival and perhaps most importantly has made it available everywhere. There was only ever going to be one outcome here - everyone has snapped it up eagerly.
So it is that RENAISSANCE (everything about it has to be in capitals apparently) is easily the biggest release of the week. It flies to No.1 on the Official UK Albums chart with a - well let's just say "big" - sale of 31,064 which is more than enough to outsell the rest of the Top 5 combined. It is her fourth solo No.1 album, although perhaps curiously her biggest seller overall I Am… Sasha Fierce isn't one of them.
The arrival of the album inevitably had a positive impact on its lead single and so BREAK MY SOUL surges up the charts to come close - but not quite close enough - to the very top. In its seventh week on the chart it hits a new peak of No.2, making this her biggest hit single since her guest role on Lady Gaga's Telephone reached the very top in 2019. Its sale of just under 43,000 meant it came within 3,000 copies of dethroning LF System's Afraid To Feel, but the steadily sagging Scottish single does enough to ensure it lands a fifth week at No.1.
The other two permitted tracks from the Beyonce album don't quite make as big an impact as they might, but they commanded enough streams for CUFF IT to chart at No.14, and ALIEN SUPERSTAR to hit No.16. And that as they say is ENOUGH BEYONCE for one week.
Back Back Back
New to the Top 10 this week is I Ain't Worried which continues to be a quite impressive comeback hit for OneRepublic. It is their first Top 10 hit since Love Runs Out was a Top 3 smash in August 2014. Taken from the soundtrack of Top Gun: Maverick you still have to marvel at the way it has transcended the movie as a pop hit in its own right. Contrast that with Lady Gaga's much-promoted Hold My Hand which is still bubbling around as a more minor hit - this week No.42 in its 13th week around.
I made a point of noting their potential lack of prospects last week, so we should square the circle and observe that there is indeed no place in the Top 40 for either of Billie Eilish's two hits from last time out. TV crashes to No.53 with The 30th down to No.61. Ah well.
The Climbers And New Guys
What is making progress? Ferrari by James Hype and Miggy Dela Rosa (up to No.25), along with Luude's remix of Mattafix's Big City Life, up to No.28.
The one other new arrival to the Top 40 is Propeller which becomes the first proper hit single of note for Jae5, a man previously best known for his work behind the scenes as the producer of hits for acts such as Dave and Burna Boy. The former takes a guest starring role on this summery vibe, possibly one of the most accessible tracks he has put his name to for some time, and this is also the first big chart hit of note for singer BNXN, first heard earlier this year on No.52 hit Finesse by Pheelz.
Oh yes, and it isn't Top 40 yet but keep a big ear out for the latest summer banger coming to a radio near you. Continuing the Korg M1 bassline and speed garage revival is B.O.T.A. from Eliza Rose and a co-credited Interplanetary Criminal. This slaps surprisingly hard.