Top 50 Singles In Ireland: 20 March 2009

Okay just thought I’d give Irish viewers a round up of my opinions on the Top 50 Singles Chart in Ireland as of 20 March 2009.

50. Breakeven-The Script: Okay, clocking in at number 50, we have The Script with Breakeven. Nice ballad we have here with some smooth vocals from Danny O’ Donohue as usual. You can actually hear the emotional anguish in Danny’s voice when he sings and I think it’s one of their best singles yet. ****

49. Thinking Of You-Katy Perry: To be honest, I thought this song would do much better but it has so far only peaked at 38 and will probably fall of the chart within the next week. It’s a shame cos Ms. Perry actually shows she has talent under all the attention seeking garb. She wrote this song by herself and has this longing emotion running through it. Many people have commented that she sounds like a strangled cat in this song but I disagree, I think her voice is very rich and distinctive. ****

48. Islands In The Stream-Vanessa Jenkins & Bryn West featuring Tom Jones and Robin Gibb: Seeing as this is a charity single, I’m not gonna knock it to hard. Although this has reached the top spot on the UK Charts, this is Islands In The Streams first week in the charts over here and I hope more issues are sold to raise money for Comic Relief. Basically this is a karaoke rendition of the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton number as specified in the video. I’m gonna give this a safe rating. ***

47. Sober-P!nk: Dropped 10 places since last week, I’m kinda glad to see this happen. Although P!nk’s voice is full of raw, husky emotion and singing about a very important topic-drunkedness vs. soberness (sorry I couldn’t put that into better words), the monotone pace of the song with it’s serious strings becomes somewhat depressing and grating after a while. ***

46. Kids-MGMT: Wow! Wasn’t this in the Top 10 only a few weeks ago. This has dropped down the chart very quickly and I thought it would remain there for a while. Basically in a few words, I’ll say this. MGMT are the most exciting synthpop/indie kids to come out in 2009 and this song proves that. ****

45. Omen-The Prodigy: Yeah this has slipped way down the chart too. Basically if you’re a fan of electropunk music or music that is just loud, danceable with a dark undertone then you’ll find yourself headbanging along to this in your local mosh pit. If you like quiet music that “isn’t just noise” then you won’t like this. ***

44. Falling Down-Oasis: Okay folks, this is the third single from Oasis’s Dig Out Your Soul LP and I’m kind of shocked with the lack of hype surrounding the band at this stage, I mean compared to 10 years ago…I’m in shock. Well anyways, Falling Down is another solid entry from Oasis. Probably not as good as their old stuff, but an interesting psycadellic beat to it. ****

43. Up!-The Saturdays: Rather strange that this is still in the Top 50 as it was released back in October with two other singles (plus the planned single Work) being released but with good reason. Up! is a fantastic second single from The Saturdays with it’s big sing-along chorus and skittering synthpop beat, it’s no wonder this was picked up by the producers of Ugly Betty. In just a short space of time, The Saturdays are proving to be serious competition for all the other girl bands out there!****

42. Hot ‘N’ Cold-Katy Perry: Ahead of it’s successor in the charts, this fuzzy, bouncy electronic rock track shows of Katy Perry’s talent without being too in-your-face controversial (á la Ur So Gay, I Kissed A Girl) . Catchy, danceable, one of the best songs of 2008. ****

41. Welcome To The Club-DJ Manian: Okay well I’ve just listened to this song and I’m sorry to report this renewed Eurodance craze isn’t going to go away soon. However that said, Welcome To The Club isn’t completely awful, it’s good for getting up and dancing to which I suppose is it’s purpose really. Being one third of hit duo Cascada (yes, they’re a trio!), Manian creates a rather infectious dance tune but if it’s going to be played on the radio non-stop and no doubt it will, we’re all going to get annoyed by it’s repetitive nature. It will be a welcome change from Basshunter though. ***

40. Love etc.-The Pet Shop Boys: The Pet Shop Boys return with a sort of trancey, psychadellic song which I guess is noting new. But these Boys show us that the veterans can do things write too and this proves it with the cool, sharp beats being warmed by Neil Tennant’s hypnotic, soft spoken lyrics.****

39. Circus-Britney Spears: Well I think Britney has proven she has always been the Queen Of Pop, even when she was going nuts. This is another well produced, catchy number by the star but it’s lacking that ooomph that some of her most recent songs contained. ***

38. Can’t Get Over-September: More cheesy, Eurodance nonsense. Perfect for dancing to at Ibiza this Summer. ‘Nuff said! **

37. Human-The Killers: The Killers returned with a good choice of single, this perfectly exemplifies the killer stadium rock of the Hot Fuss album combined with the Bruce Springsteen-esque vocals of sophomore album Sam’s Town. Although the “Are we human or are we dancer?” vocal is starting to get to me ar this stage. Let’s listen to Spaceman, it’s better! ****

36. Paper Planes-M.I.A.: Probably back in the charts due to it’s apperance on the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack, M.I.A. shows that British rappers are just as good as their American counterparts with this well produced track. ****

35. Day ‘N’ Nite-Kid Cudi Vs. Crookers: Admittedly, I hated this track when I heard it but that pesky Cudi (or is it Budi?) eventually won me over with his charm. Givin’ a sort of garage music remix for the Crookers, could Cudi be the next Kanye West? I’m not “lovin’ ” this track but Cudi’s grabbed my interest. ***

34. Breathe Slow-Alesha Dixon: Not nearly as annoying as The Boy Does Nothing but this is a fairly standard pop/R&B ballad. Alesha wins me over with her soft, syrupy vocals though. But if this is the second single to be taken from The Alesha Show well then I’m losing confidence in the album’s next single (Let’s Get Excited) already. ***

33. Talk You Down-The Script: Yes! I’m delighted to see this break the Top 50 this week. I won’t deny that I’ve become a massive fan of The Script in recent months. They really are one of the most exciting Irish bands around today. This is basically a more upbeat version of Breakeven with Danny emphasising the “suuuuuuuuuuuicide” lyric just as he emphasise the “eeeeeeeeeven” lyric in the prior single. ****

32. The Galway Girl-Mundy and Sharon Shannon: Ah I see this has re-entered the chart after they performed it on the Meteors on Paddy’s Day with Sharon Shannon winning an “Oustanding Contribution To Music” Award! The Irish folk song has been around forever and it definitely has a timeless quality to it but I don’t wanna hear this constantly on the radio again-sorry! ****

31. Sex On Fire-Kings Of Leon: Well fareplay to KOL for hitting superstar status on this side of the Atlantic. But it was released in September, what brought it back in the charts?! Well how about the fact that this is a beautiful greasy slice of Southern rock covered in barbeque sauce. In other words, Kings Of Leon have me, an Irish person!, listening to rock music from the good ole Southern States of America.*****

30. Postcards-The Blizzards: I can’t say how pleased I am with Irish acts of today. The Blizzards are one of these huge talents and I think they can hit a global market or at least break into the UK. Postcards shows off their amazing talent as a pop-rock act. This sort of doubles up as an angsty, arena rock, power ballad. Just look them up on YouTube people, I’m especially talking to UK readers here. These guys are good!*****

29. Take Me Back-Tinchy Stryder featuring Taio Cruz: I really think that UK urban stars can really give the Americans a run for their money. Even though this house tune has rather repetitive lyrics-the production, the beats, Tinchy’s slick rapping and Cruz’s smooth, soulful vocals all work so well. If this was released by Timbaland and Justin Timberlake in the US, it would be topping the Billboard Chart! ****

28. Shine-Laura Izibor: More Irish talent again and Ms. Izibor is from the soul/urban area of music which we Irish aren’t particularly renowned for. This is basically a huge, uplifting soulful track that actually featured in an episode for Grey’s Anatomy. Would I be right in calling Laura the Irish Estelle? ****

27. You Found Me-The Fray: Soft rockers The Fray return after soundtracking nearly every medical TV show with their How To Save A Life. They’re now soundtracking Lost which is no surprise as this is a big epic, piano ballad with frontman Isaac Slade’s warm vocals wrapped around it. But nothing Coldplay hasn’t done before! ***

26. T-Shirt-Shontelle: Shontelle is a bit of a veteran in her native Caribbean being looked up to by some of it’s biggest stars including fellow Bravian pop princess Rihanna who has since managed to go global. T-Shirt is Shontelle’s first single over here. My verdict: Well for someone with such high status in her home country, I was expecting better than your average run of the mill pop/R&B slow jam. That said the song is warm and cosy and there’s something extremely likeable about Shontelle. ***

25. Crack A Bottle-Eminem featuring Dr. Dre and 50 Cent: Ooooooh Em I am disappointed. This is neither witty like The Real Slim Shady or serious like Stan. It’s dirty pop rap, that’s all! Thankfully this will only appear on the least talented artist here’s LP Before I Self-Destruct, that artist being 50 Cent and not upcoming albums by Eminem (Relapse) or Dr. Dre (Detox). The tune is catchy but nah! **

24. Walking On A Dream-Empire Of The Sun: A sort of funk, Summery song. Kind of irritating but likebale at the same time. Likeable beat, annoying vocals. ***

23. Get On Your Boots-U2: Hmmm a disappointing first singe from U2 from new album No Line On The Horizon. A rather boring arena rock number with no real power behind it! Some good opening riffs from The Edge though but that slowly turn into a fuzzy, unappealing psycadellic thing. **

22. Gives You Hell-The All-American Rejects: Emo punk pop acts don’t often chart here in Ireland so I was happy to see AAR make it. Ive been a fan of AAR for quite a while now as they’re capable of making perfect hook filled rawk songs! This relies on a big shout-along chorus at the end of the song to really get the crowd going but not a bad attempt by AAR with their first single from the album When The World Comes Down. ***

21. Let It Rock-Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil Wayne: Nothing amazing about this track. It’s a slick, danceable, electronic rock track that will have you up dancing to its infectious beats. ***

20. Takin’ Back My Love-Enrique Iglesias featuring Ciara-Enrique, you’ve done it again! Your weepy, angst filled voice has scored you another hit and another bunch of female admirers. This daft Europop/R&B stomper is yet another Summer hit for Enrique. We’ll all be dancing to it. ****

19. Use Somebody-Kings Of Leon: Will this song ever leave the Top 20???!!!! This is a nice slice of Southern arena rock with lead singer Caleb Followill’s distinctive, husky voice wrapped around it. It’s a sort of heart surging song but it’s not that special that it spends so long in the Top 20?? **** 

18. Whatcha Think About That-The Pussycat Dolls featuring Missy Elliot: Good production? Check! Catchy vocals? Check! Girls parading round in skimpy clothing? Check! Light hearted rap from big name hip-hopster? Check! Check! Check! PCD prove that why fix a formula when it’s not broken with their ninth Top 20 hit! However bar Missy Elliot’s slick rap which references I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry, this is a rather bland offering from the Dolls! **

17. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)-Beyoncé Knowles: Ok I must remain calm. I used to quite like this song. The production is slick, it’s catchy and danceable and Beyoncé’s vocals impress…BUT IF I HEAR THIS SONG ON MY RADIO ONE MORE TIME…I WILL KILL AND DESTROY! RAWRRRRRRR!!! In other words, it doesn’t have the lasting appeal of Crazy In Love. **

16. Shake It-Metro Station: Those Cyruses are takin over the World I tells ya! This new synthpop band features Trace Cyrus, elder brother of Miley and son of Billy Ray. Shake It is a nonsensical piece of pop rock fun. Not to be taken to seriously. It’s there for you to dance to. ***

15.  The Fear-Lily Allen: Lily makes a welcome return to the World of music and exit from the tabloids with this slick track. Her vocals are as sharp and witty as ever and the new electronica backing is a welcome from the ska influences in her debut album. ****

14. Up All Night-Take That: A happy Beatle-esque number. If you like happy rock & roll tracks and you like Mark Owen, then you’ll love this! For everyone else it’s passable and lacks the epic feel of other Take That tracks. ***

13. Beautiful-Akon featuring Colby O’ Donis and Kardinal Offishall: Disposable R&B at best with a typical synthy sound used thousands of times before with guess wha—a “beautiful” girl getting down in the club—oooh how original! That said Akon’s voice isn’t as nasal or Auto-Tuney as usual and K. Offishall’s rap is suitably gruff. And I reckon Colby O is gonna be the newest pin up now that Chris Brown has been exposed as a cowardly dude who beats women. **

12. I’m Yours-Jason Mraz: Hasn’t this song been around for ages now. Nice, acoustic Summery tune but kinda irritating with the “ska-bi-doo-bah-bah” lyrics on the bridge. ***

11. Broken Strings-James Morrison featuring Nelly Furtado: Mr. Morrison had a nice spell in the Top 10 but I can’t think why? Yeah sure, his voice is smooth and husky at the same time but this ballad is forgettable at best and Furtado’s vocals almost go unnoticed in this soft rock tune. ***

10. The Great Defector-Bell X-1: An impressive comeback single from the lads! It has a nice bouncy feel to it and still remains sounding like Bell X-1 except this single is getting praise in the US. Fingers crossed! ***

9. Just Dance-Lady GaGa featuring Colby O’ Donis and Akon: Lady GaGa has me excited!! By her music of course ahem? This song works as a dance electro pop song on so many levels. Firstly it has an opening synth with the same air of epicness found on Rihanna’s Umbrella. Then the hook filled chorus. GaGa’s lyrics about “playboy mouths”. Colby O’s husky, half rapped lyrics that show of his voice. Akon’s Michael Jacksonesque whoops! GaGa’s impressive vocals on the bridge of the song and the Christina Aguileraesque high notes at the end. Superb! *****

8. Halo-Beyoncé Knowles: A new entry to the Top 10, this is deserved as Halo is a well crafted pop/R&B ballad produced by Ryan Tedder. Seriously guys Beyoncé astounded me on this track, she sounds like an angel and the crashing drum machine beats aren’t half bad either. *****

7. Dead And Gone-T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake: A smooth follow up to the Rihanna collaboration with Live Your Life, T.I. returns with J.T. (ha see what I done there!) for Dead And Gone sees the two team up for another song of serious rapping and singing with Southern hip hop influences and human beatboxing! Timberlake particularly impresses here with his strong, powerful vocals and T.I.’s rapping is staisfactory. Oh and it doesn’t have an O-Zone sample! ****

6. Just Can’t Get Enough-The Saturdays: Hmmmm not the most inspired of covers. Depeche Mode created a classic synthpop song back in the ’80s with this and now The Saturdays believe they can do it justice. Well it’s faster than the original and theirn vocals fit very well with the song. But it’s so unoriginal. But it’s for Comic Relief so you have to buy it! ***

5. Love Story-Taylor Swift: Country pop is storming the US charts at the moment. But on these shores, only Shania Twain and Dolly Parton are the only two who have achieved any long term success. However, Taylor Swift has decided on a niche and has released Love Story. I have to say I’m impressed with Ms. Swift, not only is she absolutely stunning with a nice personality but on both her albums she managed to write or co-write all of her songs, co-produced all her songs, plays guitar, ukelele and piano and to top that she’s an impressive life performer as well and likely to become a budding actress and author. Love Story perfectly shows off her talents an up-tempo, country tune that rewrites Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending. It’s kinda cheesy but Swift attracts with her sweet, syrupy voice. ***

4. My Life Would Suck Without You-Kelly Clarkson: After her previous album My December failied commercially, Kelly returns with MLWSWY (sorry I’m too lazy to write the whole title). Basically what the writers are trying to do was create Since U Been Gone Part 2 but of course it would be impossible to do. Since U Been Gone was a classic pop rock song, possibly the best song to be released by a reality TV winner, yes even better than Bleeding Love. While MLWSWY opens with a similar rhythm guitar riff as Since U Been Gone with a quiet verse and bridge and big shouty chorus but this song lacks the anger and passion of Since U Been Gone. That said it is catchy and has a sort of euphoric, Summery feel with an electronic backing behind recent hits such as So What and Hot ‘N’ Cold. It has all the ingredients of Since U Been Gone but you can’t re-create a classic! ***

3. Do You Believe-Julie-Anne Dinnen: Okay, this isn’t going to blow anyone socks off! This is Do You Believe, a song by an inspirational cancer survivor named Julie-Anne Dineen. It claimed the top spot last week as a charity single for cancer survivors and rightfully so, Julie-Ann has a beautiful soft voice that stands as a fitting tribute to cancer survivors everywhere. This isn’t a big showbiz song, this is just a song about real life. ****

2. Poker Face-Lady GaGa: Ms. GaGa we salute you! Her second Number 1 in both Ireland and UK and with good reason. The song has that epic, hyped up quality that GaGa is all about. It opens with a growly, vocoded verse before breaking into that anthemic New Wavey chorus. Admittedly the “mum-mum-mum-mah!” and “p-p-p-p-poker face” hook is sort of annoying but I think we should all bow to the Queen of Electropop! ****

1. Right Round-Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha: Having finally reached the end of my blogging (when I’m sick mind!), I need to relieve all my tension and say: “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS DOING AT NUMBER 1?!” When Flo Rida first burst onto the scene in early 2008, I will admit I enjoyed his hits Low and Elevator but the time his third single In The Ayer was released, the novelty of Flo Rida had worn out. Now simply cos he samples a classic pop song You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record) by Dead Or Alive, he immediately hits Number 1. I mean this is just a crash commercial release dealing with the only topics Flo knows-sex, money and cars. This song is about pole dancing which falls into the sex bracket. The song has a bouncy rap, electronic music backing and over vocoded vocals from Ke$ha (or is it Katy Perry?). These are about the only good points about the song but overall, they’re not enough to save it! *

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