Top 50 Singles In Ireland: 3 April 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 3 April 2009. This is basically a rehash of last weeks charts but with any new entries added in afterwards.

50. Stuck With Each Other-Shontelle featuring Akon: A new entry into the Top 50, this is the second mid-tempo R&B single to be released by Shontelle. Soundtracking the Confessions Of A Shopaholic movie, this song drafts in Akon who just seems to be appearing everywhere these days like Timbaland was last year. Well this song is just as accessible, if not more so than previous hit T-Shirt, this is warm and comforting. Perfect for a rom-com really and Akon fits nicely in this track, ditching his signature nasal, Auto-Tune sound for some actual smooth vocals for once. Good but won’t set the World alight. (3/5)

49. Please Don’t Leave Me-P!nk: Hmmm, strange tune this is. It sort of drifts in between heartbroken ballad and up-tempo pop rock track. I dunno, there’s something about P!nk’s voice that ropes the listener in and I hope this does well. The slightly eerie “dah-dah-dah” backing vocals mix nicely with P!nk’s husky vocals and up-tempo guitar. But is anyone really annoyed that the genius music video which apes classic thrillers such as The Shining, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Misery with sprinklings of P!nk’s humour has been censored on the music channels. I urge you to look up the uncensored video on YouTube, you won’t be disappointed. (3/5)

48. 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. (4/5)

47. Grounds For Divorce-Elbow: It’s good to see some good rawk tunes get into the charts and no doubt this song has charted due to Elbow’s performance of it on Meteor Music Awards. But even better it’s great to see Elbow get the recognition they deserve over the years. Basically it combines the musical techniques of Muse with the husky English vocals of Guy Garvey, this is a treat to any prog rock fans. (4/5)

46. Breathe Slow-Alesha Dixon: Dropped one place this week, 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. (3/5)

45. Don’t Upset The Rhythm-The Noisettes: These are currently Number 2 in the UK charts and I must say it’s a pretty good song and The Noisettes are a group that have caught my interest. This song combines many different genres-pop, funk, disco, soul, electro. Not to mention quite danceable. Good debut single, thumbs up from me. (4/5)

44. 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. (5/5)

43. The Climb-Miley Cyrus: Miley comes back with her fourth hit on this side of the Atlantic. While you might expect a song which comes from the Hannah Montana Movie soundtrack to be a sugar coated slice of brainwashing, bubblegum pop, you’ll be surprised as The Climb is probably Cyrus’s most emotional song yet. Sort of following in the footsteps as BFF Taylor Swift, this song has a hint of country to it but Miley’s warbled lyrics and guitar playing in the video showcases a new maturity to the 16-year old. As far as I’m concerned, she’s much more impressive than the manufactured Britney Spears’ and Mandy Moores of yesteryear. (4/5)

42. 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? (4/5)

41. Human-The Killers: A non mover, The Killers returned with a good choice of single that 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! (4/5)

40. 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. (3/5)

39. The Galway Girl-Mundy and Sharon Shannon: Ah I see this has moved further up 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! (4/5)

38. Untouchable-Girls Aloud: Those Girls and Xenomania have done it again! Basically making another trancy floorfiller, this is similar to previous single The Loving Kind but more spruced up and danceable than last time. This has been reduced in length for its single release and the vocals have been vocoded a bit and I know many people aren’t happy with that but I quite like this single mix. You can judge for yourself but I like it alot! (4/5)

37. 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. (4/5)

36. 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! (2/5)

35. 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. (3/5)

34. Ireland’s CallIrish Rugby Squad featuring Simon Casey: Haha well seeing as the Irish Rugby Team had a grand slam last weekend, this was bound to creep into the charts. This tune basically combines patriotism, sportsmanship and novelty all in one combined with the smooth pop vocals of Simon Casey who was a runner up on You’re A Star  all them years ago and who we’ve heard nothing since. (3/5)

33. 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! (4/5)

32. Paper Planes-M.I.A.: Another non mover, 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. (4/5)

31. 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! (3/5)

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! (5/5)

29.  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. (4/5)

28. 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. (3/5)

27. 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. (3/5)

26. 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! (2/5)

25. Show Me Love-Steve Angello & Laidback Luke featuring Robin S: Okay, really I don’t have a lot to say about this track. It’s unoriginal Eurodance that will be successful for dancing drunkedly to a club. Well at this time of the year, these anthems tend to hit the charts. (2/5)

24. Use Somebody-Kings Of Leon: Will this song ever leave the Top 30???!!!! 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 30?? (4/5)

23. 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. (2/5)

22. Walking On A Dream-Empire Of The Sun: A sort of funky, Summery song by the Australian duo. Kind of irritating but likebale at the same time. Likeable beat, annoying vocals. I still prefer that other Australian duo: The Veronicas whose US Top 20 single Untouched has been cancelled for release here. Such a shame. (3/5)

21. 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. (3/5)

20. If U Seek Amy-Britney Spears: I guess it’s kind of refreshing to see that Britney’s only gaining controversy from her music rather than her personal life these days. Why is If U Seek Amy so controversial. Well Max Martin came up with a rather genius method of making If U Seek Amy sound like: “All of the boys/and all of the girls/are begging to If U Seek Amy (F-U-C-K me)” After the disappointing Circus, Britney uses this thumping and addictive electropop track once again to give a big middle finger up to all those that judge her. And yes we do all wanna If U Seek Amy U Britney! (4/5)

19. Talk You Down-The Script: Yes! I’m delighted to see this break the Top 20 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. (4/5)

18. 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. (3/5)

17. Not Fair-Lily Allen: Okay another new entry in the chart, this tune has got in there fast…and I like it! I heard this twice in the last two days and the lyrics and tone are already glued inside my head-always a sign of a good pop song. It also continues with The Fear‘s biting lyrics and electronica undertone but is freshened up by a sort of country style banjo backing. A very interesting new single by the always appealing Ms. Allen. (4/5)

16. 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. (3/5)

15. 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. (2/5)

14. 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! (3/5)

13. 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! (3/5)

12. 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! (5/5)

11. Love, Sex, Magic-Ciara featuring Justin Timberlake: This has shot right up the chart. I really can’t see why, it’s nothing we haven’t heard before but I guess Ciara and Justin are pretty and sex sells so there you go. Ciara hasn’t had a hit on these shores since Goodies in 2003 if my memory serves me well. Now in the Top 10 featuring on Enrique Iglesias track Takin’ Back My Love, she’s looking for a bit of a comeback here in Ireland. Well to be honest this is a very slick, polished dance track that has being ruling the American charts for the latter half of this decade. Really Ciara has a very generic R&B voice sounding like a cross between Keri Hilson and Ashanti. Timberlake is getting as bad as Akon for becoming a featured artist on tracks. I sound like I hate this tune but I don’t. There’s just nothing madly exciting about it. Plus the title of the song reminds me of the Red Hot Chili Peppers album Blood, Sex, Sugar, Magik for some reason and both music works couldn’t be further apart. (3/5)

10. 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. (4/5)

9. 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! (3/5)

8. Shake It-Metro Station: Those Cyruses are takin over the World I tells ya! And it looks like these guys are gonna be big too in their own right! 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. However, I’m increasingly loving this song but I’ll have to stick to my original rating sadly! (3/5)

7. Dead And Gone-T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake: Admittedly this song is really getting on my nerves now but I better stick to my original rating. 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! (4/5)

6. Miss You Most-Keywest: I’m not really too familliar with these guys but seeing as they’ve shot into No. 6 straight away, they must be good. I caught this song on YouTube, to me they sorta sound like Westlife with guitars only way more appealing. I’ll keep listening cos I’m intrigued and I think you guys should too. (3/5)

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. (3/5)

4. Halo-Beyoncé Knowles: 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. One of the best by Beyoncé no doubt about it to make up for the tedious Single Ladies! (5/5)

3. Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)-A.R. Rahman with The Pussycat Dolls: Or should it be A.R. Rahman with The Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger from The Pussycat Dolls and The Other Pussycat Dolls? This has just landed in the Top 3 already and I’m happy to see this. This song is gonna divide mixed opinion anyhow! Some people might ask why Rahman, a renowned Indian composer decided to remx this song with the commercial, manufactured Pussycat Dolls. Others might ask why the Dolls would desicrate the soundtrack of a wonderfully, acclaimed film with their innuendo filled lyrics and raunchy dances. And others might ask why are “The Pussycat Dolls featuring Nicole Scherzinger” are credited when only Scherzinger sings yet she’s a member of PCD but all the other four do is dance not even bothering to use them for background vocals. But Jai Ho! works generally due to the whole international, urgent beat of the song, the “JAI HO!!!!” hook provided by Rahman and Nicole’s whispery, hypnotic vocals right after the chorus. Basically it’s a typical Dolls’ track but with the extra esscence of Slumdog Millionaire. And so I rest my case. (4/5)

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! (4/5)

1. Right Round-Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha: No! No! No! Not another week at Number 1, this song really doesn’t deserve it! But hey the people have spoken. “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS DOING AT NUMBER 1?!” When Flo Rida first burst onto the scene in early 2008, I will admit I enjoyed his hits Low and Elevator but the time his third single In The Ayer was released, the novelty of Flo Rida had worn out. Now simply cos he samples a classic pop song You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record) by Dead Or Alive, he immediately hits Number 1. I mean this is just a crash commercial release dealing with the only topics Flo knows-sex, money and cars. This song is about pole dancing which falls into the sex bracket. The song has a bouncy rap, electronic music backing and over vocoded vocals from Ke$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! (1/5)

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