New Hits Friday: 15th February 2019

Seven new hits in the chart today.

Blueface and YG – Thotiana

It’s too repetitive and there’s not enough melody for me. There is a really nice instrumental towards the end though.

The video starts off nicely with the promise of a story about a high school American football team, but quickly descends into twerking girls and standing-around-next-to-cars, two of my least favourite tropes in rap videos.

CamelPhat, Cristoph and Jem Cooke – Breathe

Interestingly, this track has made me realise that there’s not been much EDM in the chart over the last year, whereas three or four years ago it was pretty much all you heard. It’s a fairly generic melody (and the vocal is sometimes reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams to the point of being derivative), but it’s got a good, danceable beat.

The video is standard-for-EDM trippy, with lots of dancing, flashing lights, smoke, and taking baths while clothed. All very pretty, but I don’t think it’s aimed at people who are in an unaltered mental state.

The Chainsmokers and 5 Seconds Of Summer – Who Do You Love

There’s too much going on with this track, and I’m not keen on the melody.

No video for this one yet.

Tom Walker – Just You And I

I like the rhythm, but the song’s a bit saccharine for me.

The video, however, is great – an awkward but endearing story about two people who wake up hungover and handcuffed to each other. Nowhere near as NSFW as it sounds!

Khalid – Talk

It’s a nice melody, and there’s something a bit retro about it, which is always appreciated.

There’s no video at the moment.

Ariana Grande – Needy

It’s quite a nice classic vocal, but I find the backing track a bit jarring.

Again, there’s no video for this one.

Ariana Grande – Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored

I just find this song a bit dull – I’m not sure what the hype’s about or why it went straight in at number one. However, Ariana’s chart battle with herself (she got the top two places this week plus another song in the top ten) did mean that we got a couple of nice chart history factoids from Scott Mills on the Official Chart show this week – the last solo female artist to be at both number one and number two at the same time was Madonna in 1985, and the last solo female artist to have three tracks in the top ten at the same time was Ruby Murray in 1955. I love chart history!

The video starts off with a generic ‘in da club’ scene, then becomes an uncomfortable and problematic story in which Ariana is trying to steal another girl’s boyfriend by copying her exact look, and then there’s a nonsensical twist in the last second implying that it was actually the girl Ariana was after, not the guy, despite the evidence of every other scene in the video. Still, making sense is not the point of music videos, so I’m just going to admire the pretty costumes and ostentatious party settings.

More new hits next Friday.

New Hits Friday: 8th February 2019

Four new hits in the chart today!

Lauv and Troye Sivan – I’m So Tired

Well, at least there’s a tune to it, and I quite like the electro-tinged backing track. It’s not hugely exciting though.

There’s no video for this yet.

21 Savage and J Cole – A Lot

The lyrical content of the rap is a lot cleverer than most stuff out nowadays, and I quite like the soul singing in the background.

The video, which compares the fronts people put on in public to the realities of their lives, features a lot of 20th century trappings like vinyl records, flashbulb photography, and classic dishes, so I’m all about it.

Fredo and Dave – All I Ever Wanted

Great epic electro atmosphere on the backing track, and the rhythm of the rap is quite nice. I’ve not been keen on Fredo’s previous stuff, but I quite like this one.

The video’s a fairly standard London rap video – urban setting, lots of weed – but at least there’s a semi-story going on.

Billie Eilish – Bury A Friend

Great beat, interesting and unusual vocals. Nice to have something different in the chart.

The video is suitably haunting and full of horror imagery, which I really, really like!

New Hits Friday: 1st February 2019

Six new hits in the chart this week.

Kehlani and Ty Dolla Sign – Nights Like This

It’s very generic, but at least there’s some melody.

The video, however, is great! It’s got an actual story, with a sort of robot-Frankenstein-betrayal thing going on (and Kehlani and Ty Dolla Sign actually playing characters in the story). So much better than dancing in clubs or standing around next to expensive cars!

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and 6ix9ine – Swervin’

I like the atmosphere and the bass-heavy backing track. On the whole, though, it’s not exciting enough for me.

There’s no video yet.

Little Mix and Ty Dolla Sign – Think About Us

Good beat, good pop tune. I quite like this one.

Again, no video for this one yet.

Yungen and Dappy – Comfortable

Really like the Caribbean sound on the backing track – it provides a great atmosphere. There’s not much of a hook though.

The video is a bit of a ‘standing around next to cars’ video, but there’s some interesting stuff going on with colour.

Dua Lipa – Swan Song

The instrumentals on the intro are quite interesting, and the atmosphere’s good (it’s from a film soundtrack so it’s appropriately epic), but the vocal’s not interesting enough for me.

The video ties in with the film, so it’s all very dusty and apocalyptic.

J Cole – Middle Child

Jarring instrumentals, repetitive rap. Not my thing.

No video yet for this track.

New Hits Friday: 25th January 2019

Three new hits in the chart today.

AJ Tracey – Psych Out

Generic and dull track. And if I never have to hear the word ‘Gucci’ in a chart hit again, it will be too soon. Do Gucci actually pay for all these mentions?

The video has quite a pretty mansion in the opening sequence, but soon degenerates into a riot of twerking strippers. NSFW and not recommended, unless you like that kind of thing.

Mabel – Don’t Call Me Up

I don’t find there’s anything particularly new about the melody. There’s a plinky piano bit on the bridge I quite like, but otherwise it’s all a bit samey.

There’s some nice colourful outfits and pop dance moves in the video though.

Ariana Grande – 7 Rings

It’s based around a slightly dodgy interpolation of My Favourite Things from The Sound Of Music. The track’s got a great atmosphere, though.

The video is all very pink and dreamlike.

New Hits Friday: 18th January 2019

Lots of new entries in today’s chart!

Khalid – Saturday Nights

I quite like the acoustic guitar, and it’s a pretty tune, but it’s a bit too sedate for my liking.

There’s no video for this one yet.

Flipp Dinero – Leave Me Alone

It’s got a good rhythm, but there’s not enough melody for me, and it’s very repetitive.

The video is all about smoking weed and dancing in supermarkets. Dancing in supermarkets is a bit of a trend in hip-hop videos at the moment.

Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved

It’s got a pretty tune and a lovely atmosphere, but it’s too slow and saccharine for me.

The video is just Lewis Capaldi playing guitar in what looks like a train station waiting room, but the surroundings are quite nice.

Catfish & The Bottlemen – Longshot

*blink* Is this…is this actual rock music in the chart? In 2019? Are my ears deceiving me?

I can’t tell you how refreshing this is. It’s not exactly the most original rock song ever, but OMG IT’S A ROCK SONG.

The video is black and white and there’s some stuff with an old truck, but it’s mostly a performance in a marquee, which is fine.

Westlife – Hello My Love

It’s a bit more upbeat and atmospheric than Westlife’s stuff usually is, but it’s still very cheesy.

There’s a lot of pretty stuff in the video like pink lights and rocks and colourful hot air balloons. It does have that awkwardness inherent in ‘manband’ videos though. Pick up some guitars or something, lads, the earnest singing poses aren’t really cutting it now you’ve been going for twenty-plus years.

Gesaffelstein and The Weeknd – Lost In The Fire

It’s got a great atmosphere and lovely retro synths. I really like this one.

The video is very arty and image-heavy, most of which is quite pretty.

Calvin Harris and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man – Giant

It’s got an okay tune, and I like the soul feel and the trumpets.

The video’s not been released yet.

Sam Smith and Normani – Dancing With A Stranger

It’s a nice tune, but it’s a bit generic.

Again, there’s no video at the moment.

New Hits Friday: 11th January 2019

A few new hits in today’s chart.

Lewis Capaldi – Grace

It’s a bit saccharine and slow for me, but it’s quite a nice tune.

The video is brilliant! It’s about Lewis Capaldi covering a job shift for his poledancer friend who’s got a bad knee. Not at all NSFW – it’s completely hilarious.

NSG and Tion Wayne – Options

The backing track’s quite nice and upbeat, with some retro-sounding lines, but the vocal’s pretty dull.

The video is a split-screen headache of dancing around in expensive cars and expensive trainers and ludicrously blingy watches.

Chris Brown – Undecided

Another classic song, in this case Shanice’s I Love Your Smile, ruined by a misplaced sample in a boring modern track. It’s just really bland and insipid.

The video at least has an actual story though, with Chris Brown breaking into an abandoned fairground where a ghost balloon takes him back to the past to dance with his (ex? dead?) girlfriend.

Headie One and Dave – 18 Hunna

It’s extremely repetitive, with no melody.

There’s some occasional nice arty touches in the black and white video, but on the whole it’s a bit brand-flashy and wealth-braggy for my liking.

New Hits Friday: 4th January 2019

New year, and the chart’s magically back to normal – all the Christmas songs have disappeared. Today’s new hits:

Russ – Gun Lean

It’ss a rap track with zero melody and thus not remotely my thing. There are also some grim lyrics (though it’s not nearly as bad as some others I’ve heard in the last year), meaning they didn’t play this one on the radio.

The video is a bit wealth-braggy with one of those Lamborghinis you never see in real life, but it gets bonus points for the sequence that was shot in a Sainsbury’s.

Cardi B – Money

Boring, no melody, extremely repetitive.

The video is pretty NSFW with lots of topless women wandering around some sort of weird bank.

Jax Jones and Years & Years – Play

It’s not super exciting, but there are some nice lines and I expect it will grow on me.

There’s no video for this yet.

Post Malone – Wow

Kind of dull. Could do with some more melody.

The video (for now – I’m not sure if they’ll make a live action one too) is a headache-inducing Christmas-themed animation.

Something else worth mentioning from this week’s chart: Baby Shark has made it to #6 – Top Ten for the first time! Some people must just have been watching the video all through the Christmas holidays.

New Hits Friday…uh, Saturday: 28th December 2018

No proper new hits in the chart this week, because most of the ‘new entries’ are actually re-entries of Christmas songs from previous years! A couple of them are actually marking their very first time in the Top 40, though, so let’s have a look.

Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

This was first released in 1963, but never charted in the UK until Christmas 2016, when it reached #74. It charted again at #77 the following Christmas, but it was only this week that it finally hit the UK Top 40 at #22!

There’s no video for this.

Katy Perry – Cosy Little Christmas

This is a brand new Christmas track for 2018, so I expect it will become a feature of the music channels around Christmas time in future years. It’s kind of cheesy and I expect it will take me a few years to warm to this one.

There’s no video yet.

The Jackson Five – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Originally released in 1970, but this is the first time it’s been in the Top 40!

There’s no video for this one either.

Most of the Radio 1 chart programme from yesterday was taken up with the chart of the year, so I’ll make a few observations about that once the final official 2018 chart has been confirmed by the Official Charts Company on New Year’s Day!

New Hits Friday: 21st December 2018

It’s the Christmas chart!  The most exciting chart of the year…although I have to say I was a little underwhelmed today.

Ariana Grande – Imagine

A pretty generic offering.  Still, at least it’s not a cover of the John Lennon song, like I’d feared!

There’s no video for this yet.

LadBaby – We Built This City On Sausage Rolls

This is the official 2018 Christmas number one, and urgh.  It’s a terrible parody cover of the Starship classic.  It would be okay if it were actually funny.  I know it’s for charity and everything, but I really thought after the last couple of years that we’d escaped the horrible twenty-year trend of novelty songs and covers being Christmas number one.

The video is just as awful as the song.

Oh well, there’s always next year.

New Hits Friday…uh, Saturday: 14th December 2018

Caught up with the chart this morning!

Only one new hit this week, as most of the chart was re-entries for Christmas songs.  It’s that time of year.

XXXTentacion – Whoa

I really like the vaguely Eastern-sounding xylophone-esque instrumentals at the start.  The vocals are a bit boring and repetitive though.

There’s no video for this one.