dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year—And Adios, 2010

Sitting at Pittsburgh International Airport, listening to Paul McCartney & Wings' "Jet" on repeat (the irony of which I didn't get until I just typed that sentence out) and getting ready to depart after a week visiting back home.

The above photo is one I took of the Andy Warhol Museum on Tuesday while driving (don't try that at home, chyldryn). Anyway, I have no year-end wisdom for this last post of 2010, so I'll just sign off noting that sometimes randomness and unplanned vacations can be the ones that are most memorable.

Somehow I'm flying back with new copies of Franz Kafka's The Castle (??) and Bret Easton Ellis' Imperial Bedrooms (despite swearing BEE off after reading Glamorama). Saw The Nutcracker. Met up with friends from college who introduced me to a hipster dive bar called The Brillobox, and even bumped into the guy who talked me out of buying Rick Astley's Whenever You Need Somebody on CD in 1994/introduced me to Electronic's "Disappointed" there. Got drunk. I had to do my first pull-over so someone could open up the car door and puke. Downloaded Duran Duran's new album with an iTunes gift card (thanks, Mom). Watched the first two full episodes of The Ed Sullivan Show that The Beatles appeared on. Spent quality time catching up with Moogaboo. And I drove around all week while playing Robyn, Goldfrapp, Alphabeat and Daft Punk.

Anyway, 2010—it was a year. Thanks for reading throughout the past 12 months, and for reading in general. Have a safe and happy New Year, and catch you in January 2011 (in other words, well, tomorrow).

If you haven't already, check out these classy Chart Rigger lists:

* The 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2010
* The 10 Worst Singles Of 2010 

And below are some of the interviews I did over the past 12 months. Good times, one and all.

* David Guetta
* Sia
* Taio Cruz
* Goldfrapp
* Natalia Kills
* Tom Chaplin of Keane
* Kylie Minogue (part one)
* Kylie Minogue (part two)
* Kylie Minogue (part three)
* Greg Thomas
* Adam Levine of Maroon 5
* Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. 
* Mark Salling ("Puck" on Glee)
* Corinne Bailey Rae
* Alex Da Kid

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" Might Actually Be Up There With Her 'Blackout' Trash

So, the two things that gays and fans of all things pop (same thing, really) are looking forward to: Lady Gaga's "big" announcement tomorrow night and the premiere of Britney Spears' new song "Hold It Against Me" a week later, on January 7.

The program director for New York's Z100 radio station told Entertainment Weekly this trash:
"It’s produced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin, and the beat that they give her is really unique compared to other artists — this infectious bass beat beneath the song.”
Well, let's face it—Britney's masterpiece was her 2007 album Blackout, which she made when she was cracked out of her gourd. (Her upcoming album is due out in March 2011.) If "Hold It Against Me" is half as classy "Radar" or "Break The Ice", then it might be worth it.

It's a post-Gaga world, and expectations are high. I don't think all that lip-sycing shit's gonna fly too well this time around, so hopefully Britney's tuned her robot pipes.

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US Chart Roundup: Enrique Iglesias Keeps F***in' His Way Up The Ladder

It's strange to think that "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" is only the fifth Top 10 U.S. hit for Enrique Iglesias since he first experienced mainstream pop crossover in 1999, but here we are. The single (naughty version: "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)") jumps from last week's position of #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 to #7, and gives the hot piece of Latin tail his second American smash in a row, following the #4-charting "I Like It."

So does it matter that Enrique had to totally sell his soul to the gods of Slutwave and basically become a male Ke$ha to start having hits again? Well, probably, but who's paying attention, anyway?

Meanwhile, Bruno Mars' "Grenade" is the new #1 single, after selling 559,000 downloads last week. Guess a lot of angsty kiddies with a pension for heartbreak got iTunes gift cards for Christmas? Billboard notes that "Grenade" experienced the third biggest sales week in paid digital download history (following records set by Flo Rida's "Right Round" in 2009 and Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" earlier this year.)

And I'll admit, I'm a little disheartened by the drop of Edward Maya's "Stereo Love" from #16 to #22, but maybe things will get sorted out once the holiday season passes.

Until then...

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars *1 week*
2. "Firework" - Katy Perry
3. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha 
4. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
5. "Raise Your Glass" - Pink 
6. "Black And Gold" - Wiz Khalifa
7. "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris & DJ Frank E 
8. "Bottoms Up" - Trey Songz feat. Nicki Minaj 
9. "The Time (The Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas
10. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

...And Then Howard Donald Took His Shirt Off

All of the members of Take That (except for Robbie Williamsuh oh!) are in Barbados, where Howard Donald took off his shirt on the beach and—well, who really cares what the rest of them were up to. (Actually, the That are performing a private gig in Barbados on New Year's Eve.)
Progress closed out 2010 by becoming the best-selling LP of the year in the UK (total copies sold: 1.8 million), and the final #1 on the album chart across the pond.

And then Howard took his shirt off.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

UK Chart Roundup: Take That Have The Best-Selling Album Of The Year

Take That's Progress is not only the top album in the UK for the sixth week in a row, it's also the best-seller of the year after moving nearly 2 million copies since its November release.

As for the singles on the final UK chart roundup (or the Top 10, at least), you can catch those below while my ass is off to the ballet in Pittsburgh.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "When We Collide" - Matt Cardle *2 weeks* 
2. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
3. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas
4. "Lights On" - Katy B feat. Ms. Dynamite *new* 
5. "Your Song" - Ellie Goulding
6. "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna
7. "The Flood" - Take That
8. "Firework" - Katy Perry
9. "Whip My Hair" - Willow
10. "Like A G6" - Far East Movement

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Lady Gaga Promises Info About Upcoming Album 'Born This Way' On New Year's Eve

Mother Monster Lady Gaga wished all her fans a Merry Christmas yesterday by tweeting that she's announcing something or other about her upcoming third release Born This Way at midnight on New Year's Eve:

Sorry, baby—like I'll be tearing myself away from Angry Birds for that.

Meanwhile, SHOWStudio.com posted a blog stating that photographer Nick Knight's (who's the director of SHOWStudio) new image of Gaga will be released on New Year's Eve.

Wild guess: the single title and cover art will be revealed? Or the album cover? Perhaps a pic of Gaga with a big apple dropping into her thong?

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas (Don't Look Back In Anger)

I'm leaving on a jet plane early tomorrow morning to spend Christmas and the entire next week reading magazines, watching bad TV and passing out on either my mom or my grandma's couch. (Welcome to the 30s!) And, who knows—I'll probably even hop on here now and then to bang out a few posts.

So happy holidays, everyone. Have a safe week, and why not revisit some of these classy Chart Rigger jams from the past 12 months?

* The 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2010
* The 10 Worst Singles Of 2010 
* Shakedown 1999: What Were You Doing That Year?
* Mixtapes, CD Singles & Being Boring—Tales Of A Lonely Teenage Nobody
* Chart Rigger's Bitchiest Reader Comments, Volume 2
* The 19 Most Essential Pet Shop Boys Non-Singles
* Chart Rigger Turns Five!
* Ke$ha Singing "Karma Police" At Age 13
* Lady Gaga & Beyonce Rev Up The Pussy Wagon: "Telephone" Video
* The Black Eyed Peas Announce Split
* Shayne Ward Is Working It All Out
* Sophie-Ellis Bextor & Adam Lambert: Flop City In The UK
* Greatest Video Ever: Countess LuAnn, "Money Can't Buy You Class"
* Christina Aguilera's 'Bionic' Disaster
* Take That's "The Flood" Video: Howard Donald's Sex Faces
* Great Kylie Jams That Missed The Top 10
* Is Pet Shop Boys' "Together" Their Most Disturbing Song Yet?

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Christmas Jams: "A Very Ke$ha Christmas"

That's not really Ke$ha in this trashy holiday-themed parody video is it? Oh, wait—it is. No, it's not. Or is it? No, can't be—the girl singing actually has a decent singing voice.

Anyway, enjoy CollegeHumor.com's "A Very Ke$ha Christmas"! Favorite line: "I've been a bad girl but don't give me coal / Give me some Jack, let me see your North Pole."

(Hold on—is that really her? No, can't be...)

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

U.S. Chart Roundup: Michael Jackson Lands His First Top 40 Hit In Eight Years

It's a quick roundup today, because D'luv's got some last-minute holiday shopping to do down at Hooker Central. And speaking of which, by now you've probably seen Enrique's Iglesias' raunchy video for "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)"? If not, watch here (and wear protection). The song itself climbs to #13 on this week's Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Just underneath Enrique in the video is a pile of strippers. But beneath Enrique on the chart, at #16, is Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina's "Stereo Love." At first I kind of dismissed this single as a useless trash, but I have to admit that it's hypnotized me at this point and made me love it. Well, okay—like it. When I decipher whatever the hell it is that broad is saying in the lyrics, then maybe I'll love it.

With "Hold My Hand" now up to #39, Michael Jackson lands his first Top 40 hit this week since "Butterflies" reached #14 in 2002. Over in the UK, EEEEEEEEEE-Heeeeeee!!!! fares even better, as "Hold My Hand" is currently at #10. I'm currently obsessed with "Monster" off Michael (which debuts at #3 on the Top 200 album chart) myself. It's pretty much my jam du jour.

Two notable debuts: Pink's Max Martin/Shellback-produced "Fuckin' Perfect" goes in at #86, making it the third song on the chart with the ultimate four-letter word in the title (after the naughty version of Enrique's "Tonight" and Cee Lo Green's Grammy nominated "Fuck You"). Meanwhile Mariah Carey's "Oh Santa!" finally crawls into the chart, at #100.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Firework" - Katy Perry *3 weeks*
2. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars
3. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
4. "Raise Your Glass" - Pink
5. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha 
6. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars
7. "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna 
8. "The Time (The Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas 
9. "6 Foot 7 Foot" - Lil Wayne feat. Cory Gunz *new*
10. "Just A Dream" - Nelly

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The UK's 40 Best-Selling Singles Of 2010

Earlier today NME posted the list of the UK's 40 Best-Selling Singles Of 2010. A few things about the roundup became caused me to arch an eyebrow, and I've noted them below. Check it:

* The United Kingdom seems to have missed on the strange phenomenon that is Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" for the most part—though not entirely. The song peaked at a lowly #18 across the pond, while here in the States it haunted the Top 10 for months (eventually reaching #3), has been certified quadruple Platinum and is the top-selling MP3 of 2010 on iTunes.

* The #1 song on the list didn't reach #1 on the UK chart.

*  There are only five entries in the Top 20 of the UK's Top 40 Best-Selling Singles Of 2010 that feature artists from the UK.

* Katy Perry sings on five of the 40 singles, which officially makes her the current consumers' choice for Queen Of Pop overseas. Or just plain evil.

* Two different versions of "Don't Stop Believin'" feature on the list.

* Matt Cardle's "When We Collide" is #20, despite having been released a mere week-and-a-half ago. By the same token, Lady Gaga's "Alejandro"—a song that's been available in the UK for over a year—is #40.

* Three of the songs listed here made it onto Chart Rigger's 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2010 list. Two appeared on the 10 Worst Singles Of 2010 roundup.

* Fucking Iyaz, man...

THE 40 BEST-SELLING SINGLES OF 2010 IN THE UK

1. Eminem feat. Rihanna, “Love The Way You Lie”
2. Bruno Mars, “Just The Way You Are”
3. Usher feat. will.i.am, “OMG”
4. Owl City, “Fireflies”
5. B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams, “Airplanes”
6. Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg, “California Gurls”
7. Yolanda Be Cool vs. DCUP, “We No Speak Americano”
8. Helping Haiti, “Everybody Hurts”
9. Rihanna, “Only Girl (In The World)”
10. Tinie Tempah, “Pass Out”
11. Alicia Keys, "Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down"
12. Rihanna, "Rude Boy"
13. Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce, "Telephone"
14. Plan B, "She Said"
15. Iyaz, "Replay"
16. Cee Lo Green, "Forget You"
17. Taio Cruz, "Dynamite"
18. Flo Rida feat. David Guetta, "Club Can't Handle Me"
19. Jason Derulo, "Ridin' Solo"
20. Matt Cardle, "When We Collide"
21. Glee Cast, "Don't Stop Believin'"
22. Journey, "Don't Stop Believin'"
23. Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars, "Billionaire"
24. 3OH!3 feat. Katy Perry, "Starstrukk"
25. Lady Gaga, "Bad Romance"
26. Eliza Doolittle, "Pack Up"
27. Katy Perry, "Firework"
28. Katy Perry, "Teenage Dream"
29. Eminem, "Not Afraid"
30. Tinie Tempah feat. Eric Turner, "Written In The Stars"
31. Timbaland feat. Katy Perry, "If We Ever Meet Again"
32. Sidney Samson feat. Wizard Sleeve, "Riverside (Let's Go!)"
33. Jason Derulo, "In My Head"
34. Scouting For Girls, "This Ain't A Love Song"
35. K'naan, "Wavin' Flag"
36. Ellie Goulding, "Starry Eyed"
37. The Wanted, "All Time Low"
38. B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars, "Nothin' On You"
39. Example, "Kickstarts"
40. Lady Gaga, "Alejandro"

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Enrique Iglesias Gambles With His Raunchy "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" Video

The music video for the "classy" version of Enrique Iglesias' new jam "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)"—aka "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)"—has arrived, and the Latin stud gets up to some kinky shit in it.

Right off the bat he's looking all tortured at some strip club, where he throws one of the "entertainers" against the wall and begins groping her fishnets. Then the song fades out and we switch to Ludacris, who's in the back of a limo with a pack of broads listening to Shirley Temple. (I told you this shit was kinky.)

Finally, everyone ends up in Mexico, where they gamble then pile up for hot group sex in a hotel bed. Way to go, Enrique—it's really all about the craft and the art of the song with you, isn't it?

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Interview With Alex Da Kid

My interview with Los Angeles-based, London-born producer Alex Da Kid (Eminem & Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie", Diddy-Dirty Money & Skylar Grey's "Coming Home", T.I. & Christina Aguilera's "Castle Walls"), who's up for five Grammys, is now posted over at Idolator.

Here's a hot quote from our one-on-one:
"My dream collaboration is definitely Lil Wayne and Cher. [Laughs] That would be fun! I would make Lil Wayne sing and have Cher do some gangster stuff. It’s sort of a joke, but at the same time I think that would be cool. I want to do things that have not necessarily been done in hip hop, things that create interest for people. So I’m joking when I say Wayne and Cher, but it’s not too far from what I think."

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Gary Barlow Joins Coldplay On Stage

You may recall when Take That's Gary Barlow joined Coldplay on stage for a rendition of "Back For Good" almost two years ago during a War Child charity gig. Gaz was once again brought out on stage on Sunday during a not-so-secret Royal Court show in Liverpool that Colplay put on to benefit the homeless charity Crisis. And once again they did Take That's 1995 hit "Back For Good."

That's comedian Peter Kay throwing food out to the audience toward the end of the clip.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

The 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2010

It seems like only yesterday when trusty sidekicks in all things pop Moogaboo and D'luv sat down to sift through 10 years of jams to come up with the Chart Rigger list of the Top 40 Singles Of The '00s—yet here we are already doing our first Best list of the new decade.

Sure, radio let itself get clogged with chum on occasion throughout the past 12 months (see our 10 Worst Singles Of 2010 roundup). But here we're highlighting the songs that didn't make you want to go shoot up a strip mall every time you heard them. As usual, the singles listed need only have reached their peak chart position within 2010, even if they were technically released the year prior.

10. Usher, "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love"
Moogaboo says: "Remember that time Usher went on E! and talked about getting a colonic? Well this year he gave his career a colonic, flushing out the r&b sound people stopped liking and infusing his colon—I mean songbook—with more current, classy dance beats. I loved it, and isn't that all that matters?"
D'luv says: "Thank Christ I have no recollection of that. Poor Usher can't sing this song live to save his life, but hey–welcome to the world of having a Max Martin-produced hit. This driving, out-of-nowhere surprise was a radio life jacket amidst a sea of 'Airplanes' and 'Billionaire' this past summer."
Charts: AUS #3, US #4, UK #7

9. Goldfrapp, "Rocket"
D'luv says: "I'm still stunned that the UK treated the Atari-on-the-dancefloor greatness of Head First with all the warmth of Madonna's frozen-over Arctic snatch. Oh, well. The duo got the last laugh by scoring two Grammy nominations."
Moogaboo says: "Goldfrapp were totally having a Flashbeagle moment and I love that it might win a Grammy. 'But I still wanna know/ how she got in the door' is also an adorably bitchy pop lyric."
Charts: US DANCE #1, GER #32, UK #47

8. Adam Lambert, "Whataya Want From Me"
D'luv says: "Glambox could probably sing pages of the phone book and make it sound interesting. But this jam proved that with the right songwriters and right material, he could suddenly go from being good to iconic. Too bad there weren't more tracks like this on his debut album."
Moogaboo says: "Note to Lambo: be P!nk more often."
Charts: AUS #4, SWE #8, US #10

7. Rihanna, "Only Girl (In The World)"
Moogaboo says: "As far as the current wave of nu-dance goes, only RiRi's really gotten the essence of house music's pulsating, hedonistic abandon. No jerky stops and starts for her, which is what makes 'Only Girl' so irresistible: it's almost menacing in its insistence that you dance."
D'luv says: "God bless RiRi and her tireless work ethic. This jam had its haters from the get-go, but I loved the throbbing hotness from the first listen. Seriously, slap on some good headphones, crank it up and try to tell me that bass at 1:16 doesn't make your soul shake."
Charts: US #1, UK #1, AUS #1, CAN #1

6. Kylie Minogue, "Get Outta My Way"
D'luv says: "There seemed to be such a rush of love for Kylie's Aphrodite right out of the gate that it appeared to have dried up by the time second single 'Get Outta My Way' arrived (except on the U.S. dance charts, where dreams—no matter how irrelevant—still come true, kidz). Still, there's no denying this was the giddy standout on an already A+ album."
Moogaboo says: "Kylie's career is getting to the point where there aren't many options left between 'completely spent' and 'desperate', so I love that she managed to do something that sounded somewhat effortless and fun. This was the most-played song of 2010 at chez Moogaboo, so of course that means it had to flop."
Charts: US Dance #1, BEL #5, UK #12

5. Hurts, "Wonderful Life"
D'luv says: "If the New Millennium conjured up Lady Gaga as its answer to Madonna, then surely Synth-Pop Land needed a modern-day Pet Shop Boys, too. The drama-soaked beats of 'Wonderful Life' deservedly made Hurts a buzz-y act in 2010, while the Arthur Baker mix only added extra sparkle to the duo's cool factor."
Moogaboo says: "These babes won me over with their stylish sense of drama. If they don't make out with each other next year, I'll be totally over it! But yes, it was all about that Arthur Baker mix with it's rattling polyrhythms and Shannon-derived whipcrack."
Charts: POL #1, GER #2, SWI #4, UK #21

4. Alphabeat, "DJ"
D'luv says: "A Danish pop act making an album of songs inspired by late '80s/early '90s Italo house act Black Box (a staple on the stereo D'luv during the teen years)—why, how could it fail? Don't answer that. I effing love this album, and 'DJ' never ceases to make me grin from ear to ear."
Moogaboo says: "Martha Wash is waggin' a sassy finger at Alphabeat from her perch up in heaven! (I know she's still alive, but I bet she has an all-access pass to universes both real and mythological.)"
Charts: DEN #6, UK #116

3. Cee Lo Green, "Fuck You!"
D'luv says: "I liked this song. Then I loved this song. Then I was over this song. Now I kinda love it again. It could have been higher here on our Best list were it not for the sheer novelty factor. Like, can you picture Cee Lo having another solo hit this big (without an expletive in the title) ever again?"
Moogaboo says: "Well, no, I can't. But who can say for sure? Maybe he's the next Kylie! And even though he seems to have scammed this idea from the inimitable Lily Allen, I'll give him points for upping the bile and attaching it to an even funkier faux-Motown beat."
Charts: UK #1, AUS #5, SWE #6, US #9

2. Katy Perry, "Teenage Dream"
D'luv says: "And now we get to the song that both perplexes me and fills me with whimsical butterflies to no end. I absolutely, hands-down love 'Teenage Dream' and think it's one of the best pop songs in recent memory. That said, when I think of Katy Perry and her Jesus tits, I wanna wrap both hands around her neck and spare the universe from ever having to hear her low-rent, bottom-of-the-barrel live vocals again. But look—I'm just chalking the quality of this jam up to maestros Dr. Luke and Max Martin. If a real singer (say, Kelly Clarkson) had belted this out, it would have been #1 here."
Moogaboo says: "I agree, Kelly could more convincingly portray the protagonist of 'Teenage Dream'—a forty-something, out-of-shape suburbanite yearning to recreate the exploits of youth with the lanky new paperboy. What a missed opportunity. However, Katy's bubbly personality and bouncy boobsiness still manage to put this one over the top. Pop heaven."
Charts: US #1, POL #1, UK #2, GER #6

*POP SINGLE OF THE YEAR*
1. Robyn, "Dancing On My Own"
D'luv says: "No one does stunning, addictive dancefloor heartbreak as deftly as Robyn. And while the broad made us wait nearly half a decade for new material, 'Dancing On My Own' made me realize that patience is indeed a virtue, and that crying under a strobe light is the most bittersweet kind of joy."
Moogaboo says: "Oh, Robyn—you glittering disco sad-sack. I love your highly effective heartbreak tunes. Truth be told, I never thought you'd top 'With Every Heartbeat', 'Be Mine!' or 'Show Me Love'. Then you go and do it again with this, the perfect soundtrack for shedding tears beneath said strobe light while that hunk you just met in the men's room makes out with some ho across the dancefloor. Go on breaking my heart."
Charts: SWE #1, US Dance #3, UK #8



ALSO SEE:
* The 10 Worst Singles Of 2010
* The Top 40 Pop Singles Of The '00s
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2009
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2008
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2007
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2006
* The Best Pop Singles Of 2005

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

UK Chart Roundup: Matt Cardle Avoids The Trashmen, Debuts At #1

No surprise here: Matt Cardle, winner of The X Factor 2010, has debuted at #1 in the UK with his elevator-friendly "When We Collide." Where's a good ol' Rage Against The Machine-like Facebook upset campaign when you need one, you ask? Oh, right—that would be The Trashmen's 1963 jam "Surfin' Bird", which sadly only managed to scrape in at #3. Better luck next year, kids. Likewise, Biffy Clyro's original version of "When We Collide", "Many Of Horror", re-enters the chart at #8.

Michael Jackson and Akon's "Hold My Hand" climbs to #10, giving the Gloved Corpse his first new Top 10 hit in the UK since "One More Chance" went to #5 in December 2003.

Meanwhile, over on the album chart, MJ's Michael debuts at #4. Here in the States, the posthumous collection of Jacko jams (that surprisingly doesn't suck) is going toe-to-toe with Susan Boyle's The Gift in the final countdown to next week's #1 on the Top 200.

And while we do seem to love our SuBo over here—the enchanting Vocal Sex Queen Of Scotland's The Gift has been #1 for four non-consecutive weeks now—it's Take That's Progress that truly rules the man band's home country. The album is #1 for a fifth week, and thus becomes the last chart-topping LP of 2010 across the pond.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "When We Collide" - Matt Cardle *new* *1 week* 
2. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
3. "Surfin' Bird" - The Trashmen *new*
4. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas 
5. "Your Song" - Ellie Goulding
6. "The Flood" - Take That
7. "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna 
8. "Many Of Horror" - Biffy Clyro
9. "Whip My Hair" - Willow
10. "Hold My Hand" - Michael Jackson feat. Akon

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Friday, December 17, 2010

It's A Very Short Snippet Of Avril Lavigne's New Single "What The Hell"

When I think of artists who need a good strangling, Kanye West and Katy Perry instantly come to mind first. Then, once that murderous cloud fades, there lies Avril Lavigne's smirking face.

As mentioned earlier this month, Avril's fourth album Goodbye Lullaby is due out March 8. Ahead of that, here's a 35-second snippet of her so far not-unlikeable first single from the LP, "What The Hell."



This is apparently one of the Max Martin jams on Avril's album (according to the ever-reliable Wikipedia).

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Take That And A Bunch Of Naked Guys Do The 2010 Royal Variety Performance

Take That, Kylie Minogue and way less talented people who lip sync like Chart Rigger 10 Worst Singles Of 2010 honoree Cheryl Cole took to the stage at London's Palladium last night for the Royal Variety Performance.

The That did their UK hit "The Flood" and "SOS", and during the former they had an army of practically naked dudes on stage with them, apparently acting out the poses on the cover of new album Progress—which, let's be honest, isn't really really as weird as choosing "SOS" as the next single instead of "Happy Now."

Wonder if the Queen dug it?



Here's Kylie:

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vampire Weekend Cover Cheryl Cole's "Fight For This Love", Sound Better Than Cheryl Cole

NYC band Vampire Weeekend had a #1 album earlier this year with Contra, and earlier today they hit up BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge and covered Chart Rigger's 10 Worst Singles Of 2010 honoree Cheryl Cole's debut solo single "Fight For This Love" (aka the only Cheryl Cole solo single I've ever been able to stomach).

It's pretty hot when Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig, who admits none of them knew who Cheryl was when they first heard the song, sings her signature jam better than her.

Said Koenig to Live Lounge DJ Fearne Cotton, "One day we were in the car driving to the airport and we heard a song that reminded is of K-Ci & Jojo ‘All my Life’ which is a very important song for people our age. We were like 'This song is awesome'. Then we saw her on tabloids. Who knew she was famous?”

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U.S. Chart Roundup: The Black Eyed Peas Sink, Duffy Flops And Enrique Keeps Fuckin'

Katy Perry's "Firework"—an enormously mediocre follow-up to "Teenage Dream"—is #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 once again, thus breaking the weekly turnover we'd seen at the top of the chart over the prior six weeks. "Firework" is also the final #1 single the Hot 100 in 2010 (the new chart is dated December 25).

Meanwhile, thankfully the Black Eyed Peas' "The Time (Dirty Bit)"—a Chart Rigger 10 Worst Singles Of 2010 honoree—has begun to slide down the Top 10 (this week from #4 to #8). Their rushed, shit album The Beginning also takes a dive over on the Top 200, and drops from #6 to #16. Our UK friends weren't so lucky, however—"The Time" is currently the #1 single across the pond.

Speaking of our friends overseas and the album chart, two ladies from the United Kingdom fare rather poorly here in the States with their latest LPs. Duffy's sophomore effort Endlessly limps in at #72 like an aged prostitute after a skiing accident (and you know the type of poles I'm referring to, chyldryn) checking into the free clinic.

And then there's Natasha Bedingfield, whose third album Strip Me crashes and burns at #103 after the Ryan Tedder/Wayne Wilkins-produced title track that sounds exactly like Jordin Sparks' "Battlefield" failed to catch on at radio (although it does re-enter the Hot 100 this week at #91).

Poor Nat. She should just resort to selling naked photos of her brother's butt from the period when he was hot to people like me. I'd pay at least a dollar for that shit!

Back on the Hot 100, two dance jams begin to inch their way toward the upper reaches of the chart: Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)" moves from #20 to #15, while Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina's "Stereo Love" is up from #24 to #19.

Finally, Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" debuts at #68. So there, Duffy.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Firework" - Katy Perry *2 weeks*
2. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
3. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars
4. "Raise Your Glass" - Pink
5. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha 
6. "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna 
7. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars
8. "The Time (The Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas 
9. "Just A Dream" - Nelly
10. "Bottoms Up" - Trey Songz feat. Nicki Minaj

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Favorite Albums Of 2010

Today my Idolator colleagues and I posted our 10 Out Of '10: Idolator's Favorite Albums Of The Year feature. I admit, there were way more good singles than full LPs this year—but a few artists still managed to craft decent records. Head on over to see which yours d'luvvly singled out!

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'X Factor' Winner Matt Cardle's "When We Collide" Video: Just As Boring As The Song Itself

Get excited, the UK! You now have your very own reality TV-made pop star as completely dull as Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze! There really are no words for this trash...



...other than it's going to be #1 next week. Hoo-razzy.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So, There's This Rumor That Shayne Ward May Be Dropped By Simon Cowell :(

I'd take this with a grain of salt, as the original source is apparently News Of The World, but Digital Spy published info and quotes yesterday hinting that if Shayne Ward's next single—apparently the title track from his third album Obsession—doesn't perform well, he'll get the axe from Simon Cowell's SyCo roster.

Well, at least I'm taking it with a grain of salt. Then again, if Shayne isn't bogged down with silly things like recording music, maybe he can spend more time doing photo shoots like the one above (for the December issue of UK Cosmopolitan).

Anyway, says "a source":
"Shayne is finished at SyCo. Simon has tried his best to turn him into a star but it simply hasn't worked. He gave Shayne one more chance after ending his working relationship with Louis but his music hasn't connected with the public.

"The chances of him being a popstar again are incredibly low. It's a huge personal blow to Shayne. For a long time people thought he'd become the next Robbie Williams. But the music industry is ruthless and he is costing the company a lot of money at the moment."

"Shayne is also quite arrogant about his music [and] isn't the easiest person to work with. He will be quietly let go next year and the focus will turn to the new crop of X Factor contestants."
Strange. Shayne hardly comes across as arrogant or difficult to work with. In fact, at times he seemed to be very publicly bending over backwards (and, sadly, not the other way around) to get this album out there.

That said, Obsession peaked at #15 on the UK chart, while first single "Gotta Be Somebody" squeaked in at #12. Time will tell—but wouldn't you much rather watch Shayne Ward singing at you than Matt Cardle?

Maybe it's all stemming from comments Shayne supposedly made about recent X Factor contestants One Direction lip sycing? I will say this, though—I ordered Obsession from Amazon UK four weeks ago, and the damn thing never arrived. Bad omen?

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Monday, December 13, 2010

And If You Don't Like It, Fuck You: The 10 Worst Singles Of 2010

It never fails—each year brings a new bucketful of rotten singles, causing trusty Chart Rigger sidekick Moogaboo and I put on the rubber gloves and fling them into the trash bin where they belong every December. And 2010 was certainly no exception! Below are the 10 biggest culprits of noise pollution we found lurking around the airwaves over the past 12 months.

10. Christina Aguilera, "Not Myself Tonight"
Moogaboo says: "The public deflation Xtina's bloated sense of entitlement was one of the more entertaining disasters of the year. Lucky for her, the ball-gag muffled any potential screaming tantrums."
D'luv says: "I will proudly admit that this song was one of my guilty pleasures in 2010. But I can also appreciate the sheer magnitude of flopdom is represents for Xtina's career. Plus, it wasn't the ultimate guilty pleasure. So here we are."
PREVIOUS TRIUMPH: Christina soared to #6 on our Worst list in 2006 with "Ain't No Other Man."

9. Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow, "Shame"
Moogaboo says: "I realize this is supposed to be the 'full-circle' portion of the Robbie Williams redemption story, but I find him tiresome and his continued attempts at relevance more pathetic with each passing year. Next."
PREVIOUS TRIUMPH: Robbie proudly reached #4 on our Worst list in 2006 with "Rudebox."

8. B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams, "Airplanes"
D'luv says: "Maybe if this song wasn't rammed up my ass every time I turned on the radio over the past six months, it wouldn't be here on this list. Alas..."

7. Cheryl Cole, "Promise This"
D'luv says: "If Cheryl used her mouth for something other than lip-syncing crap trash like this every time she got on a stage, she'd probably be able to keep a man."

6. Nadine Coyle, "Insatiable"
D'luv says: "How cute—she thought she had a career other than the pole."

5. Estelle, "Freak"
Moogaboo says: "Someone needed to pull this doll aside and say, 'No. Just no.' Sadly, they didn't, and that's how Estelle went from Grammy winner to dumpster barnacle in one short year."
D'luv says: "Wow—this really was a colossal flop on every level. Of course, if I paid a producer tens of thousands of dollars and this was the dreck they came up with for me, there would most definitely be a homicide."

4. Mike Posner, "Cooler Than Me"
Moogaboo says: "Finally, an anthem for insecure dildos."

3. The Black Eyed Peas, "The Time (Dirty Bit)"
D'luv says: "Good ol' Black Eyed Peas—always there to remind us that shit sells."
Moogaboo says: "So true. This completely wipes out any good will they may have accrued with 'Meet Me Half Way' and reminds me that they're the same bozos who did 'My Humps'."
PREVIOUS TRIUMPH: The Peas easily sailed to #5 on our Worst list in 2009 with "Boom Boom Pow", while Fergie received accolades when we dubbed "London Bridge" the #1 worst single of 2006.

2. Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars, "Billionaire"
D'luv says: "I wanna be a billionaire, too, so I can buy a city block and drop it on Travie McCoy's head."
Moogaboo says: "Deserves a punch in the face for the porkpie hat and suspenders alone."

1. Artists For Haiti, "We Are The World 25 For Haiti"
Moogaboo: "This doomed flotilla of Z-listers (and Streisand) capsized quickly, but I like to think their semi-sincere efforts did some good. Otherwise, we endured Jamie Foxx's obnoxious Ray Charles impression again for nothing."
D'luv says: "Apparently it takes 80 or so people to fuck up a classic, stage the biggest non-event of the year, give Vince Vaughn a reason to sing and then, ultimately, flop. But, hey, man—Bieber."

ALSO SEE:
* The Worst Singles Of 2009
* The Worst Singles Of 2008
* The Worst Singles Of 2007
* The Worst Singles Of 2006

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