Sunday, 6 December 2009

Don't panic panic Mutya don't drive erratic...

but not this countdown just yet...

55. Charlotte Perrelli - Hero - 2008

Easily my favourite Swedish Eurovision entry of the noughties, 1999 winner Charlotte Nilsson had since married and changed her name to Perrelli (and since changed it back to Nilsson...). She returned to Melodifestivalen in 2008 and stormed to victory in the jury voting but came second to Sanna Nielsen's gorgeous Empty Room in the public televoting. The power of the jury was enough to send this schlager classic to Serbia 2008 and Charlotte, aided by the worst presentation of a song known to man (black and white through the first verse? horrendous makeup that made her look like catwoman) helped the song to fail to reach the final on televoting (again!) and once again relied on the juries to take her to the final, where she flopped in at 18th. Shame, because as generic and typically Swedish as it was, it is an incredibly strong pop song.

54. Nerina Pallot - Everybody's Gone To War - 2006

I recall first hearing this song at work a number of times during 2005, when I just assumed it was a Sheryl Crow track - I loved it, but dismissed looking further into it. So when the following year I heard that it was the comeback single by Nerina Pallot, who I had had a brief interest in circa 2001 and her debut album, Dear Frustrated Superstar, I was intrigued, and bought her album, Fires, which had come out in 2005, straight away. The album was re-released soon after, and the songs were given a fresh lick of paint to make them more commercial sounding, but both versions of the album are great. A hugely underrated British talent, Nerina is incredibly well spoken and charming, I even saw her live in a church in Brighton once!!! This song had a brilliant supermarket wars video where she looked very good, not too dissimilar from Jennifer Love Hewitt in face!!! A great, powerful pop song which should have been a far bigger hit.

53. Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone - 2005

I didn't have a great interest in Kelly Clarkson's first few singles to be honest but in early 2005, I first heard her new single, Since U Been Gone, and I was blown away to say the least. Ushering in a the pop-rock boom that has been so prevalent in the last five years, the 2002 American Idol winner went onto have her biggest hit (at that point) in the UK with this song and deservedly so. A fantastic sing-a-long track, absolutely amazing to watch live in concert (I've seen her twice!) - it also led the Breakaway album, which I shall go into more when it features in my top 50 albums of the decade countdown. Since U Been Gone is one of the decade's defining pop songs.

52. Carrie Underwood - Jesus Take The Wheel - 2006

Frome one American Idol winner to another, but there is still one more to come!!! Coutnry singer Carrie Underwood launched to fame when she won the 2005 competition, and has been the biggest selling act to have come out of the competition in the US, despite oddly never being launched anywhere else. The UK success of Taylor Swift's Love Story surely suggests that Before He Cheats could have been a huge Shania Twain style pop-country hit here!?! Jesus Take The Wheel, a ballad about a girl looking to Jesus whilst trying to get home safely to her family for Christmas, was easily the highlight of an incredible debut album. A powerful message and a melodic chorus which showcased Carrie's strong vocals brilliantly without being too preachy.

51. Groove Armada feat Mutya - Song 4 Mutya (Out Of Control) - 2007

Founding member Mutya Buena left the Sugbabes in late 2005 and took a break before launching into her solo career in 2007. Debut solo single, Real Girl, which sampled Lenny Kravitz, was nice enough and a huge hit, but the general feeling and hype was that the stunning electro pop song Song 4 Mutya, a collaboration with dance act Groove Armada, which first surfaced in early 2007 to the amazement of just about everyone who heard it, would be her biggest hit and a massive #1 in summer 2007. Unfortunately, despite extensive airplay the song didn't connect with the public quite as well as hoped, thanks largely to one of the worst, cheapest looking music videos of the decade, and the song limped up to a #8 peak despite easily being one of the highlights of 2007. For me, it's better than any Sugababes single, and shows the true potential that Mutya, who was always my favourite Sugababe vocally, has, that is unlikely to be seen again judging by her more recent solo work.

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