Saturday, 25 September 2010

GA solo battle: Cheryl vs. Nadine

So, having lived with the two songs for a couple of weeks, I feel that I can comment on this. Cheryl Cole's new single Promise This, leading her second album Messy Little Raindrops premiered a few days after the long awaited debut solo single from Girls Aloud bandmate Nadine Coyle, aka 'the voice of Girls Aloud'. Being something of a GA loon (I own all 21 singles, albums, DVD's etc... and bought the box set too) I was very excited to hear both of these. Promise This by Cheryl is pretty far removed from the three singles from her debut album. An electro pop stormer in a Saturdays vein, it has a catchy hook, a brilliant piano backing and some brilliant lyrics and chants in French. Definitely a winner and the video is very good too. That's four out of four Cheryl singles that I loved then. I can't decide which is the best out of this, 3 Words and Fight For This Love.

Over to Nadine then and her debut solo single Insatiable. Sadly not a Darren Hayes cover, this is a song that I loved from the very first play. A brassy strong intro, some have called it 'dated' but I really wouldn't say that personally. It sounds fresh purely because Nadine hasn't gone down the now tired RedOne soundalike route. An individual song, which suits her distinctive voice down to a tee, with a great chorus. At this moment in time I very slightly prefer Nadine's song but both are fantastic - I do miss Girls Aloud though, rather hugely. This time two years ago I was obsessed with The Promise and I have to admit to not liking either of these two solo singles quite that much. With Nicola, Sarah and Kimberley, they were part of something very special indeed, and I do hope that they fulfill their promise to get back together at some point. Tangled Up and Out Of Control were effortlessly good - critically acclaimed, solid and excellent pop music. Chart predictions for the two songs? Cheryl's is obviously a #1 - she could basically release anything as a lead and take it to the top at the moment. Nadine's not as famous these days and might have to settle for top three at best - assuming that radio get on board, which hopefully they will!!!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

The curse of the Euro hit in the UK...

What is it with nearly every huge European hit this year stalling between 21-40 in the UK charts this year? Sure they usually hang around for a while but I can't fathom why the UK is the only country where a lot of songs completely fail to properly catch on, when the rest of the continent are absolutely loving them. Aside from Yolanda Be Cool, who are Australian anyway, just with a typical Eurohit sound and legacy, only really Inna and Edward Maya have done brilliantly well in the UK charts this year, though the latter's Stereo Love only spent a month in the top twenty before spending an eternity in the bottom half of the chart where it remains even now. But what of Stromae's Alors On Danse (#27), Lena's Satellite (#30), Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) (#21), Keri Hilson's I Like (#34) and Hurts' Wonderful Life (#21). The latter are even from the UK! Granted they've scored themselves a top five debut album here but the song has absolutely blown up in the rest of Europe, yet their home country can't even put it top twenty!!!

It's been a strange year chartwise in the UK. Most of the biggest sellers have failed to top the charts - in fact it looks as if Eminem and Rihanna's #2 hit Love The Way You Lie will be topping the year to date chart soon!!! A lot of No.1 singles have been flash in the pan year 2000 type in one week and out of the top five the next (or at least down to the bottom of the top five). But the real confusion, for me, lies in this strange quirk of having all of the biggest European hits of the year doing so badly here. All I can chalk it up to is that they are not getting enough support here for whatever reason. Maybe the radio and TV bosses deem these songs to be less relevant to the UK than the rest of Europe. Maybe the UK follows and copies the US music scene more closely than anyone else.

Alors On Danse and Wonderful Life managed to get onto the Radio 1 playlist, somewhat surprisingly for the former, but it's received little support from elsewhere and hence isn't likely to go much higher than it already has. Waka Waka, I Like and Satellite meanwhile, all huge No.1 hits in Europe's other biggest market, Germany, haven't received any Radio 1 support whatsoever, let alone commercial radio support. It's sad to see that we seem completely out of touch with the rest of Europe with our charts, but hopefully these songs will go down as classic singles regardless of their peak - they all certainly deserve to. Whilst the UK enjoy disposable cod-reggae/carnival songs from X Factor alumni at the top of our charts, at least the rest of Europe are enjoying quality, decent music which is the real sound of 2010!!!