US No. 2 This Week: Katy Perry – Firework

Ah, we had to scrape the bottom of the barrel sometime, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be so soon…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGJuMBdaqIw

(sidebar: I think I’m going to stick to using Vimeo where possible, it’s much simpler than YouTube)

Now I should state for the record that I don’t really hate Katy Perry. Hot and Cold? Catchy, enjoyable song. Um…Teenage Dream isn’t so bad either? Well it’s still not her I hate. But I HATE the living SHIT out of this song.

It’s Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’ for a new generation of 14 year old fat girls who believe they’re going to marry Edward Cullen because he’ll see past their flaws when no one else will. The start of the song is innocuous enough until she references the only bad scene from American Beauty, which is actually the very first line, so it doesn’t stay innocuous for long. In then devolves into an array of analogies along the lines of, “Have you ever felt shitty?”

Presuming the depression of all listeners, Perry then reveals her true form as Queen of the Banshees. Her screech pierces the eardrums of all those who hear, instilling utter terror and shattering windows within a 10 kilometre radius. After some more vague platitudes she commands that ALL MUST BE FIREWORKS.

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AUS No. 2 This Week: Enrique Iglesias – Tonight (I’m Fucking/Loving You)

The song:

Apologies for using DailyMotion which also has shitty ads. Here is a link to the YouTube video because record companies suck butt and refuse to let people watch their artist’s videos in any context other than on YouTube where they can get ad money: here

I feel I was fairly kind yesterday on the number ones both here and in America. You might call it a honeymoon period, I don’t know. Perhaps a period of mild tolerance, but (because I’m trying not to spoil it for myself) I didn’t check what the number twos were after I wrote about the number ones. And to be perfectly honest with you, ‘number two’ is a damn good way to describe these songs.

Enrique Iglesias is enjoying a career resurgence thanks to some incredibly artificial, manufactured pop and the fact that he’s sexy and Latin. It’s a far cry from his previous biggest hit, ‘Hero’, which was about love and being there for his woman in her time of need and also how sexy he is. There’s really a lot of arrogant machismo underscoring his biggest singles, and ‘Tonight’ is no exception.

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US No. 1 This Week: Bruno Mars – Grenade

Oh, my dear Bruno. Janelle Monae called, she wants her hair back; and 1990 just called me, requesting the immediate return of their joke. Duly noted. Although I now have a fair understanding of why he wears that insufferable Justin Timberlake hat.

A good old heartbroken R&Bish ballad, ‘Grenade’ is a pretty cool slice of modern pop. Except that this song is worryingly obsessive. I don’t think we need to really take anything he says here too literally, but expressing your desire to “take a grenade” for someone – an odd enough turn of phrase since grenades explode based on a delayed timer rather than upon impact, so the whole idea of ‘taking’ a grenade for someone doesn’t really suit as well as the old cliché, the bullet – is taking a bit beyond, “Awww, he cares about her!” and into, “He has a camera implanted in a novelty-sized teddy bear in her bedroom” territory. SEMANTICS!

Now, I know there’s no sense in over-analysing a non-existent linear thread between an artist’s two separate songs, but doesn’t this seem like a really hilarious single to come off the back of ‘Just the Way You Are’? From, “You’re like, really pretty and I don’t mention your personality at all because you’re like, really PRETTY” to, “You kind of suck but I’m like, toooootally in luuurve witchu gurrrl”. It’s almost like he discovered just a little too late that the hot chick was actually a massive bitch.

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AUST No. 1 This Week: Wynter Gordon – Dirty Talk

Okay, so here goes, my first post proper. I’m aiming to cover the top 5 this week in the U.S and Australia (2 songs a day); next week will be any new songs in the top 5, and any overlap will be covered by other songs in the top 10-20.

WEEK BEGINNING 17TH JANUARY, 2011

Well, I’ve never heard of Wynter Gordon before, and my immediate issue is with her awful, awful name. Bad enough naming your child after a season but then also the intentional ‘different’ spelling which simply makes it look like your parents were either a) dyslexic or d) drunk/drugged, depending on which spouse was deciding the name. BUT WAIT! It’s apparently just her stage name; her birth name, in fact, happens to be Diana, which is pretty and reminds me of Diana Ross.

The first part of this song that becomes apparent is that Wynter (every time I type that, I cringe) actually does have quite a good voice. She has a nice falsetto. It reminds me a bit of Kelly Rowland, i.e Beyoncé Lite™. The beat starts with some handclaps – and I loves me some handclaps – and dives straight into the chorus, which is usually a solid gameplan for most good pop songs. It’s clear that this song plays into the overdone pop music zeitgeist of the day, as soon as she sings the words, “I am no angel.” Ah. I’m so glad we have another pop song about being a bit of a slut! We really just don’t have enough of those.

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Welcome to Charting Pop

Greetings, friends! Welcome to my new blog. As you may have extrapolated from the various places it is on your screen, it is called Charting Pop – which is just the kind of witty wordplay you can come to expect from me.

In short, Charting Pop is about pop music. As someone with older siblings, I was guided towards their musical preferences, which just so happens to be indie/alternative. Now, I know what you might be thinking at this point: “Oh boy, another hipster setting out to talk smack about pop music”. Well to that I say, kinda. In reality, my mission here is to further broaden my own appreciation of pop.

Despite the apparent simplicity, it is easily the most complex and nuanced of music genres. Each pop single is delicately designed, crafted and optimised for maximum sales, yet there is often still a straw-clutching grasp at artistic integrity – or at least, a pop star will try and claim that they have it.

Now, I don’t mean to be quite so reductive in my description of pop music. I’ve found that as I’ve slightly matured from a 15 year old who hated on almost everything outside of what he liked, to someone who is secure enough in their own tastes to [admittedly, begin to, I have a ways to go] be able to both accept those of others and, as the case may be, come to appreciate aspects of them as well.

A small disclaimer here, if I may: I am no expert, merely an enthusiast. I have no reputable critical opinion but posts on this blog will have me criticising songs and artists of all kinds, and I leave it to the discretion of the reader to evaluate the worth of said criticism.

My ultimate aim here is humour. Yes, I’m going to absolutely trash some songs, but there are definitely others I won’t. I can’t promise you’ll agree with my assessments of things either. The site will be very bare-boned for the moment, but I plan on introducing various segments which will occur once or twice a week maybe, to coincide with regular (attempted) daily posting.

So thanks for reading, I hope you’ll enjoy everything and I hope I get shitloads of people reading this sucker so I can get me some ad money. To close, one of my favourite pop songs of all time. Seeya later!