Jun 12

It’s The EDM Of The World As We Know It

FT11 comments • 1,017 views

It is time for me to get back in touch with The Kids, by listening to the UK Top 40 and putting it in order of how much I like it as I go. Best to worst.

  1. RUDIMENTAL ft JOHN NEWMAN – “Feel The Love” – Once upon a time my child there were dance tracks which did different things in one song and had surprises in / HAW HAW GRANDAD IS TELLING US OF THE OLD TIMES AGAIN. The bit where this turns into Dexys on the breakdown >>> the new Dexys album BTW. (I like the new Dexys album but that bit is GREAT)
  2. NICKI MINAJ – “Starships” – It could just be branding that makes me like this more than the grillion things which sound like it. But I don’t think so.
  3. SKRILLEX – “Bangarang” – BORAG THUNGG SKRILLEX. Thrill power overload! You only need 1 in 4 of his tracks though, such is the way of pop.
  4. D’BANJ – “Oliver Twist” – Hey, I like Beyonce too!
  5. DJ FRESH FT DIZZEE RASCAL – “The Power” – I realised during the Calvin Harris debacle that Dizzee’s voice just plain SUITS lowest common denominator cash grabs. It’s wrong, I know, I know, but it’s true. This sounds very much like 5ive if they could rap, i.e. great.
  6. CARLY RAE JEPSEN – “Call Me Maybe”
  7. PITBULL – “Back In Time” – This is exactly what a Men In Black soundtrack single ought to sound like, pop-rap fun for all ages and Pitbull as breathlessly enthused as a kid at Disneyland.
  8. JUSTIN BIEBER FT BIG SEAN – “As Long As You Love Me” – Post-prosperity gloomfest from Bieber, austerity has not yet touched the wobbly noise reserves tho.
  9. PROFESSOR GREEN ft RUTH ANNE – “Remedy” – I just enjoy Professor Green’s voice to be honest. He’s a cheeky fellow.
  10. KELLY CLARKSON – “Dark Side” – All the goodwill in the world to her, this builds splendidly on the verses into a disappointing CGI Perrygeddon chorus. Has a middle eight, a quaint old luxury that.
  11. KATY PERRY – “Wide Awake” – Speak of the devil! I like how she’s coming on like a grizzled veteran. Best song about not googling Russell Brand before marrying him ever.
  12. COLDPLAY FT RIHANNA – “Princess Of China” – A preposterous folly which my inner 50 quid man rather likes. Prog’n’B direction pls.
  13. FLO RIDA FT SIA – “Wild Ones” – Who will rid me of my strange affection for interchangeable EDM rap verses?
  14. AN ALGORITHM PRETENDING TO BE MAROON 5 – “Payphone” – For me this is the definitive version of “Payphone”. Maroon5_ebooks.
  15. TRAIN – “Drive By” – You like a Coldplay track and next thing you know… Sizeable chorus. Sounds like a creditable Danish Eurovision entry. It’s a slippery slope even so.
  16. AVICII – “Silhouettes” – The music’s not exactly prizewinning but Avicii at least sounds interesting, takes a different route from bosh’n’bellow.
  17. LOREEN – “Euphoria” – Still glad this won Eurovision ahead of whatever shite japesters were in the running. Unless they were Train.
  18. RIHANNA – “Where Have You Been?” – Give it a rest with those bloody synths!
  19. ALEX CLARE – “Too Close” – WUB WUB WUB, not down w/ his ‘bluesy’ voice though.
  20. DOT ROTTON – “Overload” – Should have done more with that sample really. Portentious stuff, we live in heavy times.
  21. NELLY FURTADO – “Big Hoops” – suddenly gets really good 30 seconds before the end. FFS Nelly.
  22. USHER – “Scream” – Not so bad when it’s sung well, this stuff.
  23. GOTYE ft KIMBRA – “Somebody That I Used To Know” – Good chorus but, I don’t know, his voice on the verses feels like he’s about to lick my ear.
  24. EMELI SANDE – “My Kind Of Love” – SRS BUSINESS, kind of sort of post-Adele? Bit too SRS for my liking.
  25. FUN. FT JANELLE MONAE – “We Are Young” – Amazingly the first time I’ve heard this! It is a lot cleverer than, say, Train, has more ideas, bags of character, it’s just really, really, really annoying me.
  26. TULISA – “Young” – What are the chances eh?
  27. RITA ORA ft TINIE TEMPAH – “RIP” – Tinie Tempah got super charmless quite quickly!
  28. TREY SONGZ – “Heart Attack” – Applying the big room filter to an R’n’B ballad is just so pointless.
  29. PALOMA FAITH – “Picking Up The Pieces” – chews her vocals too much for me to work out what’s wrong.
  30. THE WANTED – “Chasing The Sun” – Unintentionally comic effect as a bunch of lads try to do a soaring trance chorus and end up with the world’s politest terrace chant. If these lyrics were for the Stone Roses comeback single the fans would love it.
  31. LADY ANTEBELLUM – “Need You Now” – No problem w/this song at all but it’s old, grandpa. (I guess someone sung it on a TV show?)
  32. JESSIE J ft DAVID GUETTA – “Laserlight” – The theme of this is basically “Super Trouper” no? I like it when she goes “David G!” and there’s a 2-note synth solo.
  33. SOMEONE OFF THE VOICE – “Higher Love” – This is a good song, thankyou for reminding me of it Mr Off The Voice.
  35. CHERYL – “Call My Name” – An idea supervoid.
  36. CALVIN HARRIS ft NE-YO – “Let’s Go” – Criminal waste of Ne-Yo, would shame even Guetta.
  37. LABRINTH – “Express Yourself” – Labrinth NO put the sample DOWN it’s not yours. He has not yet lived up to the first three seconds (“Labrinth – COME IN“) of Earthquake. :(
  38. ED SHEERAN – “Small Bump” – His Wikipedia page has a section for philanthropy and he is clearly a very thoughtful person.
  39. LAWSON – “When She Was Mine” – What kind of boyband name is Lawson?! As in Nigella? God help us NIGEL? Rhythm guitar presets like wilted lettuce.
  40. GARY BARLOW AND THE MILITARY WIVES – “Sing” – No future.


  1. 1
    swanstep on 28 Jun 2012 #

    Y’know, I’ve not been especially charmed by ‘Call Me Maybe’ but in this company it’s a gem (although ‘Feel the love”s OK I suppose). I hereby take back ever semi-dismissive thing I’ve said or thought about it.

  2. 2
    Billy Hicks on 28 Jun 2012 #

    This time a year ago I’d have been able to name and love every single track in the charts, so connected were they with my life. But being swamped with final exams & the like and being too busy to party, I’m at a loss for a lot of these – somewhat scary at the age of 23, this shouldn’t happen for another three years at least, surely? Maybe once I’ve finished studying and the summer truly begins I’ll be able to connect more with them.

    For now – agreed with your first choice, epic song from Rudimental. Loving Skrillex, Loreen and, erm, even though it’s just a retreat of ‘Glad You Came’, The Wanted have their moments too.

    It’s going to be so bizarre when Popular get to 2012, by which time I could be in my 30s…can’t wait to share my memories, or, erm, lack of!

  3. 3
    punctum on 28 Jun 2012 #

    “if” Popular gets to 2012.

    I am OFFICIALLY OLD MAN (I’m on Warfarin) and this looks and sounds like a pretty terrific chart to me. “Sing” has plummeted down fairly quickly, hasn’t it? #ohdearhowsadnevermind

  4. 4
    Chelovek na lune on 28 Jun 2012 #

    Hmm, I think I share your preference for no 1. And possibly 2 and probably 3 as well. Although I’d place Emeli Sande up there somewhere too.

    Carly Rae Jepson? Hmm, Yes, I wouldn’t make any comment about that either, but would have placed it far lower.

    The one I do have a secret soft spot for, despite (or because) recognizing it as the rather unbrilliant bastard offspring of REO Speedwagon and Westlife, well at home in 1980s AOR FM radio,is the Lawson track. Much to my surprise, after hearing it 3 times, it’s kind of grown on me. Sing-along while going fast down the A40, man.

  5. 5
    Another Pete on 29 Jun 2012 #

    Ed Sheeran use to play the Norwich pub circuit so kudos for him getting this far. Though had he been around 10 years ago he would of been lost in a sea of indie-acoustic male solo artists. It’s seemingly just him, Ben Howard and Frank ‘Wessex Boy’ Turner left.

  6. 6
    punctum on 3 Jul 2012 #

    More Reynolds calumny on this very thread.

  7. 7
    Ed on 25 Jul 2012 #

    @6 “Music was great when I was 20 years younger, but now it’s terrible.”

    Jonathan Ross, God bless him, had the last word on this, I thought. A propos of nothing in particular, on Radio 2, I think, he suddenly expostulated: “This modern music’s terrible, isn’t it? It was much better in the good old days. The Pistols, The Clash: back then, music had proper tunes!”

    Thanks for a great piece, Tom, which provided several fruitful suggestions for further research. Skrillex is brilliant, isn’t he? I’m pleased to see Carly Rae Jepsen charting so highly, too: that string hook is irresistible.

  8. 8
    swanstep on 26 Jul 2012 #

    A propos of very little, I just checked out the local album charts for the first time in a while, and in NZ, Adele’s 21 is back at #1. It’s been in release for 78 weeks here (same as UK), and 38 of those it’s been #1. Looking around I can’t find anything else that’s ever come close to this sort of (relative) success. Humungous smasheroos like Best of Abba, Dire Strait’s Brothers in Arms, Shania Twain’s Come on Over all topped out at around 20 weeks at #1. Makes one wonder what sort of state the music industry as a whole would be in without her? And what % of UK GDP is Adele directly and indirectly responsible for?

  9. 9
    Ed on 31 Jul 2012 #

    @8 All we need is for someone to launch a line of “Keep calm and carry on listening to Adele” merchandise, and the economy will be saved

  10. 10
    Ed on 31 Jul 2012 #

    Meanwhile, Fatboy Slim complains about dumbed-down banging modern EDM, in the Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/M5vJWC

    No, really

  11. 11
    swanstep on 31 Jul 2012 #

    @ed, 9. Ha! Quite. And the Olympics is fiscal stimulus too I suppose. God help us all.

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