POP-EYE 5/5/02

Well, in retrospect the earth didn’t quake, civilization did not fall and the Sugababes were only number one for a week. Now I know this all seems terribly unfair when G-G-Gareth Gates and Will Young can sew the charts up for around about eight weeks but then who ever said life was fair. And there is nothing which accurately reflects life better that the UK Top Forty Charts. (And anyway, while they were number one the Sugababes were on TV a lot — and however good the single is, the insipid attempt at a post-modern dance routine, the obvious hatred for the new ‘Babe and that bloke pretending he was playing Are Friends Electric was too much for anyone to take).

Still if we cannot have the best single of the year (go on, Focus Group coming up) we can at least have a solid replacement. Holly Valance has decided to follow the Natalie Imbruglia path to fame. From Neighbours, via a judicious cover version of an unknown foreign hit. Kiss Kiss is a great pop single — despite Valances way down in the mix weak singing. The original Turkish number is infectious and does not require an intelligible chorus to work. Equally the production buffs the whole thing up — right down to that awesome staccato middle eight. Its not rocket science, but it is the second best number one of 2002 so far. Pity poor Valance who will never have it so good again.

Next big new entry is Tweet’s Oops. Oh my, what to say that hasn’t already been said. Well how about this — its actually pretty rubbish. I had heard all these great things about it and frankly I think it’s dead bland. Not what I expected from a Missy Elliot protégé. But then I’m in a bit of a minority on that one. And feel free to have a go at my terrible preparation because I’ve not even heard the single by Shakedown — and for a change I’m not even going to offer up an uninformed and prejudiced review. Though it is probably rubbish.

Probably rubbish is what I would have said of Mary J.Blige’s new single if it had come out a year ago and I hadn’t heard it. After here last really good singles though, I was rather looking forward to the title track of her album. And No More Drama is certainly well titled, it contains none of the drama of Dance For Me or Family Affair. It’s a slice of well made but thoroughly unremarkable R’n’B — which also has halted my eagerness to sample the album.

Which brings us to Moby’s ‘We Are Made Of Stars’ — which surprisingly sags in at number eleven. Is it surprising because his last album did so well, or surprising because it’s the first Moby track in years that I have actually liked. There is something about its androgynous and almost soporific lyrics which bring Air’s ‘Sexy Boy’ to mind, as well as the more obvious eighties associations. Who know, maybe it wioll be re-released in a years time and go to number one (and I don’t think it is that good) but to show what a contrary sod I am this week, I like it.

There isn’t much else in the new releases batch which would even distract me, except maybe Tiga and Zyntherius’ ode to tossers ‘Sunglasses At Night’. Beyond that can anyone tell me why ‘In The City’ by the Jam is at 34 — and if it is anything to do with 6 Music?