Tuesday, 3 January 2012

2011’s Biggest Selling Singles Reviewed

With 2011 now firmly behind us let me first take a moment to wish you all a belated Happy New Year. Now down to business. I’m afraid I’ve neither the will, the want nor the stomach to tackle more than the top five folks, you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that’s more than enough. So here we go in reverse order.

 #5 PitBull – ‘Give me Everything’    854,050 Sales
This was Pitbull’s second single off his ‘Planet Pit’ album and yet another attempt to hijack the pop airwaves and stiletto- heeled, cheap-perfumed,  alcopop -drenched dance floors of the nation.  It was a sure thing that (featured) Ne-Yo’s hooky chorus would keep the girls shaking their bits way into the night, but then that’s no redeeming feature.

With a name like Pitbull you’d think lyrical bile rather than the puerile drivel that spouts forth from this man’s mouth. How he keeps a straight face is beyond me, but he does.  Musically and in separation, all parts are as predictable as you’d expect. But somehow, united in song, there is a feeling they’ve been crobarred together with little love involved. Couple this with top end stringy synth sounds that is akin to flies buzzing round s%*t, and well, let’s just say the flies have got it right……

 #4 Maroon 5 ‘Moves Like Jagger’   949,418  Sales
I’ve never been able to put my finger on why Maroon 5 are so popular, somehow they just don’t sit right with me. Perhaps it’s Adam Levine’s ‘I’m just so pleased with myself ‘demeanor. Or is it that their music is simply too slick? That’s slick as in puddle of oil rather than cleverly devised, sleek or glossy.  So, with that in mind, let’s get the faint praise out of the way. The song is well constructed and catchy to the point of irritating.

Its release and Christina Aguilera’s guest vocal was surely an attempt to capitalize on Levine’s and Aguilera’s success as judges on some Stateside X Factor type show called The Voice.  That is unlikely however, to have played a part on the song’s rise to the top on this side of the water.
Catchiness aside, I do have a real problem with the lyrical concept of the song. Apart from the fact that Jagger’s name has been dropped into several songs of late, in a shameless if not foolhardy attempt to solicit credibility, ask yourself this:  when was the last time that dancing like Mick Jagger got anyone laid? I doubt if asked, Mick himself would put down any of his sexual conquests to his dance moves. That said, the song’s hook is probably strong enough to have many trying to do just that at wedding discos for a couple of years more at least.

 #3 LMFAO ‘Party Rock Anthem’  958,436 Sales
In no uncertain terms this is the type of party I never ever want to be invited to, not even if the booze were free! The only person over 15 years of age to rate this can be Pete Waterman so its success must be down to the kids…. Hold on just one god damn minute! We all know that kids don’t pay for music these days, so who on earth parted with cold hard cash for this abortion? I shudder to think, shame on you all.

The goons who wrote this are directly related to Berry Gordy, founder of Motown records. It may have been a hit boys, but it’s hardly Hitsville is it.

#2 Jessie J – ‘Price Tag’    958,589 Sales
Jessie has gone some way this year to prove that the hype attached to the Brit School graduate was worth the keyboard time spent by many a hack. In ‘Price Tag’ (the second offering off her debut album ‘Who Are You’) she has given herself a solid platform on which build and more importantly time to do it in.

I say this because the album is somewhat of a hotchpotch of styles which leaves you to suspect she is yet to define her direction.  ‘Price Tag’ however is a straight forward pop-R’n’B affair with the obligatory slice of Hip Hop courtesy of B.o.B . The tune has hooks aplenty and producer Dr Luke did a great job in reigning in Jessie’s vocal gymnastics that often distract from her song’s melodies in her live performances. 

The only irony is that a song containing the lyrics “It’s not about the money, money, money” should  fall only just shy of a million sales.

 #1 Adele – ‘Someone Like You’    1,210,256  Sales

It should be no surprise to anyone that Adele tops the chart. With her second album 21 having sold 13 million copies worldwide surely the highlight of the album was odds on to do the same. The ballad ‘Someone Like You’ walks the tightrope between heartbreak and uplifting spirit with ease, largely thanks to Adele’s exceptional vocal delivery. Co written with Dan (Semisonic) Wilson it’s no surprise that the song is hardly pushing any musical boundaries. It should also be of no surprise though, that   it’s simply a very good song of its genre.

One thing that I’m quite happy to hang may hat on, is that its longevity will outlive the other songs listed by some country mile. It’s been a fantastic year for Adele, the second of the Brit School alumni to make the top five. Throat problems aside, her only problem maybe following such incredible success with more of the same. 

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