Look at your tired ass coming back here for the sixth time in three weeks – thank you for your curiousity and dedication to the most unnecessarily prolonged albums and songs of the year countdown ever.
These final 10 albums that stand before us have all been on high rotation from the minute they shuffled into my iTunes library, so there’s really no second guessing my love for them. They’re not necessarily the most critically acclaimed or commercially lauded albums, but all 10 of them had me hooked with their stunning combination of pop correctness, soul and sparkle.
Some of these albums have been rather defining because they showcased a different musical angle for the artists. It is these “turning points” that I reckon we’ll be debating about for years to come. We’ve also got a small gathering of flawless debut albums that have no doubt raised the bar for all subsequent releases. I’ve spent far too much time compiling this list and writing the reviews only because these albums have made such an impact in my year.
So here’s a quick refresher on Feed Limmy’s Top 30 Albums of 2011 before I let y’all have it with the final 10:
#30 – Megalomania by Aqua
#29 – Prismophonic by Christophe Willem
#28 – The Sea by Melanie C
#27 – Miss Little Havana by Gloria Estefan
#26 – When The Sun Goes Down by Selena Gomez & The Scene
#25 – Parade by Parade
#24 – As If! (EP) by Sky Ferreira
#23 – From Here to Anywhere by Sneaky Sound System
#22 – Love? by Jennifer Lopez
#21 – Sticks + Stones by Cher Lloyd
#20 – Killer Love by Nicole Scherzinger
#19 – Who You Are by Jessie J
#18 – Heaven by Rebecca Ferguson
#17 – Secret Codes and Battleships by Darren Hayes
#16 – Vows by Kimbra
#15 – Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
#14 – Falling & Flying by 360
#13 – 21 by Adele
#12 – Up All Night by One Direction
#11 – 2nd Mini Album (EP) by 2NE1
Kelly Clarkson scores her first ever Australian #1 single. I know, right?‘Mr Know It All’ has done the unthinkable: 1) dethrone Gotye and Kimbra after a record-breaking eight-week stay on top, 2) overtake Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Moves Like Jagger’, which was riding at #2 for months, 3) bettered her previous chart peak of #3, as trekked by ‘Since U Been Gone’ and ‘Miss Independent’. Over in the States, ‘Mr Know It All’ climbs back up to #30 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It’s also finally moving up the airplay charts to a new peak of #28. Friends in the UK won’t be getting ‘Mr Know It All’ until 17 October.
Rihanna debuts straight in at #1 in the UK this week with ‘We Found Love’ (featuring Calvin Harris). The Barbadian bombshell is now the first female solo artist to score six UK chart-toppers in five consecutive years. ‘We Found Love’ now joins the glittery #1 club alongside ‘Umbrella’, ‘Take A Bow’ and ‘Only Girl In The World’. ‘We Found Love’ managed to sell 87,000 copies in the four days it was out last week – such an effortless qualifier for #1.
Spare a thought for ‘Moves Like Jagger’, which is spending its sixth consecutive week at #2, beaten to the top by a different #1 single each week. Consolation: ‘Moves Like Jagger’ is still the most played song on UK radios. ‘We Found Love’ rises to #9 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It’s also the sixth most downloaded song in the States, selling 147,000 copies in the last week.
360 scores the biggest selling new album of the week in Australia. His brilliant debut Falling & Flying managed to enter at #4, racing ahead of five other new releases in the Top 30. I know he’s nothing like the kind of artist I normally listen to or write about on Feed Limmy but I’m quite impressed with this record. I was totally sold after hearing the first two singles ‘Just Got Started’ and ‘Throw It Away’.
Check out 360 having a track-by-track chinwag here:
Bruno Mars has the highest selling new single in Australia this week with his Twilight track ‘It Will Rain’ entering at #22. Elsewhere, Nickelback‘s ‘When We Stand Together’ enters at #46. The song is also incidentally the most added new song to Australian radios this week. Vom.
Katy Perry‘s sixth Teenage Dream single ‘The One That Got Away’ enters at #87 this week on our ARIA charts and becomes the second most added new song to local airwaves. Kitty‘s Teenage Dream album also made a surprise return to the Top 50 at #12 this week after a flash sale on iTunes. I’m well tired of her ass already.
Adele‘s Gossip-esque ‘Rumour Has It’ is the eighth most added new song to Aussie radios this week. Are we onto the next one already? I thought ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ was only getting warmed up down here. Said single drops to #14 this week while the mega-selling album 21 remains on top of our ARIA charts for its 21st week. Meanwhile in the States, ‘Someone Like You’ returns to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 as predicted. ‘Moves Like Jagger’ may still be the most played song on American radios but ‘Someone Like You’ overtook it with digital sales. For those keeping score: ‘Someone Like You’ sold 222,000 downloads while ‘Moves Like Jagger’ did 198,000.
Elen Levon‘s ‘Naughty’ cracks the ARIA singles chart at #60 this week, appearing more favourably on the Australian singles chart (#5) and ARIA dance charts (#17). The 17-year old pop vixen’s already prepping her follow up single. I reckon there’s a good chance it’ll be the James Ash (Rogue Traders) produced ‘Like A Girl In Love’.
Anthony Callea‘s nouveau disco comeback single ‘Oh Oh Oh Oh’ is currently charting at #115 on our Aussie iTunes store. Meanwhile, Vanessa Amorosi‘s ‘Amazing’ sits at #144 while Stan Walker‘s ‘Light It Up’ continues to rise ahead of the pack of new Aussie pop releases, currently sitting at #58. V Mama‘s album – V – has been pushed back to 11 November. The 13-track record comes with an Almighty club remix of ‘Amazing’.
The Wanted‘s ‘Glad You Came’ is currently placed at #30 here. Great news for fans Down Under. It seems like the local label will be dropping the lads’ forthcoming sophomore album Battleground here on 18 November, two weeks after its UK release. The Wanted‘s ‘Lightning’ leapt to #19 on the British airplay charts this week, all in good time as the single gears up to drop on 30 October.
Aussie teen pop sensation Cody Simpson sees his album Coast to Coast debut at #26 this week – largely thanks to his Sunrise “concert” performance where they absolutely felt no guilt whatsoever dubbing him the “Australian Justin Bieber”. Please.
Simple Plan‘s ‘Can’t Keep My Hands Off You’ enters at #56 in Australia this week, thanks a quick promo stopover which included a jaunt on our local X Factor stage last week. The Canadian band’s current album Get Your Heart On re-enters at #35. Meanwhile, Natalie Bassingthwaighte – who also took to the same stage and same episode to flog her single – has yet to see ‘All We Have’ crack the ARIA Top 100. To say that the general response has been unsavoury would be too kind. The track is currently sitting at #71 on our Aussie iTunes chart.
Watch Nat‘s underwhelming debut performance of ‘All We Have’, live on X Factor last Tuesday:
Sneaky Sound System‘s ‘Big’ climbs 10 places to #68 this week. All movement in the right direction considering that the album just dropped on Friday. From Here to Anywhere is currently placed at #11 on the Aussie iTunes chart. I’d like to call it out now to be the biggest debut on next week’s chart but I’m pretty sure that new Evanescence album will outsell it.
Nicole Scherzinger‘s ‘Wet’ debuts at #81 in Australia this week after it was finally serviced to local radios last week. This trashy piece really deserves to be a commercial success. Her Killer Love album has done surprisingly well considering the zero promo work in Australia but with ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ and ‘Right There’ slowly waning off radio rotation, the record slides to #83 this week. Despite some drastic price slashing, ‘Wet’ never generated enough sales to break the UK Top 20. This unfortunately puts an end to the ex-Pussycat’s string of UK Top 3 solo singles.
David Guetta and Usher‘s ‘Without You’ cracks our ARIA club charts at #49 this week. The video for the song is expected to drop sometime this week. Looking around the globe, ‘Without You’ makes a new peak of #15 in the UK this week and #8 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It has also just cracked the American airplay Top 20. The club remixes for ‘Without You’ managed to debut at #30 on the US Billboard Dance/Club charts.
Listen to the absolutely bonkers R3hab remix of ‘Without You’ here:
Marina & The Diamonds‘ new single ‘Radioactive’ enters at #25 this week, making it the Welsh warbler’s fourth UK Top 40 smash. Her biggest chart feat to date has been ‘Hollywood’ (peaking at #12) while my personal fave ‘Oh No!’ only managed to go #38 last August. Will British and local radios lap up her new “commercial” sound? Meanwhile, Florence + The Machine‘s ‘Shake It Out’ debuts at #27 in the UK, not bettering the position of its predecessor ‘What The Water Gave Me’ (which peaked at #24 last month).
Darren Hayes‘ new international single ‘Black Out The Sun’ drops from #31 to #39 on the UK radio airplay charts this week. The track is now nowhere to be found in the iTunes Top 200. Speaking of new choons on the British airwaves, Cher Lloyd and Mike Posner‘s summery ‘With Ur Love’ debuts at #46 on the airplay charts while Dionne Bromfield‘s ‘Ouch That Hurts’ rises to #32.
Lady Gaga‘s fourth Born This Way single ‘You and I’ finally makes a new peak of #24 in the UK this week thanks to TV appearances there and some strategic digital track discounts on iTunes. Funny thing is, the song actually fell out of the UK airplay Top 20 this week. ’You and I’ drops to #38 in Australia this week and dips a little to #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the last week, ‘You and I’ managed to sell over 95,000 digital copies in the States, making it the 11th most downloaded song in the country.
The pop sensation has confirmed that the next Born This Way single will be the Real McCoy-esque stomper ‘Marry The Night’. Fans can also expect the Monster Ball Tour DVD and Born This Way remix album to both arrive on 21 November (possibly 18 November for Aussies).
Check out Gaga‘s recent Jonathan Ross interview. Yes, she brought him a sheep. That’s what she did:
Jennifer Lopez‘s ‘Papi’ drops from #67 to #83 in the UK this week. What, leaving already? The album’s frontrunner ‘On The Floor’ is still in the UK Top 100 after like a lifetime and has become the sixth biggest single so far of 2011. Over in the States, ‘Papi’ shoots to #4 on the dance charts.
Laidback Luke & Example‘s ‘Natural Disaster’ leaps to #73 in the UK. The hit DJ has been promising his track with Wynter Gordon – ‘Speak Up’ – all year and he’s finally confirmed that it’ll be his next single. The pair had played the track at Coachella and various dance music festivals around the world for months.
Ms Gordon‘s own ‘Buy My Love’ is still down for a 24 October release in the UK and the albumWith The Music I Die slated for 7 November. However, something tells me that the UK version might contain some new material she’s currently recording. Her manager has tweeted me to say that new songs are coming “so soon”. Make of it what you will. ‘Buy My Love’ is currently placed at #91 on our Australian iTunes chart.
Nicola Roberts‘ ‘Yo-Yo’ has appeared on the UK release schedule but with no date assigned as yet. The Girls Aloud siren’s albumCinderella’s Eyes makes a death drop from its #17 debut last week to #72. *Clutching my chest* Speaking of underrated British pop, Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s Make A Scene has surprisingly climbed to #76 on our iTunes chart. Unfortunately, there’s no Aussie release date set yet for Nicola‘s material.
Matt Cardle‘s ‘Run For Your Life’ picks up more radio rotation as it shoots to #13 on the UK airplay charts. The 2010 X Factor winner returned to the show last night to flog the track but despite the major promo coup, it has only so far managed to go #4 on the British iTunes charts. It seems like I’m stating the obvious here but I reckon – given Matt’s fan base and style of music – he might just be a better album seller. They should’ve dropped the album and single on the same day. Matt‘s debut LP Letters will arrive this coming Sunday. The project’s second single ‘Starlight’ is slated for a 5 December release.
Watch Matt performing the Gary Barlow-penned ‘Run For Your Life’ on X Factor:
Gloria Estefan‘s fun Latin dance comeback Miss Little Havana debuts at #28 on the US Billboard 200 this week. Meanwhile, the album’s infectious lead single ‘Wepa’ goes #1 on the dance charts. Other noteworthy new entries this week include Jason DeRulo‘s Future History debuting at #29 and LeAnn Rimes‘ country album Lady & Gentlemen coming in at #32.
Beyoncé‘s ‘Party’ finally appears on the mainstream US Billboard Airplay 100 at #71 as the track climbs the R&B/Hip Hop charts to #16. When is this goddamn video gonna appear? I hear rapper J Cole has already filmed his bit for the remix video. OK, that did sound a little petulant and ungrateful given that we only just got the ‘Countdown’ video last week and copped a teaser for ‘Love On Top’ less than 24 hours ago.
Watch the teaser for ‘Love On Top’ here:
‘Countdown’ shoots up to #71 on the US R&B/Hip Hop charts while ‘Love On Top’ expectedly falls there. I believe Australia’s the only territory kinda going hard for this song. ‘Love On Top’ is currently bolting back up the iTunes charts, landing at #16. We might actually see this go Top 20 on the ARIAs this Sunday. ‘End of Time’ has disappeared off the UK release schedule after weeks of seeing it etched there for a 30 October launch alongside ‘Countdown’. The latter will obviously still go ahead in that region on that day. Funnily enough, ‘Love On Top’ has now appeared on the UK release schedule – down for a 12 December drop date.
Kelendria Trene Rowland‘s Here I Am exits the American Top 100 this week but her new single ‘Lay It On Me’ continues to move up the R&B charts, breaking higher ground at #43.
Rihanna becomes the clear biggest new entry on the world charts this week with ‘We Found Love’ (featuring Calvin Harris) entering Top 10 in the following places: Australia (#3), Canada (#10), New Zealand (#14) and US Billboard Hot 100 (#16). Over in the US, ‘We Found Love’ managed to sell 117,000 first week copies and even before its official radio release, the song has already made its mark at #75 on the airplay charts. The Barbadian beauty’s sixth studio album, which was originally slated for an early 2012 release, is now due 21 November.
Kelly Clarkson‘s ‘Mr Know It All’ climbs to #12 on our ARIA singles chart after her quick promo stopover last week which include performances on X Factor Australia [Editor's note: she was so charming and sweet y'all] and the NRL Grand Final. The song is currently reigning at #1 on our Aussie iTunes chart so expect for it easily go Top 10 on the ARIAs by week end. Meanwhile over in the US, ‘Mr Know It All’ falls to #38 on the Billboard Hot 100. Radio support ain’t crash hot for it right now. The song isn’t even in the nation’s Top 30 airplay.
Watch Kelly Clarkson performing ‘Mr Know It All’ on X Factor Australia:
LMFAO‘s ‘Sexy and I Know It’ cracks a new peak of #13 on our Aussie singles chart this week, largely due to their X Factor Australia appearance once again, just like Ms Kelly. I have to say, their energetic show stopping performance of their #1 smash ‘Party Rock Anthem’ really did lift the atmosphere. The song, which is perched at #15 this week, is officially the longest staying single in our ARIA Top 50 right now. We’re talking 31 weeks and counting, racking up a “monstrous” eight times platinum sales certification (which equates to approximately 560,000 copies). The duo’s also double dipping in the US right now with two of the aforementioned hits simultaneously inhabiting the Top 10.
Sneaky Sound System‘s flawless ‘Big’ cracks the ARIA Top 100 at #78 this week. Look, I don’t understand why the underwhelming chart entry. Weren’t they also on X Factor like the two aforementioned international acts? I guess what’s standing between ‘Big’ and commercial success that lives up to its namesake is actually decent radio rotation. The new Kelly Clarkson and LMFAO singles will have no issues getting added across the nation but for some reason a SSS dance ballad’s missing out. The Aussie dance pop duo’s last release ‘We Love’ scraped in at #29 at best.
Foster The People‘s corker of a single ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ rises to #19 in Australia this week, making this a belated smash for the American indie rockers. The song first dropped in the States in September last year and look at it now, ascending to #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Fun fact: ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ was the first US Billboard Alternative Songs #1 hit to actually crossover to the mainstream Billboard Hot 100 Top 5 since Kings of Leon‘s ‘Use Somebody’ in 2009. Golf claps. You know this automatically translates to daft talent show covers now, right?
Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull‘s new collabo ‘I Like How It Feels’ crashes in at #47 this week on our ARIA charts. In terms of hit singles, the Euphoria era is actually the best Enrique’s ever performed here in Australia. Yes, even bettering that of his smash Escape album. Every song released here circa Euphoria has so far managed Top 50, see: ‘I Like It’ (#2), ‘Heartbeat’ (#5), ‘Tonight (I’m Loving You)’ (#2) and ‘Dirty Dancer’ (#24). I have no doubt that ‘I Like How It Feels’ will also reach Top 30 status in no time. The “Reloaded” repackage edition of Euphoria will arrive on Aussie store fronts on 11 November – featuring three new recordings including ‘Mouth 2 Mouth’ with Jennifer Lopez (a track that was co-written by UK X Factor’s Diana Vickers of all people).
Sophie Ellis-Bextor finally releases her stunning Make A Scene album in Australia last Friday and after a weekend of only playing two 40-minute sets in Melbourne and Sydney, the best I’ve clocked the album charting was #94 on iTunes (it’s currently at #136).
It was an absolute dream come true to finally see her live. Y’guys know that she’s one of my all time fave pop singers, right? Sure it’s not everything she could’ve given after nine long years away – and she knows it. But the “greatest hits” set featuring classics like ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’, ‘Groovejet’ and ‘Get Over You’ was a well worthwhile joy ride and Sophie utterly radiates warmth, joy and stage presence throughout her time on stage. You can tell she was just living to be there for her fans.
Check out this short recording I took of her Melbourne gig at GH Hotel last Saturday. This is ‘Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer’:
This has to be some kind of record for our ARIA charts so far this year. This week Australia saw nine new entries in its Top 30 albums chart but alas, none have been able to topple the almighty Adele who spends her 20th week at #1 with 21. The album is now equal eighth longest-running chart topper in ARIA history, sharing the record with Shania Twain‘s epic Come On Over.
In case you were wondering, the albums to have spent longer #1 in Australia include: The Sound of Music soundtrack (76 weeks), Dire Straits‘ Brothers in Arms (34 weeks), The Beatles‘ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (30 weeks), Neil Diamond‘s Hot August Night (29 weeks), Delta Goodrem‘s Innocent Eyes (29 weeks), The Original Broadway cast’s Hair soundtrack (28 weeks) and John Farnham‘s Whispering Jack (25 weeks).
The aforementioned nine new releases to crack our Top 30 this week include: Blink 182‘s Neighborhoods (#2), Tony Bennett‘s Duets II (#3), Kasabian‘s Velociraptor (#8), Machine Head‘s Unto the Locust (#10), Jason DeRulo‘s Future History (#11), Alice Cooper‘s Welcome To My Nightmare (#16), Mastodon‘s The Hunter (#18), Demi Lovato‘s Unbroken (#20), Kasey Chambers‘ Storybook (#21) and Wilco‘s The Whole Love (#23).
Watch the video for Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga‘s ‘Lady Is A Tramp’, taken from his new Duets II album:
Tony Bennett must be doing something right to score his first ever US #1 album this week after making music for six decades! His brand new Duets II compilation – which features some young gun collabos like Lady Gaga, Michael Buble, Carrie Underwood, John Mayer and the late Amy Winehouse – managed to sell 179,000 first week copies to debut on top. Tony is now the oldest living artist to have an album debut at #1 on the US charts. Amazing.
Demi Lovato‘s third album Unbroken cracks the US Billboard charts at #4, making it the second biggest new album there this week. Tony might have the overall #1 but as far as digital sales are concerned, Demi reigns on top. Unbroken is also incidentally the former Disney pop princess’ best-charting album here, bettering the #40 peak of its predecessor Here We Go Again. This is a dawn of a new era for the girl. The project’s lead single ‘Skyscraper’ is already her biggest US hit since her debut ‘This Is Me’ and on the flip side, it also became her biggest smash in Australia – peaking at #45.
Havana Brown‘s ‘Get It’ cracks the ARIA club charts at #38 this week while over on the ARIA Top 100, the single sinks to #63 in its third week. Oh dear. Isn’t it baffling that we only have three Aussie artists represented in our ARIA Top 50? Perhaps Aussie artists are better at selling albums than singles? While we’re doing an Aussie pop head count, where’s Stan Walker‘s new one ‘Light It Up’, Darren Hayes‘ ‘Bloodstained Heart’ and Vanessa Amorosi‘s ‘Amazing’? The latter should have at least cracked the Top 100 by now but maybe we need to wait for sales to snowball after the Van Am‘s AFL grand final warble.
Natalie Bassingthwaighte‘s ‘All We Have’ has arrived on our local iTunes store front and right now it’s sitting at #170. The digital bundle comes with two kick arse remixes – including the Khalid one that her label previewed early last month. Looks like the diva’s running in the same circles as Havana Brown these days – sharing the same producer More Mega and video directorial team Silo. The ‘All We Have’ video will be uploaded sometime this week on YouTube. Y’all can expect for her to perform the song for the first time on X Factor tomorrow night.
Nicola Roberts‘ amazing debut solo album Cinderella’s Eyes enters at #17 on the UK charts this week while the current single ‘Lucky Day’ disappears from the Top 100 altogether. Look, it’s pretty respectable if you ask me given the singles’ chart performance. Still better than Insatiable is not usually a consolation but it’ll have to do in this context.
Elsewhere, Will Young‘s ‘Jealousy’ leaves the UK Top 10, The Saturdays‘ ‘All Fired Up’ exits the Top 20 while Leona Lewis‘ underperforming ‘Collide’ drops out of the Top 30. The former two have singles raring to go next month but what’s the sitch with Leona? Will we simply not hear anything until the new year? Her Glassheart album, which was originally slated for a November release, will now arrive on 26 March.
Rebecca Ferguson‘s much-anticipated debut single has appeared on the UK release schedule. ‘Nothing’s Real But Love’ is slated for a 5 December release (the same day as the album drop) and someone on the Popjustice forums have tentatively described the song as more Corinne Bailey Rae than Adele. Holy shit. I’m about to lose my mind.
Let’s reminisce a little on old Becky covering Corinne Bailey Rae‘s ‘Like A Star’ on UK X Factor last year. So on point!
Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Moves Like Jagger’ spends its fourth week at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 – already the longest staying #1 the band’s ever had. Having said that, I reckon Adele‘s ‘Someone Like You’ might rise from #2 to claim the top spot next week. ‘Someone Like You’ has picked up significant radio airplay in the States in the last week and its digital sales is not too far from what M5 is doing right now. ‘Moves Like Jagger’ sold 233,000 digital copies while ‘Someone Like You’ did 201,000. Speaking of impacts on the digital sphere, Jason Mraz‘s new single ‘The World As I See It’ debuts at #149 on the US Billboard Digital Tracks chart. Glad to have him back.
Beyoncé‘s ‘Party’ (featuring André 3000) cracks the US Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Top 20 while its predecessor ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ tumbles to #8 there. Speaking of tumbles, Kelendria Trene Rowland‘s ‘Motivation’ finally leaves the said Top 10 while its successor ‘Lay It On Me’ is taking its time, only inching up one spot to #46. Elsewhere on the urban scene, Mary J. Blige‘s new single ’25/8′ bullets to #53.
Luciana‘s ‘I’m Still Hot’ makes #1 on the US Billboard Dance/Club play charts. We can all thank Betty White for that, right? Other big gainers there include Lady Gaga‘s ‘You and I’ (reaching a new peak of #8), Jennifer Lopez‘s ‘Papi’ (#10) and Gloria Estefan‘s ‘Wepa’ – which by the way is one of my favourite jams right now. Her new Latin-dance album Miss Little Havana is good fun, y’guys. You need to check out the slightly ‘We No Speak Americano’ album highlight ‘Hotel Nacional’.
Watch Gloria Estefan‘s ‘Wepa’ music video. Glam ma’s mane is serving some volume and body, y’all.
There will be plenty of crying, shaking and incontinent situations happening when this blows up all over Australia’s gay media. I might’ve just done all of the aforementioned for the country.
British pop siren and one of my all time favourite artists Sophie Ellis-Bextor is confirmed to be coming Down Under in October to perform at Sydney’s Homesexual White Party, according to this exclusive SameSame scoop.
The ‘Murder on The Dancefloor’ diva is expected to head up a half-hour set consisting of her most memorable hits and some newbies from the current Make A Scene album – which, mind you, is yet to even be released digitally in Australia. Our friends at SameSame are reporting that this exclusive deal with Homesexual most likely means that this will be Sophie’s only gig in the country.
Why is she doing this to us? One night only, a half hour set and up in Sydney? This is painful. Mama Ellis-Bextor, I would take out a loan to see you perform a 90-minute long set where you can do all the fan favourite album tracks and b-sides – I’ll sing every word of it with you!
For those lesser beings who don’t know of Sophie’s discography past the point of ‘Get Over You’, please act like you know when you’re in my presence.
The British dance/pop queen has to date released four studio albums since she first broke through with Spiller‘s ‘Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)’ in 2000. Her debut solo LP Read My Lips spawned the iconic ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’, a reimagination of Cher‘s forgotten pop gem ‘Take Me Home’, ‘Get Over You’ and Music Gets The Best of Me’ – all of which were Top 30 hits in Australia back in the day.
Let’s reminisce a little on this:
Her second album Shoot From The Hip served up some organic pop realness and although it wasn’t a commercial success of Dow Jones breaking proportions, the fans will always be living for the singles ‘Mixed Up World’, ‘I Won’t Change You’ and album track ‘Nowhere Without You’.
How adorable was Sophie in this video?
Ms EB’s 2007 Trip The Light Fantastic is one of my favourite pop albums of all time and as far as her discography goes, this was the era where we last saw her appear on our shelves. The petulant and energetic lead single ‘Catch You’ managed to go #8 in the UK and #44 in Australia while its follow up ‘Me and My Imagination’ only rose to #23 in the UK and interestingly enough, ascended to #10 on our ARIA Club charts. The third and final single ‘Today The Sun’s On Us’ is without question, one of the most underrated pop tracks in the last 10 years.
I want y’all to keep playing catch up with me here today, so keep in party line and watch ‘Catch You’:
Sophie’s current album Make A Scene has been a long time coming and it’s truly worth the wait for any dance/pop fan. This album is life giving. It’s literally wall-to-wall floor fillers featuring all her recent A-grade collaborations like ‘Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer’ with Freemasons (which was a Top 10 hit on our Australian dance charts), ‘Not Giving Up On Love’ with Armin Van Buuren and ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’ with Junior Caldera.
Here’s the last stop on today’s Sophie discography tour. One of the most important songs in my life – ‘Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer’:
Sophie Ellis-Bextor will be performing at the white themed Homesexual party in Sydney’s Home Nightclub on 2 October. Needless to say, I’ll be flying up for the event.
Every time a Sophie Ellis-Bextor single is issued, angels gather around in heaven to let out a sweet, euphoric hallelujah chorus. Now how much more of a celebration would it be for a single that was recorded so long ago, it now sounds questionably dated?
My favourite British pop deity is soldiering on with her second independently released single ‘Off & On’ – a track produced by Calvin Harris that was initially recorded then discarded by Roisin Murphy circa Overpowered. This piece of trivia serves me well every time I test a stranger who claims to be an SEB fan. Make sure you keep this knowledge at a convenient location in your cerebral cortex. That, and the chart peak positions of ‘Today The Sun’s On Us’.
Behold, one of the first televised performances Sophie has done for ‘Off & On’ on what seems to be a well-funded and adequately staged talk show: Tonight’s The Night. Take her look:
First thing’s first, it’s so wonderful to see Sophie returning her locks to a dark brown shade. That faded ashy cocoa situation she was in a few months ago really wasn’t flattering her porcelain complexion. Second point, isn’t really a point so much as a call for kudos. Anyone ever noticed how challenging it is to sing the ‘Off & On’ hook? There’s a lot of belting and sustaining, resulting in a lot of pained facial expressions that make you look like a mourning cat. And finally, she’s promoting ‘Off & On’, y’all! Like, finally.
Sophie will no doubt be announcing the single release date for ‘Off & On’ soon enough. Hopefully with it comes glad tithings of amazing A-grade remixes and a b-side, which mind you has been sorely lacking in this era of Sophie’s discography.
In her recent official website Q&A, Sophie revealed that she’s “looking at some dates in September and October” for South America and Australia. Bitch, I will die if you come to Australia. I will fly out to wherever you are and be that queen crying and shaking at the edge of the stage.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s Make A Scene debuts at #33 on the main UK charts and #8 on the UK independent charts this week. After being notoriously delayed for over a year, the record finally arrives on Sophie’s own label but despite fervent TV and radio promo, I don’t think her stunning new single ‘Starlight’ is connecting very much. The absence of an actual hit UK single might’ve hindered the album’s chart performance but I reckon her fans are just happy to finally have it. All matters considered, #33 is really not that woeful.
Read this awesome interview SEB did with Digital Spy where she opens up about leaving Universal Music, plans to release ‘Off & On’ as the next single (yes, that ancient Calvin Harris collabo Roisin Murphy rejected) and her approach to songwriting. “I don’t think writing or co-writing my songs makes me a better singer, but I haven’t really got an excuse not to do it as I’ve got too many opinions!” she says. Check, pop star realist. To every singer that clings on in vain to a shit track they’ve written for egotistical reason and rejects a far superior song that was written for them, I ask this: do actors write their own scripts?
City and Colour‘s Little Hell debuts at #2 in Australia, making it the highest selling new entry here this week. This is the Alexisonfire singer’s third solo album and his highest charting record to date. I have yet to properly inspect Dallas Green‘s discography but I am well aware of his stunning vocals and his growing fan base. Major kudos for the runaway success of this album. Little Hell debuts at #1 in Canada, #28 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #43 in the UK.
Carrie Underwood‘s promo trip here has done some good in seeing Play On debut at #14. I mean, the album first came out in November 2009 so it’s technically as old as Vanessa Amorosi‘s Hazardous [Editor's note: oh god, if you put like that...] but most Aussies are none the wiser. The local/New Zealand edition of Play On is padded out with Carrie’s previous hits like ‘Jesus, Take The Wheel’, ‘Before He Cheats’ and ‘Last Name’. Check out Pop Trash Addict’s review of her Sydney showcase. The country pop diva never fails to look stunning.
Stan Walker‘s ‘Loud’ breaks through to a new peak of #9 this week and along with the ascendance is Christina Perri‘s ‘Jar of Hearts’ moving up to #12 in Australia. Elsewhere, Benny Benassi‘s ‘Cinema’ cracks the main charts at #46 this week. The track has been living it up on the Australian club charts for over two months now and from what I’ve heard, all its accompanying remixes (courtesy of Laidback Luke, Skrillex, Alex Gaudino etc.) are fierce. Over in the States, Benny’s killer new album Electroman debuts at #11 on the dance/electronic charts.
Bass Kleph‘s ‘$pend My Money’ is buying itself back into the club charts with a 2011 mix entering at #30 this week. I first came across the fun track when it was serviced to radios two years ago but from what I can remember, the single didn’t really impact in the right way. I would actually like to see this re-serviced to the airwaves because where the timing and the market might not have been overly receptive then, it certainly is now for this brand of sinister electro pop.
Wynter Gordon‘s ‘Til Death’ picks up two spots to chart at #24 in Australia this week. Brace yourself for next Monday’s placement because she’s been working hard on her current week-long album promo trip. Ms Gordon has secured a feature in mX, the Herald’s Hit! Entertainment Guide, several commercial radio interviews as well as a stellar coup performing on Dancing With The Starslast night, so this should create plenty of mainstream awareness. Where possible, she has also been doing acoustic performances of ‘Til Death’ and ‘Dirty Talk’ around town.
I just got back from her exclusive SameSame showcase in Sydney over the weekend and she was stunning! Wynter performed a short acoustic set of three originals (‘Dirty Talk’, ‘Til Death’ and the next single ‘Buy My Love’) and three covers – a rendition of ‘My Boy’, Katy Perry‘s ‘ET’ and Arcade Fire‘s ‘Wake Up’. Y’know, I think I must be one of the first to formally review her album With The Music I Die.As you can tell by my constant fangurling and review, I was well impressed with it. Fingers crossed for a strong chart debut and for ‘Til Death’ to finally break Top 10 next week! With The Music I Die (Deluxe Edition) is currently #18 on our Aussie iTunes chart.
Watch Wynter do ‘My Boy’ at her acoustic showcase as a “warm up” song. She says ‘hey’ to me at the 0:08 mark. Bless!:
Calvin Harris and Kelis‘ collabo ‘Bounce’ enters at #2 in the UK, making it the highest charting new entry there this week. Coming in close competition is Ed Sheeran’s ‘The A Team’ debuting at #3 and Tinchy Stryder and Dappy’s ‘Spaceship’ at #5.
Coldplay‘s ‘Every Teardrop is a Waterfall’ sinks to #28 in Australia on its second week. That’s understandable given that they haven’t started promoting it and there’s only so much the initial buzz can achieve. The single also sinks from #6 to #22 in the UK.
Take That returns to the top of the album charts this week thanks to the tour and Progressed repackage. The new single ‘Love Love’ also jumps back up the charts from #41 to #28.
Alex Gaudino and Kelly Rowland‘s ‘What A Feeling’ tumbles to #33 in the UK this week. Has the DC glamazon actually done any actual promo for the single? All this X Factor fuckery is distracting her from the big picture here. Elsewhere, ‘Motivation’ clocks it’s fourth week on top of the US R&B charts and starts moving up the American digital charts. It’ll be interesting to see how her next urban offering ‘Lay It On Me’ fares.
Britney is set to unveil the video for her third Femme Fatale single ‘I Wanna Go’ this Wednesday. The video is promising more “action” than the heavily choreographed performances of its predecessor ‘Till The World Ends’. Check out the video teaser here, retelling the same old folklore of Brit vs the paps again. Mami Spears dressing like an Avril fan from 2002 is a whole different kind of cringe we need to address later:
Lady Gaga‘s ‘The Edge of Glory’ picks up pace on the UK charts this week, rising back up to #16. Can we attribute this to the growing TV performances and to a lesser degree, the video premiere? Over here in Australia, the single goes from #33 to #26. Back in the US, ‘The Edge of Glory’ rises to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, picking up more radio airplay along the way.
Nicki Minaj‘s ‘Super Bass’ is still in the running to become the debutantess of hip hop’s biggest commercial success yet. The single is steady climbing reaching a new peak of #10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, #23 in Australia and #17 in the UK. It’s now officially her highest charting solo single on the Billboard 100 – shooting past ‘Moment 4 Life’ featuring Drake (#13) and ‘Your Love’ (#14). It’ll be interesting to see how Barbie’s Femme Fatale support gig will upgrade mainstream awareness of her music.
Katy Perry‘s ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ cops a sale boost thanks to the video premiere and accompanying digital campaign. The fourth Teenage Dream single rises to a new peak of #31 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Looking further down, Nicole Scherzinger‘s ‘Right There’ moves back up the chart to #80. All this press surrounding her stint on US X Factor can only be good news for the single. Speaking of milking your talent show gig, The Voice judges Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera will be duetting on the new Maroon 5 single ‘Moves Like Jagger’, which will premiere tomorrow on their program. The single will hit iTunes after the episode airs at 11pm EDT.
Jennifer Lopez‘s recent UK/Europe promo trip is reaping rewards. Her Love? album leaps back up the charts to #25 in the UK this week following a serving of hot tamale diva realness on So You Think You Can Dance and Alan Carr’s Chatty Man. Now that American Idol‘s done, she can actually hit the road and start flogging the record right. Here she is at Germany’s Wetten Dass – such an epic fest featuring a congratulating Heidi Klum and Cameron Diaz at the end:
Beyonce‘s ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ leaps to #75 on the US Billboard Hot 100 this week. Billboard.com published an interesting interview with an upcoming recording engineer who worked on her forthcoming 4 opus. DJ Swivel who is responsible for cuts like ‘Party’ – produced by Kanye West and featuring Andre 3000 – said the Queen Mother is “authoritative” but is a “sweetheart to work with when you’re on your shit”. He adds, “she’s on her shit, if you’re not, she’s gonna find somebody who is”. You don’t get to running the world by only being half on point. ‘School and Life’ – a track on the deluxe edition of 4 – is said to be rocking a Prince vibe. Can you believe the album drops in Australia this Friday?
Nerina Pallot‘s Year of The Wolf enters at #31 in the UK this week. She’s gotten much love and kudos on the blogosphere for a while now and yet, the closest I’ve come to her music is acknowledging that Joe McElderry covered her smash ‘Real Late Starter’ and Kylie‘s ‘Aphrodite’ was co-written by her and her producer husband Andy Chatterley.
Watch Nerina do an acoustic version of the album’s lead single ‘Put Your Hands Up’:
Selena Gomez & The Scene‘s iTunes promo single ‘Bang Bang Bang’ debuts at #94 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. It’s sultry as hell and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this but, what time do y’all begin praise and worship in the Church of Selena? I’m converting. Heavily anticipating on her When The Sun Goes Down album, which features a fierce Britney Spears and Nicole Morier (writer behind Femme Fatale‘s ’How I Roll’) co-write titled ‘Whiplash’.
Robyn‘s ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ accelerates to #2 on the US Billboard Dance charts this week, beating the #3 ranking of ‘Dancing On My Own’ and #5 peak of ‘With Every Heartbeat’ (her two mega dance hits in recent time). Another surprise mover there is actually Beyonce‘s ‘Run The World (Girls)’, rising to a new peak of #4. I mean, the slew of remixes are actually all pretty decent.
Jennifer Hudson‘s ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’ breaks through to #50 on the US R&B/Hip Hop charts this week while the new album I Remember Me moves up slightly to #72. Another stunning album track and major favourite of mine – ‘Don’t Look Down’ (written by Alicia Keys) – is currently placed at #75 on the R&B charts.
Chart snack of the week:
We heard that independent pop sensation Florrie‘s Experiments EP managed to chart at #71 on UK iTunes when it came out last Wednesday. Major kudos! Take a listen to this set of dance remixes she has issued for one of the new tracks ‘I Took A Little Something’:
The song is definitely a fan favourite and it’s nice to see it reimagined with these Fred Falke and Loverush club-ready cuts.
Somebody, please. Anybody. Just come forth now and say this is just a fan made video. Tell me this is not the official music video for Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s ‘Starlight’. Please, y’guys. It’s gone on for two minutes too long. Here’s the part where you jump out from behind the bushes and say, “LIMMY. YOU GOT PUNK’D!”, and we’d all share a laugh over the stupid gaffe (I’d still be crying because it has evidently distressed me so) and move on.
Maybe this is the why behind her not teasing with elaborate trailers or even uploading it on her official Youtube/VEVO account. The only way this clip managed to escape into the real world is because Sophie had quietly tucked it alongside four other music videos on the iTunes deluxe edition of her album.
The ‘Starlight’ music video is nothing short of a dime store, iMovie mess and I think it’s best to respectfully look away. For Sophie‘s sake. Treat it as the complimentary fortune cookie after your meal. Read the message of impending doom really quickly then cast it aside without a second thought.
I stan hard for this British pop siren but ‘Starlight’ comes from a prestigious lineage of stellar, elegant videos. The dynasty that has crowned gems like ‘Catch You’, ‘Today The Sun’s On Us’ and ‘Take Me Home’ now has to sit uncomfortably in the presence of some low-rent production amalgamating live footage from a club gig with various Nature (TM) clips. Yes, sunset and sunrise, lakes, and a fleeting glimmer of an actual starry night.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor is still finding her feet as an independent artist so we need to cut her some slack. I mean her label EBGB hasn’t even got business cards and letterheads figured yet [Editor's note: true story.] Fingers crossed, once she progresses from crawl to run, she’ll be able to turn it out right like some of our favourite independent pop divas (think: Robyn and I guess, to an extent, Melanie C).
Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s ‘Starlight’ was shot at a London club gig at the end of 2010. The video was directed by her father Robin Bextor, who is an award winning documentary/film maker.
Sophie‘s much-delayed fourth studio album Make A Scene was finally released in the UK on Sunday. My copy has been despatched from London and I am patiently waiting by the mail box.