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We thoroughly enjoyed Europop Party on Vintage TV on Sunday evening (8th). Did you know that Aqua re-recorded Doctor Jones shortly after Michael Jackson's death? They changed the third verse from "please, please cure me" to "please, please kill me". (And if you'll believe that, you'll believe anything…) I do seem to be getting meaner and meaner of late. I told one bloke in Wallington who was wearing a ridiculous costume and who asked me who he was that he was "a diabolical waste of state education". You have been warned.

One Night in Paris (Aston Merrygold)

Aston Merrygold's One Night in Paris, thankfully unrelated to the 10cc song of the same name, is a slow, laboured jam with clear inspiration from Prince and a tingly but transparently thieved French spoken word solo (which evokes the one from Christine & the Queens' Tilted last year). I'd say this is infinitely better than any of his previous releases, but it sounds slightly stale now we've had a gutsful of Tilted.

Paris (Chainsmokers)

You wait ages for two songs to reference the French capital and then two do at once. The Chainsmokers' Paris, containing vocals from Emily Warren, is a bright but otherwise unexceptional release with a quiet introduction and a parasitic ending like the one in issue 14's False Alarm by Weeknd.

A prior edition of this article claimed that French singer Louane was the female vocalist featured on the record and really laid into it for not crediting her, and so we are left really red faced by the error.

Minimum (Charlie Cunningham)

Ah, I haven't reviewed a record from a proper unknown since issue 26. I love listening to artists I've never heard of because if they ever become famous, you can sit there with a massive smug face whenever they come on the radio or you hear someone talking about them. Minimum by Charlie Cunningham is just him and a guitar; literally, it's music at its bare minimum, to excuse the pun, and it's music at its finest. More please.

All That Matters (Colton Dixon)

American Idol alumnus Colton Dixon has issued All That Matters this week, the title comes from Colossians 3:11 (apparently a chapter in some obscure book called The Bible?); given the heavy Christian undertones, the bassline on it, which drips with the dankness of a well-used dominatrix's dungeon, feels distinctly dichotomous.

Fever (Deaf Havana)

Fever is the new release of hard rock band Deaf Havana this week. Cold sweating, shivering, a splitting headache… These are all things you can expect to find yourself on the receiving end of after listening to the lairy loggerheads these people have put out. We listen to these records, so you don't have to.

Waist Time (Diplo ft. Autoerotique)

My God this is irritating. Diplo's Waist Time, a collaboration with Autoerotique, is a hodgepodge of ham-handed house beats and Jamaican toasting (either "work your waist line to the bassline" or a truncated version) repeated over and over; in theory this should be a cinch, but in practice it seems to want to drive you up the bloody tree every chance it gets. Steer well clear.

Conversation (Fenech-Soler)

Now this is utter earmilk. Fenech-Soler's Conversation is so smooth that if they ever produced a vinyl version you would feel compelled to nibble on it thinking it were a creamy, round bar of white chocolate which is actually quite bizarre when you think about it given that this is actually a guitar-based rock track and vinyl's a petrol black colour. I look forward to more of this with alacrity.

I Miss You (Grey ft. Bahari)

Sweet! Grey's follow up to Starving features American girl group Bahari, and the guitar-based production, complete with Bahari's sumptuous vocals and Grey's mountainous vocal drops, reminds me of drinking a proper ice cream banana milkshake; smooth, sweet, but unfortunately you forget you've drunk it almost immediately. (I must stop thinking about food, it was one of my new year resolutions after all…)

Not Afraid Anymore (Halsey)

Do you pronounce the l in Halsey's name as an l or a w? I told a girl recently she looked like Haw-sey and she slapped me. I think she misheard what I said. Anyway, this week's she has released Not Afraid Anymore this week from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, and while I must say I approached this release with some trepidation given the extent to which Halsey sounded like she was singing at full capacity on Closer, here she sounds more relaxed, and it suits the music that's being played to a T. More please.

Issues (Julia Michaels)

For many songwriters doing a bit of singing on the side is a natural progression. Ina Wroldsen wrote hit records for years before finally achieving a chart hit when she featured on Calvin Harris and Disciples' How Deep Is Your Love, and Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson had been a songwriting duo for six years before they formed ABBA with their girlfriends. Singing is not for everyone; some people choose to stay out of the spotlight, and some people find it almost impossible to get anywhere in the field of singing because they think a hoarse, half-asleep vocal over a guttural guitar and perfunctory handclaps will make them big. Michaels is right; she does have issues.

Trouble (The Knocks ft. Absofacto)

Mmm, I like this. The Knocks' Trouble, featuring Absofacto, is a porcelain piece with Absofacto's vocals a perfect fit for the featheriness of this track despite the recalcitrance of the lyrics. I look forward to hearing more.

Wild Fire (Laura Marling)

Somewhat less self-summative than its predecessor Soothing, Laura Marling's Wild Fire – released 11 January 2017 – takes Marling's usual lozenge-like vocals and tips them over a catharsis of country stylings.

Dance (POWERS)

Huh, what do you know. I thought POWERS might have been Anton Powers of Alone No More; apparently it's two people, and their new release Dance is an enjoyable chunk of pop rock which benefits from having male and female vocals on it. The guitar solo, however diabolically distorted it might be, is a nice touch. Not bad.

All About Me (Syd)

Oh, I was hoping for a posthumous Syd Barrett release! All About Me is Syd's new release, she was known as Syd tha Kid during her tenure as lead vocalist of The Internet. Something or other doesn't feel right about this; Syd's sweet vocals don't quite fit the dark 808 bassline, and it jars. It's like they were recorded for something else and they were dumped on top of here in an effort to bin them.

On My Way (Tiësto ft. Bright Sparks)

Mmm, I like this. Tiësto's teaming up with Bright Sparks On My Way, with its fresh-sounding acoustic guitar and tropical percussion, sounds like a hit – specifically, Prayer in C by Lilly Wood, except with a chorus and a faux-brass crescendo in the middle. What is it with this week's releases nicking off the French? Is this panic-buying from the thought of hard Brexit?

Stay My Love (Una Healy ft. Sam Palladio)

We began this week's releases with a former boyband member (Aston Merrygold from JLS) and now we're ending it with a former girlband member; Saturdays alumnus Una Healy's roped in Sam Palladio for an acoustic saccharine ballad which I imagine might appeal to the grandmothers, but I doubt will make any impact on the charts.

Other notes

We regret to chronicle the death of Peter Sarstedt. He was responsible for the 1969 #1 Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) and tends to only be known for that, however he did peak at number ten later that year with Frozen Orange Juice. (Mmm, ever tried making orange squash with Sprite or other carbonated lemon/lime drink, freezing the result and scraping the result off with the shaft of a spoon? Mmm, lovely.) He had been fighting progressive supranuclear palsy since 2010. Him and Eden Kane are, to my knowledge, the only brothers to independently top the charts; Eden Kane had top ten hits with Well I Ask You (#1), Get Lost (#10), Forget Me Not (#3), I Don't Know Why (#7) and Boys Cry (#8), while the third brother, Robin Sarstedt, also went top ten with My Resistance Is Low (#3).

A very interesting question on Only Connect on Friday. The clues were Umbrella by Rihanna, Rose Marie by Slim Whitman and Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet, and they wanted Everything I Do (I Do It For You) by Bryan Adams. Since that program was recorded, One Dance by Drake has meant that the correct clues were Rose Marie, Love Is All Around and One Dance by Drake, for One Dance has now spent as long at #1 as Love Is All Around. It was a simpler time, it was a better time…

You wait ages to run into someone from Overton Grange School and then you see at least five people within hours of each other. First I spot the woman who was head of sixth form when I was in it putting in her two pennyworth on the Southern railway strikes on ITV News London on Wednesday; she was billed as 'Student'. She may not exactly have been a patch on her predecessor, but that's a bit much. (For what it's worth, on this occasion, and only on this occasion, I do agree with the Southern bosses over who should open and close the doors. I don't think the extra staffing, given that the Office of Rail and Road has declared that "with suitable equipment, procedures and competent staff in place, [driver-only operation] meets legal requirements for safe operation", is an efficient use of my taxpayers' money.)

In addition, on my journey into Scrabble, I run into a teacher and a cleaner from the school, and on the way back I popped into McDonald's in Sutton to use the toilet and two of the girls who was in year seven when I was year thirteen was in there, plus any of the boys they were with who may or may not have been from there.


Spare a thought this week for Rag'n'Bone Man. With Rockabye demoted from the top spot, he should have been in line for #1; as it happened, we were right to guess that Ed Sheeran would début at #1 and #2. Sheeran also re-enters the chart at #45 with Photograph, #49 with Thinking Out Loud, #52 with The A Team, #70 with Don't, #84 with I See Fire and #94 with Give Me Love. But we were completely wrong in saying that he went to #3 last week, and we were wrong in colouring You Don't Know Me red.

Releases new to this site at #7 and #8 this week. At #7, September Song by JP Cooper, a soulful record indeed which reminisces a teenage romance, with the deep, resonating piano in the background laying a groovy foundation on which xylophone and juicy guitar strums create perfect accompaniment for Cooper's silky vocal; at #8, Call On Me by Starley (which I think's her real name) is an acoustic track with one of the most irritating drops going creating a rancid ripple throughout the track.

In addition, we had written off Bad Things by Camila Cabello last week as a bit of detritus washed up by the purging of Christmas music. It wasn't, and it's at a new peak this week.

Another record we had written off: Make Me (Cry) by Noah Cyrus, in the charts this week. I wonder what caused her to cry? Did her parents finally show her what Miley got up to in her Wrecking Ball video? (Uh huh, I went there.) One final note: I'm pretty sure this is the first time this site has had coverage of over half the charts.

    1. Shape Of You
      (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Castle On the Hill
      (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Human
      (Rag'n'Bone Man)
    1. Rockabye
      (Clean Bandit ft. Anne-Marie & Sean Paul)
    1. Touch
      (Little Mix)
    1. I Would Like
      (Zara Larsson)
    1. September Song
      (JP Cooper)
    1. Call On Me
    1. You Don't Know Me
      (Jax Jones & Raye)
    1. Sexual
      (Neiked ft. Dyo)
    1. I Feel It Coming
      (Weeknd ft. Daft Punk)
    1. Say You Won't Let Go
      (James Arthur)
    1. Starboy
      (Weeknd ft. Daft Punk)
    1. 24K Magic
      (Bruno Mars)
    1. Shout Out to My Ex
      (Little Mix)
    1. I Don't Wanna Live Forever
      (Zayn & Taylor Swift)
    1. Don't Wanna Know
      (Maroon 5 ft. Kendrick Lamar)
    1. Closer
      (Chainsmokers ft. Halsey)
    1. Love Me Now
      (John Legend)
    1. Bad Things
      (Machine Gun Kelly ft. Camila Cabello)
    1. By Your Side
      (Jonas Blue ft. Raye)
    1. The Mack
      (Nevada ft. Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap)
    1. So Good
      (Louisa Johnson)
    1. No Lie
      (Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa)
    1. After the Afterparty
      (Charli XCX ft. Lil Yachty)
    1. Starving
      (Hailee Steinfeld ft. Grey & Zedd)
    1. All Night
      (Vamps ft. Matoma)
    1. Don't Leave
      (Snakehips ft. MØ)
    1. The Greatest
      (Sia ft. Kendrick Lamar)
    1. Mercy
      (Shawn Mendes)
    1. Let Me Love You
      (DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber)
    1. Can't Stop the Feeling
      (Justin Timberlake)
    1. Love My Life
      (Robbie Williams)
    1. Now and Later
      (Sage the Gemini)
    1. Cold Water
      (Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ)
    1. Love On Me
      (Galantis & Hook N Sling)
    1. My Way
      (Calvin Harris)
    1. Don't Let Me Down
      (Chainsmokers ft. Daya)
    1. In the Name of Love
      (Martin Garrix)
    1. Rooting For You
      (London Grammar)
    1. Find Me
      (Sigma ft. Birdy)
    1. All We Know
      (Chainsmokers ft. Phoebe Ryan)
    1. Redbone
      (Childish Gambino)
    1. Ain't My Fault
      (Zara Larsson)
    1. Only One
      (Sigala & Digital Farm Animals)
    1. Should've Been Me
      (Naughty Boy ft. Kyla & Popcaan)
    1. On Hold
      (The XX)
    1. Million Reasons
      (Lady Gaga)
    1. Still Falling For You
      (Ellie Goulding)
    1. Party
      (Chris Brown ft. Gucci Mane & Usher)
    1. Party Monster
    1. Make Me (Cry)
      (Noah Cyrus ft. Labrinth)
    1. You Don't Know Love (Olly Murs)

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