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Friday, December 03, 2004

It's Edward's top 100 Singles of the year.. soon!
Hello! I am still posting from Internet cafes, damn it. But I shall be starting my top 100 singles of the year soon. 100 because I am appalling and this was such a good year I was spoilt for choice. For instance, my #20 single of 2004 would have probably been #8 if it had come out in 2003.

But anyway! A fun game for readers. Here are 10 singles from 2004:

Agnetha Faltskog - If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind
Alcazar - This Is The World We Live In
Big & Rich - Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)
Darren Hayes - Popular
Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Mania - Looking For A Place
O-Zone - Dragostea Din Tei
Shaznay Lewis - Never Felt Like This Before
The 411 - On My Knees
Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue

Nine of them appear in my top 100 of 2004. One of them doesn't. Your task is to predict the position in the top 100 for each of the nine singles, as well as guess which one does not appear. And, because I'm generous, this shall be a competition. Whoever does the bestest will get sent some tat! This will likely be a mix CD of some kind as well as some of the contents of the $1 single bin and the $3 album bin at one of Edward's preferred cheap record emporia - I once picked up Daphne & Celeste for $2, so you know you'll be getting quality AND quantity.

Scoring will be as follows: 1 point for each position away from correct. -100 points for guessing the song that is not in my top 100. The lowest score wins. Entries by email to edwardok at gmail dot com, or use the comment box.

Entries close as soon as one of these songs makes an appearance.

Here, for no other reason, are the songs that didn't quite make it, they being 101-125:

101. Cathy Davey - Clean And Neat
102. Kylie Minogue - I Believe In You
103. Fountains of Wayne - Hey Julie
104. Christian Forss - Unforgettable
105. Edguy - Lavatory Love Machine
106. Johnny Boy - You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes...
107. Ivana Brkic - Njezno Njeznije
108. Tube & Berger - Straight Ahead
109. Javine - Best Of My Love
110. Toe Tag - Deja Vu
111. Morrissey - First Of The Gang To Die
112. The Preluders - Hotter Than You Know
113. Ruslana - Wild Dances
114. Mark Owen - Makin' Out
115. The Von Bondies - C'mon C'mon
116. Xandee - Ay Que Calor
117. George Michael - Amazing
118. Farolfi vs Gambafreaks - Subtravel
119. The Walkmen - The Rat
120. Babasonicos - Putita
121. Mull Historical Society - How 'Bout I Love You More?
122. Minnie Driver - Everything I've Got In My Pocket
123. Natalia - Risin'
124. Colder - Follow
125. Pearl - J'ai des choses a te dire
# 1:05 PM []
VUCO – Pijanica
WHO THE HELL IS VUCO? Only the greatest madman of Croatian pop! Sinisa Vuco is a misanthrope who openly roots for humandkind’s demise, but still loves to party. He holds himself in high regard, and often talks about himself in third person. He’s equally appaled by Croatia not having brothels and by Croatia not having a proper comics market, and obsessively collects italian comics about a cowboy called Tex Willer. He even has a song about him! And a song about the joys of one brothel in Frankfurt. He’s married, and has children named after ancient German monarchs. Has claimed that if on average women weighed more than men, they’d erradicate them off the face of the planet. He applauds capital punishment, and thinks the Earth would be better off by exterminating approximately two billion people (didn’t specify which two billion, though!). While recording as Vuco, he goes from Croatian pop over Bosnian rock to Serbian folk. With his hard-rock outfit Zivo blato (Quicksand), he has made THE GREATEST ROCK ALBUM EVER MADE BY MAN OR ANIMAL – tho’ you have to be fluent in Croatian to be fully able to grasp that fact, sorry! He’s also made a failed attempt at cracking the American market with Zivo blato/Vuco songs sung in hilariously bad English (right click: Quicksand - Endless Number Of The Women). Also! Had started another side-project, a hardcore thrash-metal combo called Klanje ljudi (The Slaughter Of People), the members of which had names like Bloodthirsty Hrvoje, The Headsmasher (drums) and Dead Cat, The Eye Gouger (bass). They seem to have disbanded cause he couldn’t get any gigs anywhere, after local authorities banned the proposed debut gig at a graveyard.

“PIJANICA”, THEN: Relentlessly upbeat (and typically accordion-heavy) Serbian-folk/gypsy-pop monster of a tune.

WHAT’S THIS SONG ABOUT? Most Vuco songs follow the same pattern: our hero’s woman leaves him for some other dude cause he’s an unreliable drunkard, so he drinks away the pain. Usually in a cheerful manner. For evidence, you need not look further than his song titles: “I Love Drinking and Making Love”, “Just Let Me Drink”, “I Wanna Drink”, “I Drink Wine and It Drinks Me”, “Get Me Drunk”, “Drunk Yesterday Drunk Today”… This one’s called “Drunkard”! The love of his life holds a wedding with some other dude, and he has to be dragged away home ‘cause he got miserably drunk. He laments how he’s been a lost cause since his childhood and how everyone’s given up on him, but most of all is angry-sad ‘cause he’s sure she still secretly loves him. So he keeps drinking.

ANY OTHER TUNES BY THIS GUY TO CHECK OUT? “Danas je moj dan” (turkish-soca madness with cheap-ass casios galore!), “Ostao sam sam”, “Pusti me da pijem”, “Na vjencanju tvome”, “Kraljica kafana”, "Crna zeno"…

Vuco - Pijanica

this presentation has been brought to you by Mind Taker.

P.S. Sinisa Vuco hates drugs, coffee, cigarettes and all soft drinks. Nowadays he drinks only quality wine, and claims everyone should get properly drunk once a week. During a chat show last week, he said that when he comes home drunk late at night, sometimes he wakes up his kids so he can play with them. On the same chat show, he performed his new single, "Proklet bio alkohol" ("Cursed Be Thy Alcohol"). Here's a picture of Vuco from several years ago, caught in a rare moment when he didn't have his trademark long hair.

(Editor's note: For god's sake people, download Endless Number - it truly has to be heard to be believed - it's one of the greatest things you will ever hear, especially if you have an appreciation of the sublime and the ridiculous - EO)
# 7:29 AM []
What Will The Belgian Say?
Here types a happy bunny. The past two days have seen respectively The Album Which Will Bring All Pop Music To A Standstill* (i.e. Girls Aloud's What Will The Neighbours Say?) and Lena Philipsson's delightfully-titled Det gör ont en stund p? natten men inget p? dan** land neatly inside my letterbox. Whether I shall post a track-by-track rundown of either disque, depends upon the enthusiasm of the EBM readers.

What I CAN do for now is draw a comparison of the packaging, and in this respect, Lena clearly comes out on top. Not only does her album come with a fab glossy booklet and within a mightily cool jewel case (the type I've only ever seen DVD singles packaged in), but moreover, and more importantly, the text on the spine faces THE RIGHT BLOODY WAY!!!! I'm sorry, The Aloud, but having an incompetent artwork director*** who fails to ensure that the artist and album title on the spine face the right direction and are therefore in tune with the rest of your CD shelf, is just NOT on. Not even Nicola's blissfully disarming gurning in the booklet photos can compensate for this glaring omission.

* Until The New Erasure Album Gets Released, That Is
** There really ought to be more pop albums with eleven-word titles. I'd have one of those anyday over cliché ones like Stronger or The Long Road Ahead or *shudders* Ronan Keating - 10 Years of Hits.
*** If Polydor can afford such a person -- and if they do, I bet it's the same incompetent fool who labelled the track "I Won't Dance With You" on Sophie EB's Shoot from the Hip long-player as "I Won't Dance Without You" on the back cover. Ugh.

-- Andries
# 5:06 AM []

Monday, November 29, 2004

Chart Challenge REMIX: Sweden!
Yes, posting from someone else's computer. I feel so dirty, even if the computer belongs to my parents. I'm soiling it with Europop. Sweden, the Mecca of pop, and a few familiar songs in the 10, but only one round repeat, Eric Prydz (7).

2. ELIN LANTO - I Won't Cry
EO: 8, DV: 7, SS: 7, JP: 5, SN: 8. Adjusted score: 8

Awww, she sounds SO cute!
JP: This sounds like a typical Pop Idol winner's song but apparently it isn't. I personally don't get it's popularity. It's like Emilia's Big Big World but a bit rubbish.
EO: Yes, it sounds like a song that sounded like another song. I don't care, I like it.
SN: Cuter than Emilia, and I didn't think that was possible!
SS: Well at first I thought this was pretty bland, but it grew on me a little after a couple of hearings, and now I think it's just alright. Really, it's just the typical "I'm strong, and i'm over you" songs, which are a bit shit ususally, this one doesn't have the same effect as Big Big World though, misses some of it's charm, and I don't really think it'll go outside of Sweden.
SN: It sounds like a nursery rhyme, except that it's actually about inner strength (or something) as opposed to bloody sheep in a paddock or whatever. Stupid key change though.

3. THE WALLSTONES - Good Old Stonecake
EO: 7, DV: 1, JP: 7, SN: 7, KG: 8. Adjusted score: 6

Harmonious, feel-good, derivative, and delicious! It sounds like so many songs that I love.
JP: This is rather fun and one of them is quite the buff hottie. But what is a stonecake? Or am I better off not knowing?
SN: Maybe it means something else in Swedish? Rather irritatingly, this song reminds me of some other song to the point where I can sing the (rather anthemic and wonderful) melody along with it. I can't remember the song though, which pisses me off no end.
EO: Bit boring in the verses, but nice and rousing and silly silly fun fun in the choruses.
DV: There's a saying in Spain that goes "people boil beans everywhere", which sort of means "everybody has a dark side" though I never got the boiling beans metaphor. I think it could be changed to "there are boring brit-pop bands charting even in Sweden" and it would be easier to understand.

4. BRIAN McFADDEN - Real To Me
EO: 0, DV: 1, SS: 4, JP: 0, SN: 3, KG: 7. Adjusted score: 3

In high school music class, girls would sit at the piano and play endless arpeggios up and down the piano keyboard in an attempt to be moody and Gothic. Brian apparently held one of them at knifepoint and made them repeat their stupid efforts while he composed a "heartfelt" "melody" over the top of them.
SS: One of the fakest songs I've ever heard.
EO: Not content with being in Westlife, causing Atomic Kitten to become shit by knocking up the best member to be replaced by Jenny fucking Frost, now he's rock. Rock music is unacceptable. Again, without wishing to manipulate my jurists, I recommended a zero for this, because it's a travesty.
KG: There's no way I am giving this a zero, Edward. This is a gloriously blandiose showbiz lament from a man who split from the worst boy band of the century so he could spend more time with his wife and then split from his wife so he could spend more time in the studio trying to sound like Brain McAdams and then sang a song about the whole process. And it features the genius line 'a dangerous time to let your head make up its own mind'. I can't wait for the Brian and Kerry reconciliation duet.
DV: I don't think this song deserves a zero and I find it disgusting that Edward is so manipulative about the score this song might get.
SN: Not bad enough for a zero (sorry, Edward), but not all that spectacular either
JP: As usual all I have to say to Brian is GO AWAY!
SS: I usually don't care about the lyrics that much but he's so trying to be something he most certinaly isn't, and those poor piss lyrics about how much he cares about his family are beyond ridiculous seeing as he did a cheap promo trick of breaking up with his wife around the single's release, and I mean if he suffered so much in the music business, then why did he come back so quickly? (To share his suffering with us, obviously - EO)

5. ARASH - Bora Bora
EO: 7, DV: 4, SS: 8, JP: 9, SN: 5, KG: 7. Adjusted score: 7

A mix of (middle) East and North. Quite tantalising, too.
JP: I don't usually go for these pop-meets-bhangra singles but I really like this. It just gets stuck in your head and is heaps of fun to dance around to.
SS: For the record I heard somewhere he's from Iran! which makes him the first Iranian popstar and also explains what that language is. I like this, it's cacthy and it's fun and it has the Indian vibe samples used by Jay Sean recently and also by Tweet I think.
KG: Originally I wrote this off as another cash-in on the Punjabi thing. But this guy is Iranian. And he lives in Sweden. So why does the video feature that Bollywood backdrop?
SS: This one can definitely go international, the only thing is it's about 2 years late ... 2 years ago every record label would jump on this.
SN: Well, it's alright I guess. But Arash is no Punjabi MC, is he? Hell, he's barely a Holly Valence. I've always been a bit wary of Middle Eastern-influenced pop music since Baby Boy (dammit, Beyonce, do you have to ruin everything for me?), and this isn't going to change my mind any time soon.

6. BRITNEY SPEARS - My Prerogative
EO: 5, DV: 5, SS: 0, JP: 4, SN: 8, KG: 1. Adjusted score: 4

Worst. Cover. Ever.
KG: I am just going to file this under 'bad Britney' and move on with my life.
DV: It kind of tries to summarize Britney's career but it turns out a big mess, not unlike my CV.
EO: The absolute minimum Bloodshy & Avant could have done to fulfil their contract, ditto Britney.
SS: Well maybe not ever, there are still those memories of Atomic Kitten unfortunately.
JP: This is probably my least favourite Britney single, it's a shame she couldn't have gone with one of the other new songs on her Greatest Hits which are in my opinion far better. She just sounds annoying on this one.
SN: More cod-Indian, thank God it doesn't last for long. Okay, so her voice is somewhat less than...well, passable...but it's still a joyous throwback to the stomping rhythms of her Max Martin days. Plus it's Britney, and I still heart her, in spite of everything (thanks, Popjustice).
EO: To be fair, it's not as bad as that one Dido wrote. But Do Something should have been the teaser single for her greatest hits.
SS: It's so over produced yet sounds really rushed at the same time, and that is without mentioning the fact that the original was a not so good song to begin with, so Britney in her desperate attempt to go for a bit of an Urban sound just made it worse then it ever was. And didn't she already release too many songs about "how hard it is to be a popstar", I mean who really cares??? I most certinaly DON'T.

EO: 6, DV: 8, SS: 9, JP: 9, SN: 10, KG: 7. Adjusted score: 9

Now this is a pop song! Really I muchly enjoyed this when it was new, now after the Israeli radios being late again, overplay is starting to kill it for me, but not just yet.
EO: I've gone off this one quite a bit, but it's the only song on her album with any proper oomph.
KG: The N.Z. Nelly Furtado shows a lot more competence in the lower registers than her big brother Dan, and the huskiness herein is appealing. I am enjoying the oh-so-po-mo juxtaposition of real-life strings and synthy keyboard orchestra hits. Pity she looks so mumsy in the video.
SN: I love this song so much that I can't even take marks off for "hyperbowl." And even if I did, I'd add them straight back on for rhyming "Byron, Shelley and Keats" with "hip-hop beats."
JP: I never expected this to do so well when I first heard it but it's a lovely song, much more interesting than most mid-tempo pop out now with clever lyrics and she sounds far less annoying than she did on Single.
DV: Nothing to argue against this beautifully and cleverly arranged piece of meta-syrup.
SS: Oh and one last thing, I never checked, but I do really hope she actually wrote this song, otherwise it's about bad as Brian McFadden.

EO: 10, DV: 10, SS: 10, JP: 8, SN: 9, KG: 10. Adjusted score: 10

Fun fact: Musically, this is based upon her late 80s hit Dansa i Neon which was great. Now it's been updated and reswizzled, it's even better.
KG: Obviously this gets a 10 (as if that were enough). It's literally orgasmic and that's about all I can say. She is better than Abba.
SS: Of course like a lot of people I was cheering for her to win the ESC earlier this year, unfortunately she didn't. But she's definitely made up for it, first she gave us Delirium and now this corking tune.
DV: This is my favourite song of the year.
JP: I grew to really like her 2 recent singles when they were all over the radio when I was in Sweden. This one is wonderfully manic and I'm sure I'd be singing along full force if I knew any Swedish.
EO: Marry me, Lena PH! I don't care if you're 15 years older than me, really.
SS: I fell in love with it from the first listen, it's so energetic and fun! I think the music during the chorus is a bit I Feel Love from Ms. Donna Summer and it works perfectly really, this song really should get an English version (hopefully a bit better than It Hurts) and become a huge seller in all the mainland!
SN: Anyone who doesn't bop around in their chair at the sound of this thumping chromatic bassline is officially dead inside. And probably outside as well, come to think of it.
EO: The production on this is so tight, it's pounding off the walls and inside my head, and making me very very happy indeed.

EO: 9, DV: 7, SS: 6, JP: 8, SN: 6, KG: 8. Adjusted score: 8

I always barrack for Malta in the Eurovision, so it was with great joy that I learnt of Fabrizio's 'whistle hit' cracking the Swedish Top 10, i.e. pop nirvana. It is slightly reminiscent of Don't Turn Around by Ace of Base, and I mean that in a good way. Malte! Huit Points!
SS: Originally a hit in Norway (and Israel) for John The Whistler, the original was a good song really, and definitely superior to this cover.
EO: I prefer this to the original, actually. Because it sounds like Steps now!
SN: Could it be possible that this song really DOES combine the best bits from After The Love Is Gone and Deeper Shade of Blue, thereby forming one ubersong potent enough to reclaim Europop as the most superior music genre in the history of everything ever? Well, no. I don't recall EITHER of those songs having a whistle in them, for one. And they were both a bit less insubstantial than this, weren't they? Sigh.
SS: Fabrizio has been trying to break the European market for years now having lots of flop singles till this, the most notable of which might as well be his 2001 ESC entry for his homeland of Malta ("Another Summer Night" I think) where he has the worst eyebrows you could imagine. I hope he fixed those.
JP: Very Alcazar-esque so I love it. Not quite This Is The World... but still very catchy and I love the whistling.
DV: Not much of a song in there, but it's not as if he doesn't know it, and more to the point it's not as if his "supersonic girl" minds. The things we do for love.

10. CHRISTIAN WALZ - Wonderchild
EO: 10, DV: 8, SS: 9, JP: 10, SN: 8, KG: 8. Adjusted score: 10

Magnificent pop.
KG: It sounds like he's saying 'how do you run the Spiegeltent'.
SS: It really is a fine example of the Swedish pop culture! I really like that melody in it! it's so damn good! And doesn't he sound like the lost brother of Darren Hayes? (not always a good thing mind) I have nothing to say anymore apart from the fact I loved this on first listen.
JP: Absolutely love this one. I can't believe it's taken since August for it to get into the top 10. How did it not go to no.1 instantly?
EO: Beautifully arranged and produced, lovely melody, embarrassing singing voice. Result.
SN: And the award for the Most Unintentionally Hilarious Singing Voice Ever goes to...He really does sound like a bit of a ponce, doesn't he? If he got himself a different voicebox (one without the vocoder option would be nice), this would probably be quite spectacular. Quite good on its own though.

That's a massive 72 points for Sweden, it being the songs from overseas letting the side down. We have even two 10s here, and while Lena PH scored higher, I actually posted it all the way back in July, so for those of you who weren't lucky enough to download Wonderchild off Into The Groove way back when, here it is. (if there is demand, I shall repost Lena PH, though! Comment box, people).

Christian Walz - Wonderchild.
# 6:55 PM []
While I wait for this poxy, poxy computer I am stuck with for the time being to encode an Mp3, I would like to fulfil MY DUTY and mention that the lovely girls at CFB Goes Pop! will sponsor a child if 20 pages mention faded 80s superstar Collette by December 15. They even sent me an MP3 of my favourite Collette song (Who Do You Think You Are? - has there ever been a bad song by that title? I DO NOT THINK SO!) so I was kind of powerless to respond...

Swedish chart challenge coming soon! Yes, posting while away from home is teh suck.
# 6:36 PM []

Sunday, November 28, 2004

She thinks that SHE'll be the victress, SHE should think twice...
Firstly, I would like to make a public apology to Edward for being tardy on the Swedish ballot. I wish I could use an excuse other than sheer negligence but alas, I can't. However, I hope this post might make up for it, as it is a double whammy of voluptuous Flemish Pop Idol diva Natalia. It consists of her brand new single "Fragile Not Broken" (also opening track of her second album Back for More, which I really ought to get round to purchasing). Those who enjoyed her second single, the über-majestic "I've Only Begun to Fight", will more than likely enjoy a shuffle to this as well, as it pretty much picks up where that fine single left off.

For good measure I have thrown in the instrumental version of "I've Only Begun..." as well. Now you're all set for your full-on Natalia karaoke experience!


Natalia - Fragile Not Broken & I've Only Begun to Fight (Instrumental)

- Andries
# 10:41 AM []
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