A View From The Top #32

by Kate Giff

Sunday 15th May 2016

Remember that bit in Titanic when an elderly Rose closes her eyes and says “It’s been 84 years…”? That image was the first thing that came to mind when I looked at the chart this week. I don’t ever remember the Top 40 being as stagnant as it has been recently, which is a shame as there has been some amazing music released in the last year. Nevertheless, for what seems like the 84th year in a row, Drake is number one with One Dance. I think that there must have been something in the pear juice that Jessikah, Sam and Srinandini were drinking when they reviewed this track; I think it’s catchy, summery and I love the original Kyla song which I’ve been indulging in recently. After four weeks of analysis on what is in itself quite a simple song, I don’t have much else to add to that analysis, so I’ll move down the charts.

At number two we have Calvin Harris and Rihanna with This Is What You Came For, an instant hit in the clubs of Exeter and Ibiza alike. I think this song is an interesting number two when juxtaposed with One Dance, as they show almost opposite sides of the summer-pop anthem spectrum. Both get us riled up for the sun, sex and suspicious smells of summer and festival season, but if One Dance is yoga, This Is What You Came For is a spinning class. Calvin Harris has done what he’s good at and produced a massive club banger featuring a huge star’s vocals, and I think Rihanna’s voice comes off very well when it’s not lost in the thick club beats. However, I do find listening to the track about as exhausting as (I imagine) a spinning class is, I don’t think it’s anywhere near as good as Harris’ older material, which managed to tread the line between ballad and banger very well.

Another step down, and coming in at the number three spot this week is Justin Timberlake and the sunshine in his pocket, with CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! If Drake is yoga and Calvin is spinning, then this week Justin is Tumble Tots. It’s cheesy, it’s disgustingly catchy and I feel it wasn’t really made for me, so I don’t feel too guilty in not liking it. I am slightly confused as to why it’s proving so popular, but maybe the same people are buying it that let Olly Murs make a living. I am very happy that Justin seems to be having such a good time making music for the children’s film Trolls, but CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! (really, with the capital letters?) is a far cry from the R&B influenced pop that made him the waistcoat wearing, fedora tipping sell out he is now. Was that mean? That felt mean. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, but this is a very naff song. The fact that he performed it at Eurovision speaks for itself.

The singles chart, our fickle friend, has in recent months turned into a battleground for artists to see how many spaces they can take up. First, Justin Bieber was almost exclusively the top 5, now Drake and Rihanna both have five songs in the top 100 (two of them being collaborations with each other) and after she released Lemonade, Beyonce had basically the whole album charting. Apart from this meaning that there is little variety in the best selling songs at the minute, these stats show that now more than ever, people are supporting the Superstar status; Bieber, Rihanna, Drake and Beyonce lead the way as artists who seem to do no wrong. This, of course, is a never ending cycle, raising their profile which encourages more to support them, which raises them further. Will this trend end any time soon? Judging the charts from the last few months, no. While these artists are very talented, and deserve recognition for what they’re doing, I hope that at some point we the great music-consuming public decide to try something new, and start a new gym class. Maybe boxercise to James Blake? Aqua aerobics to JME? Whatever it is, let’s hope it’s something fresh, because these charts are getting stale.