After what has felt like years of Ed Sheeran’s stranglehold over the charts, I foolishly thought it might be refreshing to have something new at number one. Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson took last week’s top spot with the listenable, if a bit boring Symphony. But this week’s chart-topper, I’m the One by DJ Khaled and a motley crew of Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Chance The Rapper and Quavo, actually makes me miss the incessant, unavoidable “Oh I oh I oh I oh I oh” that has become so overplayed I fantasise about sticking knitting needles into my ears every time I hear it.
Justin Bieber’s voice kicks off the track, not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but he sounds whinier than usual and launches into his own, much more irritating version of Sheeran’s hook: “Oh e oh e oh e oh”. I knew Divide would influence pop to come, but I was hoping for more fiddles, Irish folk and musical experimentation – not just terrible rehashing’s of vowel sounds as a chorus. Quavo comes in with essentially meaningless lyrics over a trap-beat, before Chance decides to lower the bar further, mumbling his way through a verse, as the Pepsi to Drake’s Coca Cola (I resent having to call Drake Coca Cola but at least he came up with the currently popular brand of what is in my opinion, ‘trash rap’, first). Lil Wayne delivers the awful, autotuned performance we’ve come to expect from him, so at least he’s consistent. Really, the only benefit of having three increasingly dreadful performances interspersed by Justin Bieber is that his hook doesn’t seem so bland by the end. He ends up being the redeeming feature of the track, as you find yourself looking forward to the brief respite you’ll be given from the entirely boring, vacuous and autotuned trap that composes the rest of the song. I have no idea how this song made it to number one, and I hope for the sake of my sanity that someone dethrones it quickly.
Dare I say it, I miss the days of Sheeran hegemony!