So, it’s a new year so time for Chart Update to start again! Slight change in format this year because I have a lot more work this term than last, so I will only be covering the new entries from now on. So without further ado, let’s begin the new chart year!
93 – Dessert by Dawin ft. Silentó
If you read my Worst Hits list, you will know that Silentó’s Watch Me topped that list, so I went into Dessert with extreme trepidation. Safe to say, my expectation were met. Initially this song isn’t too bad. But then it drops, and it makes the drop in Where Are Ü Now seem like Mozart. It is so annoying that anything that follows just gets more annoying, with Silentó’s weak rapping and Dawin’s auto-tuned crooning. I would skip this song at all costs.
89 – Here by Alessia Cara
This song feels like a breath of fresh air after Dessert. Here is the anti-partying song, all about someone trying to find some peace and quiet at a party that Alessia Cara is clearly not enjoying. It is clear to see why this has been a Top Ten hit in the US. The dark production and the Isaac Hayes sample work very well and Alessia Cara’s voice captures the sense of exasperation at not enjoying the place they are in. I like songs that often poke fun at common pop conventions (like Royals and Thrift Shop) and Here is another great example of this.
88 – Lush Life by Zara Larsson
This song fails in the production. Zara Larsson is OK as a vocalist but the production is just so annoying in places, with weird synth blips that sound like they should be in the mix. This is by no means a bad song, but it is just enough to be highly irritating.
85 – Ex’s and Oh’s by Elle King
While this track has been a hit in the USA for a while, it is only starting to break through here now, and it is wonderful. The angry, vengeful narrative that Elle King weaves through the song is coupled with a great rock backing which includes a great guitar solo after the 2nd chorus. Elle King’s smokier vocals are a nice change from the over-processed vocals we normally get with female pop singers. This song is catchy as hell and will be stuck in your head all day.
74 – Keeping Your Head Up by Birdy
This track has a great atmosphere. The synth production matches Birdy’s more ethereal upper voice and stronger lower range. My issue with this track however is with the genre choice as a whole. Birdy made her name through precise and well-produced acoustic pop music and this electronic direction doesn’t suit her voice as much. That being said, it is still a very good song and an interesting new direction for Birdy.
66 – Secret Love Song by Little Mix ft. Jason Derulo
This is surprisingly sincere from Little Mix. Sure, it is nothing special and the classic Syco production is plodding. But both Little Mix and Jason Derulo appear to be on the same page lyrically. The vocal performances are quite good all round, so I recommend to give this song a listen yourselves.
62 – Renegades by X Ambassadors
This song is great. The beat is understated yet present, the vocals are good and the harmonies are interesting. The issue I have with this song is the title. Renegades refers to a model of Jeep. It isn’t as blatant Hey Porsche by Nelly but it is still there, which slightly sours my opinion on the song. It is a good song, but I just wish that if there was going to be product placement, that it was more subtle.
Best of the Week
Ex’s and Oh’s by Elle King
Worth a Listen
Here by Alessia Cara
Keeping Your Head Up by Birdy
Wouldn’t Turn Off
Secret Love Song by Little Mix ft. Jason Derulo
Renegades by X Ambassadors
Would Turn Off
Lush Life by Zara Larsson
Worst of the Week
Dessert by Dawin ft. Silentó