Saturday, 18 September 2010

Number One, #6

And so it’s X Factor season once more. And by some grand, certainly-not-orchestrated coincidence, the children of X Factor are back.


#1 Olly Murs - Please Don't Let Me Go

To this day, I haven’t heard this song on the radio or seen it on any music channels. I would, of course, skip straight past it. But, still, I haven’t been given the chance. Which raises the question how exactly it became #1.

The actual content of the song is probably the answer: Take That piano/straining-vocals opening. Easy cheery singalong bit. The usual wet earnest pop-boy sentiment.
Familiar music; Lyrics you’re sure you’ve heard before; that bit, isn’t that..? – and then your brain gives up from sheer boredom.

I'm being unfair. A bit. I'd pre-decided my opinion on this, pretty much. X Factor is the one thing that can harm my modern-day poptimistic outlook on music, especially when it means . I was actually pro-Rage last Christmas. It brings out the angry teen in me.

Being fair: the opening, at least on this video, is actually a bit interesting. It's all degraded, old record texture; unfortunately, then the song proper kicks in and it's bland, it's non-threatening, it's ... I'm sorry, being fair is hard. Another disinterested sigh of a #1, readers.


#1 Alexandra Burke - Start Without You

This is much more silly.

Which is possibly X-Factor-output's highest calling. I've noticed some strong reactions to this from various pop-inclined friends and relatives. Ugh, turn it off, can't stand it. But I quite like it.

It probably helps that I first saw this on breakfast-time TV (see? This one actually gets played), with Alexandra Burke in her underwear and similarly ridiculously-dressed muscled sailor men. I was groggy, it was strange, I went back to bed.

Seaside souvenir shop tacky chorus. Multiple Boom!s. "I'm like a beast". Garbled cyber-goblin voices.

Again, I admit the role bias plays. A lot of the stuff in here, if it had caught me a different way, would be listed with the usual pop-crimes: not least its continuation of the recent theme of pointless dancefloor setting. It is a bit rubbish (see: the rap) but its heart seems to be in the right place. (And it actually has one, which is hardly guaranteed with X-Factor stuff). I reckon it deserved a #1, just about. File alongside Green Light. I won't listen to it again, no guarantee I won’t turn the radio over, even. But it tickles something in me.

And as I put the finishing touches to this, 'today' clicks around. A new Top Forty, a new #1. Will it be good? Will I write about it in the actual week it comes out? Find out in the next installment of ... NUMBER ONE.

1 comment:

Tom said...

That Alexandra track is possibly the worst thing ever. No actually the video is even worse. Seriously, WHAT?!!

About Me

My photo
London, United Kingdom
Videogames, film, music, comics: feed them into the Alex-Spencer machine and out come neat little articles. Like the ones you're looking at here.