The Ed Sheeran tribute artist, otherwise known as James Arthur, has somehow managed to clamp down on the top spot for a second week. How do they decide the charts these days? Who is streaming this song? His top spot certainly can’t be down to purchasing power, unless everyone’s mum chipped in to buy that-nice-young-man-from-X-Factor’s new single. What does James Arthur even look like? Who told him that people care about him or his acoustic guitar? Amy summed it up perfectly last week when she said that royalty-free stock music has more character. Boring. What else is there?
A lot of featuring artists, actually. Six of the songs in the top ten are joint ventures or have featured artists credited in their titles. For once Calvin Harris is the outlier, not featuring someone, which really is to his disadvantage. As far as I’m concerned he peaked at Pray To God with Haim and I feel almost politically motivated not to listen to anything he’s done since.
Starboy is up three places biting at Say You Won’t Let Go’s heels. I’m always happy for The Weeknd and Daft Punk to be in the charts, but the song itself is a little disappointing. It’s good enough, I guess, I was just expecting more from two great acts coming together. It might be a grower though, the jury’s out on that one.
My favourite song in the charts this week is Side To Side. Ariana Grande is a solid pop belter at this point, and every time I hear it I forget that it has a great Nicki Minaj verse coming up. Like everything else in the charts right now, it’s not my favourite thing that either of them have done (Get On Your Knees, on Minaj’s The Pinkprint album is a better collaboration), but it’s the most listenable thing charting, in my opinion.
Honourable mentions are Cold Water (Major Lazer, Justin Bieber, and MO) and The Greatest (Sia featuring Kendrick Lamar) which placed at seven and eight respectively. They’ve held their places this week but are now on the general decline, likely hanging around in the mid-30s until at least March next year. They’re solid radio songs though, so they can stay.
Niall Horan has jumped in as a wildcard with This Town, which is adorably homemade sounding. This week it’s at nine, up 91 places (I’m not joking, honestly). It’s a little nondescript, but as it’s the only thing at all on his Spotify page it gives the impression that he’s doing A-Level music and is uploading his coursework to Bandcamp. It will probably chart pretty highly in the next few weeks thanks to the One Direction effect, but will Niall’s solo work prove to be as underwhelming as Zayn’s? Only time will tell.
Other’s to watch in the next few weeks will be Craig David and Sigala’s Ain’t Giving Up, up from 39 to 23. And The Chainsmokers. Yes. Groan. They’re back. They’ve slipped in at 24 with All We Know featuring Phoebe Ryan. I could have pegged them as a comedy one-hit-wonder if you’d have asked me last year, but now I’m not so sure. We might be stuck with them.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Over in the album charts, Craig David is number one and Bon Iver is number two, both new releases this week. I’m hopeful this mean’s the end of 2016 will be full of garage and experimental indie. Well, a girl can dream.