Thursday, January 03, 2008

Number 1s of 2007: February

"Ruby" by the Kaiser Chiefs (25 February to 4 March, one week).

Strange band, the Kaiser Chiefs. At their best, they've got the rare ability to write songs that sound like they must be cover versions of some obscure classic. "I Predict A Riot" and "Oh My God" are both killer singles.

And then again, they also make quite a lot of self-consciously quirky, trying-too-hard music such as... well, most of the singles from their second album, to be honest. When you hear those ones, you can understand why they're sometimes dismissed as a poor man's Blur. Sometimes, they are. If you really want an example, here's "The Angry Mob", a song which would be right at home on Blur's second-worst album, "The Great Escape." Not BAD, exactly, but missing the mark a bit, especially that overlong coda.

"Ruby" was the lead single from the second album, and it's somewhere between these two categories. It does have a classic feel to it, but it also feels like they've been sitting around the studio working through their classic rock ticklist. I kind of like it, though, and the video is cute. Oddly, the two follow-up singles didn't do that well at all (peaking at number 19 and 22 respectively), but at least that shows that "Ruby" got to number one on the strength of broad appeal rather than just a fanbase buying the new record in the first week.

Meanwhile, in America, Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right" got to number one on February 24. It scraped the bottom of the top 10 in Britain, but hung around the chart for ages, so it's a genuine transatlantic hit.