Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Number 1s of 2009: May 17

The Tinchy Stryder single managed three weeks at the top, holding the unfortunate La Roux at number two for the whole time.

In fact, over the last few weeks, the most notable thing about the charts has been their sheer uneventfulness. Last week, the entire top six was static. This week, there are only four new entries in the top 40 - one at the top, and the others at 38, 39 and 40. To be fair, there are some singles climbing the charts as well, but such a low turnover is still remarkable. Singles sales are actually on the rise (probably because more people are cherry-picking album tracks), but a side-effect seems to be that the really big hits jam themselves at the top of the charts and stay there for an age. In some ways, this is a good thing for the charts; the days when a single could get into the top 5 on hype alone, and then plummet out of the top 40 in a fortnight, are well and truly banished.

On the other hand, there's also another factor. CD singles aren't widely sold any more. Some acts seem to have had trouble getting their fans to switch to digital; as a result, they've suddenly become album artists. For example, take U2's current single "Magnificent", which bombed out at number 42 last week - their first single to miss the top 40 since 1987.

Anyway, here's your new number one.

That's the Black Eyed Peas, "Boom Boom Pow."

I thought they'd given up. More accurately, I hoped they'd given up. It's been three years since they last released a single as a group, which I suppose accounts for the otherwise inexplicably high level of interest in this record. It's their second UK number one, following "Where is the Love" back in 2003, and their ninth hit single in total.

The record is a sub-Kanye West exercise in minimal electronics and distorted vocals. Frankly, there's not much else to say about it. It's not appalling, but there's nothing particularly memorable about it. And heaven only knows who thought it was a good idea to release a single with the lyric "I'm so 2008, you're so 2000-and-late" in 2009.

Fortunately, although it'll presumably clog up the top ten for a while, it won't be number one for long: it's almost guaranteed to be shoved aside by Dizzee Rascal on Sunday.