Hey guys, welcome back to The Social Tune. And this is the first edition of a brand new Season of Musical McCool!
Last year I decided to focus on Irish music and thus started this weekly series discussing them. Yes, it takes a lot of effort to do this week after week and I'll admit I'm not always the best at getting it out on time, but I get so much joy doing it so regularly. Plus it gives me something regular and passionate to indulge in. So I'm continuing it into the new year! I hope that all of you who have followed so far will join me and that any newcomers will enjoy it as well.
With all of that in mind, I did consider expanding this to doing the full Top 100 Irish Songs every single week, but to be honest, I just don't have the time to cover more than I already do! And 2022 is going to be a much busier year for me than the last one, so at least for now, we're going to stick to the top 50 and the Homegrown charts. So without further ado, welcome to Season 2 of Musical McCool!
The Top 10
Currently, we're still seeing the aftermath of the Christmas Invasion.
At number 1, we still have Merry Christmas by Ed Sheeran & Elton John. I really shouldn't be surprised this has been as successful as it has, it's just because I don't personally like it. At all.
Number 2, meanwhile, now belongs to Last Christmas by Wham!, which was able to rise up another spot this week...
... followed by All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, only at number 3. The first year in a while that it didn't go to number one, interesting.
Then we have number 4, Fairytale of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl making its regularly scheduled appearence as a a holiday staple here in Ireland.
Then Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee rose up to number 5, which brings us to the only non-Christmas song in the Top 10:
abcdefu by GAYLE, dropping down a fair bit to number 6. Only a temporary setback though, as soon as all the Christmas music clears out, this is may even go to number 1.
Number 7 is It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas by Michael Bublé, and a terrible cover it is.
Merry Christmas Everyone by Shakin' Stevens is next, dropping a spot to number 8.
Then to close out you have Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms at number 9...
...and finally, It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Andy Williams rose into the top 10! Like I said, a lot of Christmas music at the moment!
Top 50: The Punished and the New
Now in terms of the Top 50, last week's theme continues: older songs dropped to make way for Christmas music, which almost completely engulfed the top 20.
So, keeping things short and sweet: Sam Fender's Seventeen Going Under dropped down to 19, Where Are You Now by Lost Frequencies & Calum Scott fell to 21, Do It To It by ACRAZE stumbled to 27, All Too Well (Taylor's Version) by Taylor Swift slid down to 29, good 4 u by Olivia Rodrigo and Shivers by Ed Sheeran both dropped to 32 and 33 respectively. All of these songs made the Top 100 Biggest Irish Hits of 2021, so they're fine. What may be in more trouble are Enemy by Imagine Dragons & J.I.D dropping to 40 and I Wish by Joel Corry & Mabel to 50.
As for the gains... they were all Christmas songs, none of them matter. And while it may seem like we had a load of new entries this week, keep in mind that these charts are only so old. In fact, all but 2 of these "new" songs are returning entries that haven't reached Ireland in the last couple of years: Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Michael Jackson & The Jackson 5 at 42, The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole at 45, A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives returned to number 46, Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry at 48 and Lonely This Christmas by Mud returned to 49.
The only actually new song that we have to talk about is:
Title: Peru by Fireboy DML & Ed Sheeran
This feels weird...
Oh, not the base product. In fact, Fireboy Slim has quite the reputation among Nigerian artists, having broken onto the scene in 2018 with a mix of R&B and traditional local beats, which eventually took more of a turn to the Afrobeat stylings we hear here. He even had a pretty successful couple of album over the past couple of years which have garnered their fair share of critical acclaim, and good for him.
Now, this is his biggest crossover single yet, an Afrobeat track with pronounced high hats, an extremely catchy refrain in "Peru, para", partly in English and partly in Yorùbá, which languishes in its own atmosphere. And to be fair, I have issues with the original song. It's not as dynamic and varied as a song like Love Nwantiti, and I do think that those high hats are placed way too far forward in the mix. Give the mix space to breathe, you've got a good melody here that I want to appreciate!
But... why Ed Sheeran?! I just don't understand why he's here other than adding the biggest name in pop music to some guy's viral hit! And he doesn't fit at all! The rest of the song is still low-key and atmospheric, but as soon as Fireboy DML steps back in favour of Ed, it just sounds so weird... and it's unfortunate because Ed IS trying here! He goes for one of his looser flows, he doesn't oversing, and he certainly doesn't try to outshine his co-star, with one of his most lyrically anonymous performances in a while. Seriously, fucking SHIVERS has more personality and unique character to it than this!
Anyway... this song is just aight. It's mildly catchy, sure, but the production feels unbalanced and Ed Sheeran adds nothing here but starpower... and even then, that's only in name. Props to Fireboy DML, I've heard and liked other cuts of his and I'm glad he's getting a shot, but I'm not going to remember this by next week. Sorry lads.
Title: Santa, Can't You Hear Me by Jonas Brothers
Ewwwww... remember when the Jonas Brothers came back in 2019? Remember, with Sucker and Cool and the utterly repulsive Only Human? Well, they released a Christmas single that year. You know, because they weren't nearly big enough sell-outs as is!
First off, this might be the most terrifying lyric video I've ever seen. I hate Joe Jonas' terrifying dead eyes!!! Secondly, this song is painfully plastic. The percussion and horns are laughably fake, and don't even get me started on those tiny sleigh bells in the background! The snaps and handclaps give this a slight warmth for about 20 seconds before the rest of the production floods in and drowns them out. Oh, and it's a MASSIVE rip-off of Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You, especially with the content and that drum build-up to the main hook. Except where that song pays it all off on the hook, these 3 sound so bored and half-assed that all romance or drive is immediately lost. Not to mention end of the hook, where the upbeat instruments just cut out suddenly to mark the return to the generic verses.
The entire song is soulless, which makes it the worst kind of Christmas song. But that being said... I don't hate it, exactly? It's so cheap and forgettable that it doesn't stick with you long enough to get passionately angry about it, and the fact that it only charted now, so late into the Christmas cycle, shows that this isn't some recurring holiday staple by any means. So yeah, compared to some of their other output, this is just mediocre.
So believe it or not, we didn't get any new arrivals this week, yet again! For yet another week, our top 6 songs remained completely stagnant and nothing else in the top 10 moved more than 1 spot either way. Just below that though, things are slightly more interesting. Defying all my expectations, Johnny Boy by Christy Moore saw another boost up to number 12, along with the ever-stubborn Your Song Saved My Life by U2 to 16. Guess there are more Sing fans than I realised.
Also, mirroring this time last year, The Coronas still have a song in the top 20, although Write Our Own Soundtrack did drop to 15 this week. Shame about that... more so than Close To You by Chasing Abbey falling to number 19, a song that grates more on my nerves with every listen. Also, while I'm thrilled Chain Reaction by Mick Flannery & Susan O'Neill has lasted so long, it is currently on its 13th week (ironically enough at number 13 on the charts as well), so it'll be gone next week. Let's see what takes its place... please be Are We Free?, please!
Finally, we had 3 returning entries: All For You by Kolidescropes & Gavin James is back at 11 - still shouldn't be allowed, Greatest Hits is still in the top 5! - I'll Get Over It by Lea Heart returned at 14 - oh goodie, the one song I couldn't stand from her this year! - and Noel's Creamy Pints by 2 Johnnies is back again at 20... that last one's fine.
And that was our week! Like I said, short and sweet! To the point where I'm not even going to hand out a Best and Worst, because I don't give enough of a shit about either of the songs here. So there.
Thank you all for joining in for a new season of the show! 2 more lists for 2021 will be out over the next couple of days, so keep your eyes peeled! Make sure you and your friends subscribe to the blog and follow me on Twitter to keep up with these releases. Take care everyone, happy holidays once again, and until the next time, I'm Fionn and this is The Social Tune signing off!