Hi guys, welcome back to The Social Tune! My name is Fionn, and welcome back to a brand new edition of Musical McCool!
Thank God, I needed a week like this! Since we're coming towards the end of the year, the clock really is ticking. We only have a handful more weeks to cover and it's really starting to get close to the final decision of what's going to make the year-end list and what isn't, so it's an interesting time, especially as we're starting to see what could possibly shape the start of 2022. With all that being said though, we got no new entries this week on the main chart, because we are experiencing the yearly tradition known as the Christmas Invasion.
The Top 10
Not that it's affecting our top 10 just yet.
Number 1 is still ruled over by Easy On Me by Adele, which currently has its heels dug in pretty firmly thanks to great album and single sales.
But All Too Well (Taylor's Version) by Taylor Swift is not far behind, still at number 2 and still doing very impressive numbers as a single.
And yet one rising star is definitely posing a threat, as abcdefu by GAYLE continues to rise even higher up to number 3. People seem to love this song, it's already gone far beyond the initial TikTok push.
All of this forced Oh My God by Adele down to number 4, still propped up by very strong album sales, but not quite enough to stand its ground.
Then at number 5, we saw a slight resurgence for Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) by Elton John & Dua Lipa, still kind of a perpetual headache which I want to go away.
Continuing the trend of songs holding on way better than I was expecting, I Drink Wine by Adele still only dropped down 1 spot to number 6. Again, 30 is still selling like crazy, but a lack of competition doesn't hurt either.
One song that isn't allowing itself to be beaten back is Meet Me At Our Spot by The Anxiety, which rose back up to number 7 because this song was not content just being the autumn hit of 2021 and now wants to take the winter for itself too.
But then we have the first of our songs that I think is going to be one of the first big hits of the NEXT year, Where Are You Now by Lost Frequencies & Calum Scott, rising again up to number 8. This song's success is pretty huge, I only predict it will get bigger from here.
Another song I'm hoping will do well is Seventeen Going Under by Sam Fender at number 9. Right now I'm in this weird limbo where I love the song but I kind of hope that it doesn't actually make the 2021 year-end list, because I really fucking love it and I want to start out the next year with a song I know I'm going to love.
And finally, a new arrival in Do It To It by ACRAZE featuring Cherish entered the top 10. Not too surprised by this, it's a remix of a song that some people apparently have some nostalgia for. Also it's way better than the original, I'm not actually mad it's here.
Top 50: The Punished and the New
As you might expect, this was a week with a lot of losers because nobody wants to listen to "normal" music when we have Christmas music on the radio. And only one of them can be chalked up to ACR:
Shivers by Ed Sheeran - number 4 to 12
Yeah, this was pretty inevitable, but the fact that it's still in the top 20, right alongside Bad Habits and Overpass Graffiti, THIS is why Ed Sheeran gets the big bucks, folks.
That being said, there were other songs that didn't fare nearly as well. Our first big drop comes for Smoking Out The Window by Silk Sonic and shooting down to number 21. Man, I thought this one might get caught up between years, but looks like it's not even going to get the chance to do that! What is much more likely to get caught there is actually One Right Now by Post Malone & The Weeknd as it drops down to number 27, alongside Tell It To My Heart by MEDUZA & Hozier down to 28, as again, the timing on its release just couldn't have been worse, they really should have waited a couple of months! And that trend continues from there: Better Days by NEIKED, Mae Muller & Polo G fell down number 31, Moth to a Flame by Swedish House Mafia & The Weeknd staggered down to 32 - man, not a good week for Abel - and of course, we also saw the drop of well-established hits, like Better Days by Dermot Kennedy down to 33, Heat Waves by Glass Animals at 34, Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah) by CKay to 35, and INDUSTRY BABY by Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow down to number 40. All of these songs have been huge in 2021 and and some of them might have a chance to rebound at the start of next year anyway. My money's on Dermot Kennedy. We also saw the non-starters, like Overseas by D-Block Europe & Central Cee from last week falling HARD to 40, as well as SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY by Amaarae, Molly & Kali Uchis down to 46 - shame about that one - as well as Nothing New (Taylor's Version) by Taylor Swift & Phoebe Bridgers dropping down to 49, and finally, Drive by Clean Bandit, Topic & Wes Nelson is at number 50. None of these are surprising considering when they were dropped, but MAN is it a shame for most of them and also Overseas I guess.
That being said, there were a couple of interesting gains. No, I'm not talking about All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey up to number 11 or Last Christmas by Wham! at number 13 or Fairytale of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl up to 17, those are all givens. I'm actually talking about the organic hits which somehow still seem to be getting some form of traction, like Coming For You by SwitchOTR featuring A1 & J1 up to 22, and to my utter shock, Enemy by Imagine Dragons & J.I.D up to number 30. I mean, really? We haven't had an Imagine Dragons hit in the past couple of years and the one we want to prop up is the one with the incredible rapper? ... I mean, I'm not about to complain.
That was really about it. And all of our returning entries are fucking Christmas songs! So let's just run down the list in order, shall we? Rockin Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee is at 23, It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas by Michael Bublé at number 24 - Goddammit I hate that version, i's Bing Crosby or nothing - Merry Christmas Everyone by
Shakin' Stevens at 26, Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid makes its yearly unwelcome. reappearance number 36 - even though I don't personally hate that song - Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms rears its much more welcome head at number 37, Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande, one of my favorite modern Christmas hits purely for the ridiculous factor, is back in 38, It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Andy Williams, a goddamn classic, returns at number 39, Underneath The Tree by Kelly Clarkson, a surprisingly solid Christmas song, is back at number 43 this year - Good for her! - and best of all, Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea is at number 47! After I tore the Dermot Kennedy version apart last week, I was so sure I was gonna have to deal with THAT this week on the main charts, but thank God we actually opted for the original instead, presumably because even his fans realized that his cover sucks. And now... well, like I said before, we actually have no new entries. So we're going straight on to the Homegrown charts!
So we did get a couple of things to discuss this week on the home front, with 3 new songs and a couple of movers up and down the charts as we head into the new year. The first thing of note is that Johnny Boy by Christy Moore lost its brief boost up to number 5 last week back down to number 9. I mean yeah, I was kind of surprised that happened in the first place. I was also a little dismayed to see Chain Reaction by Mick Flannery & Susan O'Neill drop to 13, as well as Sex & Drugs by Kojaque and Celia Tiab as it falls down to 16. But hey, at least Write Our Own Soundtrack by The Coronas rose back up to 11, that's something.
Other than that, we had a couple of returning entries: All For You by KOLIDESCOPES & Gavin James is back at number 12 - good, I like that song, even if I don't think it's as good as Greatest Hits which is also still here... wait what?! Okay, this is why I keep saying whoever manages the Homegrown charts needs to up their game! You know what, fuck it, the 20th song on the Homegrown Charts and our current number 1 is Tell It To My Heart by Hozier as far as I'm concerned, congrats on repacing All For You! ... ... And our other returning entry is Rambling Rover by Nathan Carter, back at number 18. This one I'm less thrilled about, but hey, I've heard worse covers in the last couple of weeks.
And with those out of the way, let's move on to something new but familiar
Title: Tiger Woods by AV9 (Rose9 & Chuks)
You know, it's strange. Even though I've been talking about AV9 all year, I haven't actually seen much of Rose or Chuks during that time. Sure, they've shown up here and there on some of the posse cuts, but they've never really stood out to me since I talked about them at the very beginning of the year. For those of you who don't remember, one of the very first songs that I ever covered on this series was Facts by these two right here. And that song kind of left me a bit cold and I haven't gone back to it since it came out. But I remember it being okay and I was kind of relieved to get something from just the 2 of them. After all, AV9 really hasn't impressed me as much as A92 or even D15 throughout this year, so maybe giving it to 2 of their better rappers might work in their favor? And thankfully, it certainly does.
The first thing that you'll notice about this song if you've been paying attention to the Irish drill scene is that this sounds a lot like an A92 track, specifically in terms of the beat. The Asian stringed instruments make for a very good sample that's very typical of Offica's aesthetic, the bass is much more dynamic and dense in spots, and there's even a Naruto reference thrown in there for good measure. All of which was going to lead me to call this is a bit of a ripoff... but then I realised it was intentional, because this track is actually meant as a diss to the A92 crew, specifically the title specifically referring to Dbo's verse on the Fumez The Engineer freestyle finale earlier this year. Okay, that's a little bit flimsy but at the very least it does explain why this song sounds so much like an A92 song. And what backs it up is that the bars are actually pretty good too.
Sure. I wouldn't say there's a huge amount of great disses here. It suffers the curse of most drill music where each line sort of fades into the next one with one or two stand-outs, but nothing that absolutely blows you away. Although I will definitely give credit to any rap song that talks about getting crunk on Snapple. And there is a very direct shot at the end where they brag about stepping into the A92 turf freely, without consequence. Which does make me a little nervous, because gang wars are still very much a thing in this city, but maybe it's all in good fun? But in terms of sheer musicality, this is actually pretty damn good! Unlike D-Block Europe last week, they seem to share the spotlight very well between the 2 of them, and there's not really a hook to speak of, just bars on bars with some pretty decent punchlines and some VERY impressive flows. And while yes, the trademark sample of a rival group is kind of a cheap tactic, it works really well. Definitely better than Facts was anyway, and one of the better songs I've heard from this camp this year. Really good job guys, way to book-end the year with this one!
Title: Tonight Belongs To You by Bissett
You know what, I was actually kind of looking forward to this. I actually think Bissett's last song Let It Go was really fucking good and definitely one of the better things I've heard from the Dublin-based producer in more recent years. Okay, I didn't like Every Single Time much at all, but that means you're kind of on even footing with me. So what does this new track do for your reputation?
Well, one of the things I enjoyed about Let It Go were clean and crisp vocals, which were slightly sped up the points, but not in a way that detracted from the performance of the singer? Okay, maybe this is just down from my own personal preference when it comes to EDM, but here the vocals are sped up and pitched in a way that sounds weirdly chipmunk-esque. And while I can tell that, just like the last single, there's a story that's trying to be told in the verses, they really don't matter because they go by way too fast. It doesn't sound like a song that was designed to go fast, it sounds like it's being sped up in post, there's a key difference! This isn't a problem with the hook, which does the usual EDM thing of one stock phrase shouting out across the crowd on repeat, in this case "tonight belongs to you". That could have been uplifting and joyous, but it doesn't work because a) the instrumentation really doesn't build it up enough, b) the verses sound incredibly jerky and awkward, and c) the actual drop never fully coalesces, instead just fading back into the verses. Plus, if you actually parse out the lyrics, it's actually one where our protagonist is that they've found you, the person they can lean on, and they're about going to give you all of themselves. In other words, it's a love song, which isn't exactly what I first got from the chorus. And that's before I found that the original is a completely forgotten Jeremih and Flo Rida song from 2015, which this song BARELY makes any meaningful changes to!
Yeah, the more I listened to this, the more the flaws became glaringly obvious. And I didn't even like it the first time! This is technically slightly better sonically than the original, but it just doesn't feel like a finished product. At least ACRAZE mixed up Do It To It so it sounded slightly more natural on the hook and took out all of the verses. Here, all the verses except the awful Flo Rida feature are shoehorned in there for no apparent reason. Sure, that's slightly more interesting than a song that just repeats the same chorus over and over again, but it just ends up feeling jumbled and bloated. I want to give this points for effort, but Bissett has done better with this past. I don't know, I expected more.
Title: Can't Be Wrong by Maverick Sabre
And we close out today with a relative unknown. For those of you who are not aware, which I'm guessing is all of you, this is Maverick Sabre, an Irish singer/rapper who I only really knew before from his feature on Kojaque's song Casio, a song that we actually discussed earlier on this year. And he was absolutely excellent on that as a rapper, but I haven't actually got around to checking out his own stuff yet. Well, it turns out he does a fair bit of singing, which... look, very often when rappers are also classified as singers, I'm a little hesitant to buy it. After all, most people are definitely better at one or the other, or they're like Drake and end up just being mediocre at both.
So imagine my surprise when I stuck this on and I heard the gorgeous soulful vocals and the liquid guitar! This is some D'Angelo-type shit, where the structure of the song is very much in a neo-soul vein, namely languid crooning on the verses and a HUGE chorus. It takes its time wallowing in its own atmosphere, but the touches of liquid guitar and other funky elements are really progressive and give the song some real teeth! It ends up sounding utterly beautiful in a way that I certainly wasn't expecting!
As for the lyrics, they're incredibly over the top and melodramatic, as you'd expect. A song about a guy who is trying to move on from this girl and feeling conflicted, reflecting on all the times they treated each other badly. So why does he still feel a pang of guilt as he tries to move on with other people, the thought of her still lingering in the back of his head? It's a fairly straightforward song in the text, but the emotion is tangled and complicated in the way we can nevertheless all relate to. I'm not usually a huge fan of this particular style of music, but when the presentation is there, it really does give me a rush whenever I listen to it! So yeah, great job Maverick Sabre, did not expect this from you at all!
And you know what, Maverick Sabre's Can't Be Wrong is also getting the Best of the week because there wasn't really much to choose from this week, we only had 3 songs after all! And that's the same reason why Tonight Belongs To You by Bissett is getting Worst of the week, purely because it's the worst of the ones here, it's not a terrible song.
But anyway, thank you so much for reading. Apologies, this is a little bit late, I had a fairly hectic weekend but I'm here now and I'm glad to have it done. We've only got a few weeks of this series left, so stay tuned for more. New Top 10 will be along in a week or so, so please make sure you and your friends subscribe to the blog and follow me on Twitter to keep up with these releases. And until the next time, I'm Fionn and this is The Social Tune signing off!