It's a Sunday, so I was doing my usual post-band-practise bored-internet-trawl, when I ended up on the Radio One website. More specifically, the page containing this week's UK Single Charts. It is a really terrible list. I guess there is always a pre-Christmas lull in terms of Big Hit Songs, but I feel more concerned about the staleness of the music than anything else. It's not that the songs are rubbish (.....they are) but that they all seem so worn out.
I don't know if now is really the time for a single-by-single rundown, but it seems like the top 40 is mainly split between ropey 'comeback' singles (Kylie, Britney, Spice Girls, Craig David[!]), album-milking third or fourth singles from the summer's big sellers (Rihanna, Mika, Take That, Mark Cunting Ronson) or dad-friendly rock that presumably has been advertised heavily on iTunes (Phil Collins, Led Zeppelin, Elvis....yes, Elvis Presley). Not one song (of those I've heard, which is the majority) has any merest hint of edge, be it originality, controversy or style. I know Elvis is The King and everything and even though I think he is shit, old people still love him, it's just hard to accept that there are that many people who need to buy it now, this week, that it would manage to beat hundreds off new releases from new bands with new young fans. (Soon the world will be full of old people and nothing new will ever happen.) I don't know if I should even be mentioning this, because it's easier to pretend it isn't true, but NICKLEBACK have a single in the top 20 this week. Nickleback.
Whilst on the subject of atrocious popular music, I thought it was worth noting that every single song on yesterday's X Factor featured the horrendous trucker's gear change. I wouldn't really mind if it was actually in the songs they were covering, but as far as I know the originals are gear-change-free. I wonder what they would do if someone did Man In The Mirror (which features the most wonderful gear change in the history of everything) - perhaps they would just do the change twice or something. Anyway it's a sickly horrible thing that should be reserved for pop songs which need it (or even deserve it), not ruined by using it as the quickest route to making the audience think you're really going for it.
Not that I watch X Factor of course, far too busy....