Freddie Matthews writes from London: Fifteen million album sales later and this week there’s only one band worthy of the top story in the UK singles chart as Muse return with their latest single Madness. The Teignmouth, Devon, lads have reigned supreme in all that is live music over the last 10 years or so. They have won Best British Live Act at the Brits not just once but twice, as well as a whole host of MTV Europe, NME, Mercury, Q, Kerang and American Music awards as well as three Grammy nominations. They also won Best Rock Album for their 5th and last studio album The Resistance.
Not too shabby a record so far then. The return of Muse to the UK music scene is a more than welcome for the band’s fans all around the UK let alone the world. The new single, Madness, is out on October 2nd from their 6th studio album called The 2nd Law, which is released on the same day. If the success of the last album was anything to go by, reaching No.1 in 10 countries worldwide, then take my word for it, this new Muse album will be massive. The band’s popularity goes from strength to strength and they sell out stadiums by the shed load. Madness scores 8.0 out of 10. It would be higher if it were a bit more ballsy!
From the great to the mediocre we have to give a mention to Leona Lewis’ return on October 7th with her new single Trouble, featuring Childish Gambino. It wouldn’t even be credible, in this day and age, unless there was the industry standard ‘featuring’ another artist with some either rap or vocal. It’s just the done thing. The record company would like us to believe the song is an anguished epic journey (I hate that overly used X Factor tripe word) that reveals ethereal, haunting tones which simultaneously showcase the sheer power and intimacy of Leona’s incredible voice. OK, it’s well written by a desperate-to-please PR type but also utter irrelevant rubbish. What’s happened to her cool and with-it style? On the early auditions for X Factor, as a guest judge, Leona looked more like a mum in her 40s or the school secretary. I think she was trying far too hard to even be moderately tepid, let alone anywhere near cool. Then again, I think she’s trying to appeal to the BBC Radio 2 listener. They are play listing her single, and that radio station has several million more listeners than the slightly more famous BBC Radio 1. ‘Trouble’, for me, is pretty much in trouble. It’s not great Leona, 6.2 out of 10 at best.
Every week at this time of year we just can’t get away from even more former X Factor, or X Crapter as I like to think of it, artists rushing to release any old music while the show generates its own unique airtime schedule. This week is no different. I actually quite like this lady’s voice as Rebecca Fergusson returns with her new single ‘Backtrack’. However it’s just the one new single from, a so called, deluxe edition of her already long in the tooth debut album, which was originally released last December. OK, this new version does include five brand new songs which is encouraging for fans but five is never enough for a full album. As a result SYCO have just tagged them into what would seem like a great deal special edition. The best example of the true meaning of a ‘special edition’ for me is when a car model is almost at the end of its run. That’s when the manufacturers roll out the ‘special edition’ versions to try and squeeze a few final sales out of us but in reality we’re only ever buying the old model. Despite liking her unique voice, well before the SYCO processing treatment, Rebecca’s ‘Backtrack’ scores 5.4 out of 10.
And finally, not British but certainly worthy of a mention is South Korean rapper PSY who’s heading for the UK Top 10 after the sales of his Gangnam Style single quadrupled week on week. The track has not only broken YouTube records but according to the Official Charts Company in the UK alone the sales have risen by 389 per cent and that’s in just three days! The Island release has also made history by becoming the first Korean-language hit to ever chart in the UK. It’s as catchy as the day when all the residents of the planet Catchy tried to find out who was the catchiest of all the catchy people. It’s also has the ‘love/hate’ factor. Gangnam Style scores 7 out of 10.