The UK singles chart is looking a bit odd at this time of year: Rihanna is featured three times in the top 40 (#30, #37, #38) and Mariah Carey and The Pogues have returned to the top ten. Not to mention that Wham, Chris Rea, Wizzard and Slade are about. Yes, it's the Christmas #1 week. And yes, the winner of X Factor has unsurprisingly come out on top, selling more singles than the top ten combined. I'm going to take a quick look at some of the Christmas #1 contenders anyway.
Leon Jackson (#1)
The winner of X Factor was quite obviously going to be Christmas number 1. But not many suspected that Leon Jackson would beat odds on favourite Rhydian, a Welsh singer whose "biggest phobia is getting fat". The producers could well have rigged the vote because Leon seems almost impossibly inoffensive to Rhydian's atypical popstar voice and image. Nice enough single though, a slightly altered cover of Mariah and Whitney's 'When You Believe'. Watch the horrendously bad video on [Youtube].
Soulja Boy Tellem (#5)
Massive club hit crosses over to mainstream success. Apparently, 'Crank That (Soulja Boy)' has an accompanying dance that has taken America by storm. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or not - remember the Macarena? The Travis Barker "remix" is worth a listen, check it out on [Youtube].
Malcolm Middleton (#31)
Malcolm recently noted that the Christmas #1 was a "battle between good and evil" (i.e the world vs manufactured artists). William Hill originally offered odds of 1000/1 for 'We're All Going To Die' to be Xmas #1 (the longest ever odds on such a bet) before going as low as 12/1. My favourite track off his third post-Arab Strap album, it fell disappointly short. You can listen to its greatness on the single tie-in website [wereallgoingtodie.co.uk].
Malcolm Middleton - We're All Going To Die (BBC Radio 1 Session) [Yourfilehost download link]
Malcolm Middleton - Burst Noel (BBC Radio 1 Session) [Yourfilehost]
The whole of Malcolm's recent Radio 1 session is available to download on his [MySpace].
'Christmas Is Awesome' was meant to be Reuben's breakthrough hit and a shining beacon in the battle between good and evil (see above). Nice idea, except they went and got themselves disqualified from the charts by registering the wrong song! But is a manufactured single really any better than a manufactured band anyway? Nonetheless, this meaty ode to Christmas is good. Check out the christmassy vid on [Youtube]. In fact, while you're there, listen to 'Freddy Kreuger', their career highlight for me.
Hot Club de Paris (#?)
With only 300 copies of 'Will You Still Be In Love With Me Next Year?' available, this was hardly going to make inroads in the chart. That doesn't mean that this isn't a Hot Club classic, its melancholy lyrics doused with wonderful harmonies and sleigh bells and glockenspiels. Magical. Listen to the single on their [MySpace]. Order the 7" from [Banquet Records].
Klaus Says Buy The Record & Jose Vanders (#?)
Jose Vanders is somewhat of a MySpace sensation (575,000 plays and counting) and she's collaborated with Brighton lad Jon Mills (aka Klaus Says Buy The Record) to produce the rather snazzy 'Winter Wear'. Unashamedly novelty Christmas pop, 'Winter Wear' really could have been a Christmas #1. Ultimately, this remains a hidden gem. Below is a 2.30 preview of the single but listen to it in full, then buy at [Indiestore.com]. Think of it as a Christmas present to independent record label, Riddlestone.
Klaus Says Buy The Record & Jose Vanders - Winter Wear (2.30 preview) [Yourfilehost]//[Sendspace]
So that's that then. Evil won out. At least there have been some good Christmas singles this year. I'm still a bit sad that Malcolm Middleton didn't quite make #1 but I'll cheer myself up by looking at some ace Christmas freebies offered by bands recently in my next post.
p.s sorry for not posting so much these days, I've had a ridiculous amount of work at uni and I turned 21 a few days ago so life's been a bit mad recently!