Rihanna – International Pop Sensation

Who would have thought 2 years ago that Rihanna would be the gigantic pop star she’s become. Unless Kate Nash or Timbaland have the Saturday sales of a lifetime, “Umbrella” will be at #1 for a 10th week come Sunday. I am a chart geek so here are some reasons why i’m getting very excited by a ten week reign:

  • “Umbrella will become the longest running #1 of the century beating Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” 9 week reign.
  • “Love Is All Around” is the next record to beat, staying for 15 weeks before being deleted by the label.
  • It’s the only long running #1 of recent times to not be associated with a film. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (16 wks, 1991), “I Will Always Love You” (10 wks, 1992), and “Love Is All Around” (15wks, 1994) were all the lead song from the soundtrack to some of the highest grossing films of their year.
  • After 7 weeks, she’s just been dislodged from US #1 but is at the top in Slovenia, Switzerland, Latvia, South Africa, Malysia, Singapore, and Curaceo.
  • And finally she’ll become one of only 7 artists since charts began to spend reach double week figures at the top.
  • Rihanna’s next single “Shut Up And Drive” is meant to be out in about 2 weeks but I guess it might get put back. In any case I’m not fussed about it, the highlight of the album for me now (and it took a little while to grow) is the Michael Jackson sampling “Don’t Stop The Music”. I just love the way the sample is weaved in.

    Thanks to different countries releasing different things there’s already a video for this song. It involves lots of handclapping, Rihanna psyching herself up in a mirror or hoping for an evil Willow doppleganger snog with herself, some expensive wallpaper and a whole lot of attitude.


    Husky Rescue

    husky rescue

    Thanks to the jobs I do, I get a lot of free music. Obviously this is amazing, but it really bugs me that I don’t have time to listen to it all. Some CDs get left and never listened to, and some, well they just take me a while to get round to.

    Ghost Is Not Real by Husky Rescue is an example of this. I received their album in January but only listened to it for the first time last night and boy am I glad I did. I love a lot of Scandinavian music but most of the artists I know are from Norway or Sweden so it’s exciting to see that Husky Rescue are from Finland. A country which, despite being the only one I’ve visited, I don’t know a lot about musically.

    The band follow the great Scandanvian tradition of having men on instruments and a brilliant blonde on vocals. Based in Helsinki, Ghost Is Not Real is their 2nd album and a mix of haunting and experimental synth/guitar pop. At times their melodies and Reeta-Leena’s voice really remind me of Metric. In fact the album’s most upbeat and sexiest song “Nightless Nights” actually sounds like it samples the guitar riff from “Dead Disco” at about 1.28.

    “Blueberry Hill” is split into three parts and the rest of an album form a donut around them. Epic and seductive, part three doesn’t even contain any vocals but is utterly capivating. Dreamy, cinematic icy bliss.


    Hello Saferide – Long Lost Penpal


    I’m quite jealous of anyone who went to Latitude this weekend because they had the chance to see Hello Saferide.

    Hello Saferide are a Swedish indie-pop group fronted by radio presenter Annika Norlin. I actually know very little about them, but have had “Long Lost Penpal” on my iTunes for a few weeks and really love it. You almost don’t expect it to veer into an indie-pop track as it opens with a soft baleric guitar that reminds me of something on the likes of Cafe Del Mar 7. The lyrics are bittersweet and unnervingly funny telling the story of two girls who wrote to each other as children but haven’t been in touch since. While one reveals how the letters really affected her life, the other has a somewhat hilarious / seedy twist to reveal. Annika is joined on this track by Andrea Kellerman, formerly of London trip-hoppers Anamorphic, now returned to her native Sweden and singing under the name Firefox AK. Aah browser love.

    This is really the only song I know by Hello Saferide so I can’t really recommend them in general. They are on my evergrowing list of artists to properly check out however. Any particular song suggestions from either HS or Firefox AK are much appreciated. Neither artists have any UK dates booked in currently but let’s hope they do soon.


    The 2007 Freddie Mercurys

    Despite Mercury not existing as a phone company for ooh about thirteen years maybe the name of the national music prize has totally stuck as the “Mercurys”. Poor Nationwide then who as the actual sponsors barely get a mention – whoever calls it the Nationwide Mercury Music Prize, and why in fact are a building society sponsoring it?

    Anyway these are 2007’s sticker bearing nominees:

    :: Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare
    :: Dizzee Rascal – Maths And English
    :: The View – Hats Off To The Buskers
    :: Maps – We Can Create
    :: Bat For Lashes – Fur And Gold
    :: Klaxons – Myths Of The Near Future
    :: Jamie T – Panic Prevention
    :: The Young Knives – Voices Of Animals And Men
    :: Fionn Regan – The End Of History
    :: Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford – Basquiat Strings
    :: Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
    :: New Young Pony Club – Fantastic Playroom

    b4l.jpgThe only ones I’ve not heard are Basquiet Strings, Fionn and Maps so count those out of what I’m about to say BUT:

    1. Amy is the only album that will be remembered as a seminal album in 10 years time.

    2. The View are the worst band of the last 12 months. I was at the nominiation party earlier today where they performed an acoustic number. If it were not bad enough that I was subjected to 3 mins of The View right in my face, but they didn’t even do the barely passable “Same Jeans”. It was all I could do not to glass them during the frankly terrible “Superstar Twaadesmmman”

    3. NYPC? They look pretty and have a great album title, but a sure case of let’s stick someone “cool” on if ever there were. A pretty mediocre album piled with filler. There are maybe 2 or 3 GREAT tracks, however they all came out in 2004 and have only just been thrown on an album. That said FAN is pretty good. If you know me you’ll know that NYPC suits my music tastes pretty much exactly, “Fantastic Playroom” just doesn’t deliver

    4. Lauren Laverne has very good skin.

    Summer Beats

    “I think I’m the last person in the world to hear that Sonny Jim track” said Greg over im on Wednesday evening. Um… what track? It turned out to be Can’t Stop Movin by Sonny Jim. I’d never heard it before either, not having recently listened to Annie Mac or Steve Wright, the two shows that seem to be giving it most airplay. In any case I feel behind the times, but it’s so good it deserves a post.


    Funky, fun and combining a Junior Senior / Avalanches vibe, this is the type of thing that would have been massive on our student radio station. It was released in May on Rough Trade records but sadly doesn’t seem to have really broken through into the mainstream. In any case it’s a classic, summer feel-good track and I’d love to check the album out very soon.

    Thanks for the reply

    As much I disagree with doing anything to celebrate Diana’s life, the bits of Concert For Diana that I saw were hilarious – drunk princes dancing, P Diddy being very unBritish, Kanye’s amazing medley and Ricky Gervais finally being exposed as not actually very funny. Anyway, I was a bit bored so sent in a bbc complaint email about Gervais because reading the complaints log and the mentalness of the complaints always used to amuse me when I was at the beeb.

    But funnier than me hamming it up as a mental is the somewhat illiterate reply. Ricki? Ho ho.

    Thank you for your e-mail regarding ‘Concert for Diana’.

    I understand that you felt that Ricki Gervais could have had some material prepared for his time on stage.

    However this was a live event and whilst Ricki Gervais was to introduce Elton John a technical fault occurred, therefore he had to hold the stage until it was fixed.

    Ricki Gervais then sang a song and done the famous dance from his hit series ‘The Office’. A lot of people found this very entertaining, and Ricki did deal with the situation as best he could.

    I do hope that you can appreciate that it was a live event and matters such as this can occur with out any notice.

    I also note that you feel that Will Young or Girls Aloud could have filled this space, but as mentioned before, it was a live event and the team were unaware that a technical fault was to occur.

    I do hope apart from this that you enjoyed the programme.

    Your comments have been fully registered on our daily audience log. This internal document will be made available to the ‘Concert for Diana’ production team and Senior BBC Management.