Apologies once again for the lack of posts on this blog so I'm going to try and make up for it with a little blog-bonanza this weekend (time permitting).
Kicking off with some singles charts updates and firstly we're off to Norway, with a very topical no.1 single - and no, I don't mean Lady Gaga's long-awaited (and disappointing IMHO) new song "Born This Way" which was simultaneously on air and on sale from last Friday. However, she's had to settle for no. 2 in Norway....behind none other than this year's Melodi Grand Prix winner, and this year's Norwegian representative at Eurovision. Yes, it's Stella Mwangi with "Haba Haba"! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7W-ko3Bbt8
The only other MGP song in the top 20 this week is the BlackSheeps "Dance Tonight" - I'm still quite surprised by the popularity of this song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT0PLRMEP6g and I won't even talk about their grammatically incorrect spelling as there seems to have been a long-running debate about this over at YouTube.
The name Thom Hell sounds as if he could be a death-metal singer, but "Over You" is a sweet piano-driven adult pop number with a retro feel and an extremely clever video where a guy takes a journey through a series of iPhones. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTEcBJDUS7g
Erik og Kriss are very big in Norway at the moment with their own Norwegian-language take on the urban/rap/r'n'b style which seems to be sweeping the planet at the moment (much to my annoyance). This is probably more bearable purely because it's in Norwegian, but that's all. "Ølbriller": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv4zX_T8LgA
Meanwhile Admiral P brings a little reggae-flavour to his urban-pop "Snakke Litt": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quE6rBVTHkQ - it's a very catchy song isn't it!
I'm particularly impressed with the diversity of music in the Norwegian language in this week's chart - rap, reggae and alternative rock. The latter being "Hjerteknuser" by Kaizers Orchestra, a band which has been around for a few years. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZkFXnm-RNQ
Of course the majority of the singles chart is dominated by some familiar names - Enrique Iglesias, Rihanna, Adele, Taio Cruz, Usher, Bruno Mars. It's a little bit sad that more and more, the European charts appear to be losing their identity, with local acts being in the minority. For example, only 7 of the top 20 chart singles are by Norwegian acts. But, at least for one week, Norwegian music is reigning supreme with Stella more popular than Gaga. Well done!