Early Front-Runners For Song of the Year: Taio Cruz, Alphabeat, Westlife???

Now we’re talking. Duffy (four weeks at No. 1), H Two O, and Nickelback continue their chokehold on the top three spots on this week’s chart, but two phenomenal songs have entered the top 10 this week.

There has been a lot of talk of a dearth of black artists coming out of Britain, but Taio Cruz has long been one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Like Ne-Yo here in the States, he got his start as a well-known songwriter for other artists, including Will Young. Now he’s becoming a major star on his own as an R&B crooner, and the new “Come On Girl” is his biggest hit to date. Rocking an early ’80s electro vibe, “Come On Girl” is all but certain to be a major club jam in the coming months.

Having just received a Roxette greatest hits collection as a gift, I was reminded of how few new pop songs feature male-female harmonies. Enter Alphabeat, a Danish pop band that’s making a big splash in the UK. Alphabeat’s male-female interplay is reminiscent of the deft blending of Carl Newman, Neko Case, and Dan Bejar‘s voices in the Canadian band The New Pornographers. While Alphabeat isn’t quite on their level, they make undeniably catchy power pop. I love it.

Hey, even that Westlife ballad doesn’t bother me that much. It has a pleasant Backstreet Boys sheen. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? You be the judge…

1. Duffy – Mercy
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2. H Two O ft. Platnum – What’s ItGonna Be
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3. Nickelback – Rockstar
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4. OneRepublic – Stop and Stare
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5. Taio Cruz ft. Luciana – Come On Girl
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6. Basshunter – Now You’re Gone
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7. Alphabeat – Fascination
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8. Westlife – Us Against the World
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9. Flo Rida ft. T-Pain – Low
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10. Rihanna – Don’t Stop the Music
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In other news:

  • Leona Lewis has published a diary of her travels in South Africa visiting AIDS orphans. (Mirror)
  • Van Morrison speaks. (NME)
  • Robin Hitchcock and Andy Partridge of XTC are recording songs together. (NME)
  • Apple dismisses reports that The Beatles‘ catalog will be made available on iTunes soon. (Gigwise)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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