I left England just over a month ago to broaden my horizons in the land where normal-looking people don’t exist (they’re either unreasonably beautiful or amazingly ugly), and since then it seems that the British music industry has missed me so much they’ve become obsessed with Swedes. Robyn had already had her no.1 hit before I left, but now the battle is on between the two current top Swedish songwriters, Max Martin and Dr. Luke, for this week’s no.1 spot!
When the Max & Luke pop-rock sound emerged with Kelly Clarkson in the USA, The Veronicas in Australia, and Marion Raven in Scandinavia, I excitedly planned how they would conquer the UK by giving a brilliant girl power song to Billie Piper, the perfect way to revive her music career. However, my great plan never came into being, and it seemed like no UK acts would catch on to the brilliance of these Swedes, which surprised me as bands like Five and Solid HarmoniE were crucial to the 90s Max Martin boom.
Until now, this is – now two very British pop acts are fighting for this week’s no.1 spot, with songs written by our 2 Swedish songwriting heroes! In Dr. Luke’s corner are the Sugababes, with About You Now, the British version of Who Knew or Nothing In This World (the watered down versions of Since U Been Gone etc.), and in Max Martin’s is Shayne Ward, the archetypal one-man-boyband, singing a song that could have gone to 5ive in the olden days, or perhaps Darin in Sweden if Shayne hadn’t wanted it. But it’s no Keep On Movin’ or Money For Nothing.
So, although I do like both of these songs, and I’m excited to see my favourite writers back at the top of the UK charts, I do feel it’s a shame that the British acts haven’t been given some ass-kicking world-moving megahits like Kelly, The Vs and Marion were (even if only Kelly became the worldwide superstar they all deserved to be). Wouldn’t the Sugababes have done a great job with Dr. Luke’s Tap That, the Megan McCauley classic-that-never-was? Wouldn’t Darin’s Perfect and Step Up have been a more suitable double a-side for Shayne, with a cheesy pop song complemented by something a bit more Timberlake-esque? Still, the song choices haven’t done them any harm – perhaps the public just can’t cope with the most extreme brilliance of Max and Luke’s best work.
And the results so far? Shayne’s a few thousand ahead at the moment, but the ‘Babes are only out on download so expected to take the top spot next week. Maybe we’ll have to call it a draw…