Thanks guys, moving through the next lot so we can reach the top 10 now!
14. (09) JAMES BLUNT
Having seen James Blunt first as a support act to the great Sir Elton John, I was an immediate fan. Catchy tunes mixed with other beautiful material made for a wonderful set which I probably raved about more than Elton's headline showing. I got the album from the merchandise stand and was a fan from then on. I never expected him to make it big though. One day though his album cropped up at the back end of the UK top 75... I was delighted. Then it rose.. and rose... and rose. I believe I'm right in saying it became the biggest selling album in the UK of it's decade. Phenomenal.
With each album since, sadly James has sold less and less, but he remains for me a brilliant musician and songwriter who still has some relevance in the UK music scene. Thankfully he's not been a total flop. After liking but not loving his second album, his third set made me really fall in love with him again. Not so near to the heart wrenching songs on his debut, indeed it's a lot happier, but the level of songwriting and particularly production is much stronger in my eyes, and it's a stronger set throughout than the second. I really enjoyed it.
I've seen James a couple of times now and would really like to see an appearance from him at this years Glastonbury or V Fest.. it's been too long! A man who deserves more credit these days.. still one of my favourites!
MY JAMES BLUNT TOP 10
10. No Bravery
08. So Long, Jimmy
07. These Are The Words
05. Out Of My Mind
04. If Time Is All I Have
03. I Really Want You
02. Goodbye My Lover
01. Carry You Home
Check out my top 3, singles 'I Really Want You', 'Goodbye My Lover' and the STUNNING 'Carry You Home' by clicking on the covers.
13. (-) JAZMINE SULLIVAN
Next up is a very high new entry from an artist I first heard about through this site, and more specifically our very own Carly. She and others were really raving about this artist, and trusting her judgement as I do, when I saw her 'Fearless' for £6.99 in HMV, I got myself a copy on impulse. SO glad I did. It is an exceptional, closing in on flawless, debut. It went on to become my favourite album of the year and made me into a really massive Jazmine fan. I went to see her live at the Jazz Cafe and despite the very long wait, her actual set didn't disappoint. Attitude, soul and an incredible vocal, I was really impressed. Her songwriting skills didn't go unnoticed either, earning her a whole set of Grammy nominations, which was massive for a debut CD.
It made me really anticipate her second CD, 'Love Me Back', and while I was initially disappointed, a lot of the material really grew on me. It was always going to be nigh on impossible to compete with Fearless but a few of the songs on the newer set are right up there with the best songs on the first. I do think she can do better but when she set herself such a high standard she's always going to have a reputation to live up to! Sadly Jazmine recently put something on her Twitter about taking an extended break from music.. I really hope she changes her mind as her output so far has been superb, especially for a girl so young, and I WANT MORE!
MY JAZMINE SULLIVAN TOP 10
10. Dream Big
09. One Night Stand
08. After The Hurricane
07. Lions, Tigers & Bears
06. 10 Seconds
05. Call Me Guilty
02. Love You Long Time
01. Bust Your Windows
Check out my top 3, album tracks 'Switch' and 'Love You Long Time' and the amazing single 'Bust Your Windows' by clicking on the covers.
12. (08) NATASHA BEDINGFIELD
Next up a slight fall for one of this country's brightest exports. Sadly as a result of her success in America (success that has tailed off very significantly of late) she has left the UK behind and sort of forgotten us, releasing two albums over there in the time that we've had nothing on these shores. This may well be the reason for the drop. What I can't deny is the sheer talent of this lady - creative without being pretentious or fake, experimental, witty and above all an exceptional vocalist and songwriter. It's to her testament that she does 'quirk' (songs like These Words and Touch) as well as she does songs of exceptional beauty (I Bruise Easily and Soulmate). Her Greatest Hits collection will really be very great indeed.
Having seen Natasha around 3 times, she never fails to blow me away. Even when I watch on TV I am always impressed by her energy and soaring vocals, whether it's her tender singing vocals, or the 'almost-shout' that she's mastered. I truly think she is one of the best female artists this country has to offer and even above some of those I have left to chart, one of the best shots that UK music has at being a mainstream success abroad. I hope she can pull it back - she's still being given some great opportunities in the US so hopefully with the perfect song she can ressurect what is a faltering career over there. If not, I'd be VERY happy for her to come back and dominate here again. I'm confident that with if she came here and released 'Touch', she'd be back on everyone's lips and at the top of the charts again.
MY NATASHA BEDINGFIELD TOP 10
09. No More (What If's)
08. How Do You Do?
06. Pocketful of Sunshine
04. Pirate Bones
03. I Bruise Easily
Check out my top 3, beautiful singles 'I Bruise Easily' and 'Soulmate' and the US only track 'Stumble' by clicking on the covers.
11. (05) ESTELLE
Estelle is a funny one - always been one of my favourite artists but never been too sure why, as she's not from one of my favourite genres. However I've supported her since the start of her mainstream journey with 1980, meeting her on the launch day of her album 'The 18th Day' - I won't drag up the photo this time! Since then, she's had some great singles, even a taste of massive success (with American Boy) and signed an American contract which she remains signed to now, despite not being signed in Britain. You have to respect Estelle, despite never having the greatest of track records, she really lives the life. I reckon she must have filmed 20 odd music videos for songs she's been vocally involved with - and yet she's only ever had one top 10 here in the UK (and in the US) - unless you count her involvement on Band Aid 20
But this is also partly what annoys me about her. She COULD have big hits here, but she doesn't DO anything except work in the studio. She records, puts the songs out and expects them to sell without promoting them. 'Freak' was such a good shot at another hit for her, and fair enough radio didn't really support it, but if they don't, you come and support it yourself! It's a huge club number, and could have been a huge chart hit here too if she'd come and put the work in. Same goes for 'Fall In Love', you can't put a song out on the back of a flop and JUST because it sounds a bit like American Boy, expect success. She didn't even come to the country! This is why Estelle is a bit out of favour with me right now.
Still, what's undeniable is the talent. A great soul voice, and she's in the unique position of being an artist who can sing AND rap competently. Wyclef once described her as 'the new Lauryn' because of her ability to do both those things as well as write and produce. Really, there's not a lot musically Estelle can't do - she just needs to put the same work in outside the studio as she does in it. She's also been on some really big features - and why they weren't hit's I'm clueless, especially Guilty As Charged (with Gym Class Heroes) and One Love (with David Guetta) which seemed like hits waiting to happen. I hope with the new album to see Estelle back here in the UK promoting, maybe with a chance to see her at a festival again. Live, she is one of the funniest acts I've seen live as well as being a top live singer and rapper... come back PLEASE!
MY ESTELLE TOP 10
09. Freak (with David Guetta)
08. American Boy (with Kanye West)
07. Wait A Minute (Just A Touch)
06. Go Gone
05. World Go Round (with Busta Rhymes)
03. Free (with Megaman)
02. One Love (with David Guetta)
01. In The Rain
Check out my top 3, singles 'Free' and 'One Love', and my No.1, sadly album track In The Rain isn't available! ' by clicking on the covers.