Number Ones: 5 Seconds of Summer's 'She Looks So Perfect'

The new #1 single in Australia, finally toppling ‘Happy’ after 11 weeks of enforced smiles.

Number Ones: A Great Big World 'Say Something'

I ended up being a bit late to the party writing about this one (which also features Xtina), and after a week at #1, this was replaced by a 6th week of ‘Happy’. And it’s funny in a way that a week of sadness infiltrated the ‘Happy’ bubble; ‘Say Something’ is a pretty sad song, with the hook “I’m giving up on you”. So this one is mostly about why people listen to sad music.

Number Ones: The Highest Selling Singles In Oz, 2013 - 10-1

Wherein I write about each of the top 10 best selling singles of 2013 in Australia. And I think I have actually found something interesting and new to say about ‘Royals’ by Lorde in the process? (spoilers: ‘Royals’ is in the top 10 best selling singles of 2013 in Australia, though it wasn’t a #1).

Number Ones: Pharrell Williams 'Happy'

Me at the Vine talking about the new Australian #1 single. Fascinating how a 6-month-old song gets a new lease of life in the charts with an event video. I inevitably discuss happiness, yachts, eudaimonia and Scrooge McDuck money pits. 

Number Ones - John Legend 'All Of Me'

I’ve been thinking about that whole Gawker smarm vs snark thing that’s been going around, and decided to apply the general principle of it to this John Legend song that got to #1 in Australia, because my initial reaction to the song was that it was all a bit smarmy. But, of course, that reaction of mine was more because I just didn’t hear my own experiences in the song; smarm is hard to distinguish from not-for-me in music. In any event, I also call Christopher Pyne smarmy, which I also realise is a bit like shooting some smarmy looking fish in a pretty smarmy looking barrel.

Number Ones: Eminem feat. Rihanna 'The Monster'

I’ve written over 100,000 words of this column now. Which is kind of awesome? Here I wonder why angry music isn’t as popular as it was once upon a time, and why Eminem’s seemingly the exception (and point out the parallels between Eminem’s concept of ‘The Monster’ and Jung’s concept of the Shadow, because they’re there).

Number Ones: Taylor Henderson 'Borrow My Heart'

Having to write about three X-Factor-related singles does that to a person. I started thinking, “what’s the point of the charts, anyway?” Then I started thinking, “what IS the point of the charts, anyway”, and so I talk about the differences between the ARIA charts in Australia, based purely on sales, and the Billboard Hot 100, which incorporates streaming and radio play etc, and how that changes the charts, for good and bad. I also discuss the song, and Henderson’s cover of ‘One Crowded Hour’ by Augie March.

Number Ones - Dami Im 'Alive'

Another November, another X-Factor winner to write about for TheVine - for this one, I ruminate on what works on TV talent shows compared to what works on an iPod or radio, amongst other things. I don’t think I’ve quite run out of things to say about talent show winner songs getting to #1, but I’m surely not far off…

Number Ones: RedFoo 'Let's Get Ridiculous'

Part of me really wanted to run with the idea that it wasn’t a coincidence that the day after a bitterly fought federal Australian election, people suddenly started buying a song called “Let’s Get Ridiculous”. If only because the idea of Tony Abbott as PM is ridiculous, let alone the idea of Tony Abbott, of all people, electing himself as women’s minister, and removing the science portfolio from his cabinet.

But politics doesn’t rate that highly in most people’s lives, I guess. 

I was talking to someone last night, after the piece went up, who said that it was within ten minutes of the performance on the X-Factor on September 8th that this song was suddenly at #1 on the iTunes charts.

Number Ones: Katy Perry 'Roar'

New #1 single! An oddly timid thing for a song called ‘Roar’. Also, I invoke science historian/philosopher Thomas Kuhn and Albert Einstein to explain this one because, well, it was the best way to explain how this song fits into pop in 2013. I also use the word crapulence.