[6] Röyksopp featuring Robyn, ‘The Girl And The Robot’

Röyksopp get away with being coffee table dance bores because they’re Norwegian. Stick them in the Home Counties, and they’ll be held in the same esteem as Groove Armada, Morcheeba, Apollo christing 440. “Didn’t you make a good record once?” an aging hipster will say. “Yeah, that one on the advert,” will be their chipper reply. “Oh, and the one that Robyn rescued.”

And she does rescue it. This would be a hi-NRG SAW-era Kylie record (OK at the time, but in 2009?) if it wasn’t for the “killingest pop star on the planet” and her ability to make the mundane sound heartbreaking. She could make the Liverpool FC year-end financial figures sound dramatic and devastating. But instead, it’s the story of a poor girl ignored by her cold, workaholic boyfriend. He’s like a robot. He may even be a robot. After all, as well as sounding like 1989 this sounds like The Future. It’s a wormhole.

It’s also the key to unlock Junior’s dynamic array of disco moves, which now appear to include The Robot. Fortunately, she doesn’t look like Peter Crouch. My brother looks like Peter Crouch.

Never know when you’ll return:

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2009 Top 20 Singles?

We did this about this time last year, so why change a vaguely popular feature? These are the Top 20 Most Played 2009 Singles on the ever-honest iPod:

[1] Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Zero’
[2] Dananananaykroyd, ‘Black Wax’
[3] The Horrors, ‘Sea Within A Sea’
[4] Passion Pit, ‘The Reeling’
[5] Animal Collective, ‘My Girls’
[6] James Yuill, ‘No Surprise’
[7] Sunny Day Sets Fire, ‘Adrenaline’
[8] TV On The Radio, ‘Dancing Choose’
[9] Frankmusik, ‘Better Off As Two’
[10] Röyksopp featuring Robyn, ‘Girl And The Robot’
[11] Jamie T, ‘Sticks ‘n’ Stones’
[12] Coldplay, ‘Life In Technicolor ii’
[13] U2, ‘Magnificent’
[14] The Phantom Band, ‘The Howling’
[15] Eg, ‘Broken’
[16] Junior Boys, ‘Hazel’
[17] Lily Allen, ‘The Fear’
[18] Fischerspooner, ‘Supply & Demand’
[19] Saint Etienne, ‘Method Of Modern Love’
[20] Red Light Company, ‘Arts & Crafts’

But will it bear any resemblance to the year-end chart? Be sure to check in 18 or 19 weeks.

[9] Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, ‘Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘N’ Roll (Punk Song)’

Good start, cool name. Terrific single too (their third, or thereabouts), that suggested a searing balls-out rock pedigree, all full-throttle rhythm and piled-on guitars. I first heard about them when Charlatan Tim Burgess was bigging up this record on some radio show, and it could almost pass for one of his own – with Rob Levon Been’s sub-Jagger sneer a ringer for Burgess’s Manc-turned-Yank lip-curl – albeit a little more cranked-up than your standard Charlatans blues-pop.

It flattered to deceive. ‘Spread Your Love’, their next foray into the UK Top 30, sounded like ‘Spirit In The Sky’ and tepid albums gave way to a grasp at serious cred with third long-player Howl, an nth-generation tilt at rootsy blues. Who needs it?

The tidal wave of gee-tar prompted Junior to sling on the plastic Strat and rumble along with BRMC. Finding the jarring piano button on her axe, she was then moved to delve into the toy box for the pink keyboard, and the ensuing cacophony had Junior 2 looking aghast. Pure-spun rock’n’roll. It sounded like some godawful mash-up – appropriate in 2001, when the world and his wife were at it.

Reminds me – I must be the only man alive who doesn’t own 2 Many DJs’ As Heard On Radio Soulwax. Or, entirely unrelated, Röyksopp’s Melody A.M. Or Damien Rice’s O. Or Nevermind.