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Unbreak My Chart

Unbreak My Chart

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Unbreak My Chart

Unbreak My Chart

Unbreak My Chart

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About Us

The podcast that tapes the Top 10 and talks about it at school the next day, hosted by Fraser McAlpine and Laura Snapes.Email us! unbreakmychartpod@gmail.comTweet us! csi_popmusic (https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic) + laurasnapes (https://twitter.com/laurasnapes)Nice stuff that smart people have said about UMC:"As pop critics, Snapes and McAlpine have plenty of background information and anecdotes to augment their rundown of the week’s chart. If only all playground debates about music had been so well informed." -- Caroline Crampton, The New Statesman (http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/podcasts/2017/04/how-podcasts-are-reviving-excitement-listening-pop-charts)"While the charts have become both confused and sidelined in recent years, they’re still an invaluable insight into the machinations of the music industry, something this pod proves in gratifyingly informed style." -- The Guardian Guide (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/apr/07/the-10-best-things-to-do-this-week-syd-russell-brand-and-i-am-not-your-negro)

Latest Episodes

Intermission: An Announcement

Gather round, there's something we need to tell you. And it's not just that Louis Tomlinson has released a really good single with Bebe Rexha. Seriously, Back to You is all sneaking charm. It has such a beautiful slow churn. No chorus, just the same four chords round and round and an atmosphere of anguished excitement, as if sung by someone who has decided the person who most annoys them in the world might also just be their best bet for a happy life. Bebe Rexha is the true star of proceedings, but Louis is a more than able foil for her. It's a wonderfully measured song that is beautifully understated, particularly in the bridges (even the swearing seems oddly measured, rather than brattish showing off), and the minimal atmosphere is further proof that pop needs more songs like Bad Liar. And it’s got those weird 1D yelps that also appear in Niall Horan’s Slow Hands. I wonder if it was conceived after Harry’s album came out, as there’s a kind of mature pop properness to the chord...

3 MIN2017 JUL 26
Comments
Intermission: An Announcement

Episode 19: Flying Solo

Laura's work has conspired to keep her away this week, but fear not Fraser is on hand to deliver the all-important Top 10 and put everyone out of their misery with regards to what the beginning of J-Hus's Did You See sounds like. Oh, but he's talking about Bad Liar again. Haim's cover of the song is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzI2FM2-7GM Switched On Pop's discussion of Bad Liar is here: http://www.switchedonpop.com/65-selena-gomez-bad-liar-great-performer/ You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

13 MIN2017 JUL 17
Comments
Episode 19: Flying Solo

Episode 18: The Kesha Spesha

Kesha's solo comeback Praying is a song that strikes at the heart of how pop is made and where the power lies. It also raises the question of whether authenticity is a prerequisite when listening to highly emotive songs. Source material for this discussion includes Amanda Petrusich's excellent piece for the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-pain-of-denying-kesha-her-audience And John Seabrook's highly recommended book The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory. Elsewhere in this week's podcast, there's a J-Hus challenge, some bickering over Rita Ora lyrics and an argument over Katy Perry, Calvin Harris and whether songs written as a patchwork quilt of little ideas still work. Popjustice's review of Liam Payne's new single is here: https://www.popjustice.com/songs/zedd-and-liam-payne-get-low/ And we've made a Songs of the Summer playlist, to be updated with new suggestions as they come along: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/3Dwx8dc86Zksmf8aUNKJ...

46 MIN2017 JUL 10
Comments
Episode 18: The Kesha Spesha

Episode 17: Rebreak My Chart

The Official Charts Company have issued new rules to tackle the Sheeran Singularity, and they appear to be partly based on suggestions that have appeared in previous Unbreak My Chart episodes. We take a look at the new rules, and give them a prod to see how robust they may be. And along the way, accidentally embark on an imaginary cull of some of our biggest pop talents. Pitchfork's Rihanna feature is here: http://pitchfork.com/features/overtones/10052-is-rihanna-the-most-influential-pop-singer-of-the-past-decade/ St Vincent's Guitar Moves interview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vRPmJx8bYs And we've made a Songs of the Summer playlist, to be updated with new suggestions as they come along: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/3Dwx8dc86Zksmf8aUNKJxG Laura's most-listened-to song this week is "New York" by St Vincent and Fraser's is “Last Chance Saloon” by Hightown Pirates. As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://o...

48 MIN2017 JUL 3
Comments
Episode 17: Rebreak My Chart

Episode 16: Songs of the Summer

At last! The results of our Song of the Summer poll are in, and they are mighty, although a little predictable in some cases (take a bow, Fraser McAlpine). The Zayn Malik piece mentioned by Elizabeth is here: https://melmagazine.com/two-directions-5a4321b0156 Also under discussion this week: the Artists for Grenfell single and Lorde's new album. As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Here's a collection of excellent stuff to read about Lorde's Melodrama: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/26/on-melodrama-lorde-learns-how-messy-adulthood-can-be http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/music-theatre/2017/06/lorde-melodrama-lyrics http://themuse.jezebel.com/lorde-admirably-confident-comes-of-age-on-melodrama-1796219150 http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2017/06/lorde_s_new_album_melodrama_reviewed.html https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jun/16/lorde-melodrama-re...

52 MIN2017 JUN 26
Comments
Episode 16: Songs of the Summer

Episode 15: Ed is Dead

It's the first week in Unbreak My Chart history that Ed Sheeran does not have a song in the Top 10, but Laura is not here to enjoy the moment. Fraser is joined by the comic artist, writer and chart-keeper John Allison, designer of the UMC logo, who has plans to revolutionise the chart with democracy. Note: there's some irksome telephone interference in this week's podcast. Do not adjust your listening device. As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON John's most-listened-to song this week is "Yuk Foo" by Wolf Alice and Fraser's is “Space” by Dizzee Rascal. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic https://twitter.com/badmachinery

47 MIN2017 JUN 19
Comments
Episode 15: Ed is Dead

Episode 14: Witless vs. 1984

Anyone in the mood for old beef? Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are on hand to dispense their leathery grumps, and Fraser appears to be trolling Laura. Elsewhere, there's a realisation that nice people aren't always nice, we finally nail our political colours to a mast, and swoon appreciatively in the direction of One Love Manchester. Fraser's BBC Music piece about Over the Rainbow is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/efc32112-f7a0-49b3-bfae-6e6a72a80572 As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Laura's most-listened-to song this week is "Did You See" by J Hus and Fraser's is “3WW” by Alt-J. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

46 MIN2017 JUN 12
Comments
Episode 14: Witless vs. 1984

Episode 13: Pants on Fire

Political discourse has invaded the charts, in the shape of Captain Ska and his Theresa May-baiting social media hit Liar Liar. But will this usher in a new era for pop and politics, or is it just the Boaty McBoatface of popular song? Also, indie veterans are making pop music, to varying degrees of success. As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Laura's most-listened-to song this week is "Perfect Place" by Lorde and Fraser's is “The Line” by RAYE. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

47 MIN2017 JUN 5
Comments
Episode 13: Pants on Fire

Episode 12: Fandemoanium

This week, in an act of fannish solidarity with everyone who has been affected by the Manchester bombing, we're adopting a positive, gushing tone, putting all moans to one side and celebrating Great Things in pop music. The Smash Hits Black Type tea towel is here: https://smashhitsttowel.tumblr.com/post/161066715057/swingorilliant-tea-towel-news As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Laura's most-listened-to song this week is “Yellow Flicker Beat” by Lorde and Fraser's is “Power” by Little Mix ft. Stormzy. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

46 MIN2017 MAY 29
Comments
Episode 12: Fandemoanium

Episode 11: Where's the Beef?

This week, why Harry Styles didn't saturate the charts, a consideration of all the One Direction boys' solo careers, and Katy Perry's pitiful Swish Swish. Ann Powers' opus on Harry Styles and rock masculinity is here: http://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2017/05/16/528617874/styles-of-the-times Mitski's brilliant piece on how we project fantasies onto Styles is here: http://www.talkhouse.com/one-projection-harry-styles-art-idealism/ As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Laura's most-listened-to song this week is “Being Special” by Sophia Kennedy and Fraser's is “Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

46 MIN2017 MAY 22
Comments
Episode 11: Where's the Beef?

Latest Episodes

Intermission: An Announcement

Gather round, there's something we need to tell you. And it's not just that Louis Tomlinson has released a really good single with Bebe Rexha. Seriously, Back to You is all sneaking charm. It has such a beautiful slow churn. No chorus, just the same four chords round and round and an atmosphere of anguished excitement, as if sung by someone who has decided the person who most annoys them in the world might also just be their best bet for a happy life. Bebe Rexha is the true star of proceedings, but Louis is a more than able foil for her. It's a wonderfully measured song that is beautifully understated, particularly in the bridges (even the swearing seems oddly measured, rather than brattish showing off), and the minimal atmosphere is further proof that pop needs more songs like Bad Liar. And it’s got those weird 1D yelps that also appear in Niall Horan’s Slow Hands. I wonder if it was conceived after Harry’s album came out, as there’s a kind of mature pop properness to the chord...

3 MIN2017 JUL 26
Comments
Intermission: An Announcement

Episode 19: Flying Solo

Laura's work has conspired to keep her away this week, but fear not Fraser is on hand to deliver the all-important Top 10 and put everyone out of their misery with regards to what the beginning of J-Hus's Did You See sounds like. Oh, but he's talking about Bad Liar again. Haim's cover of the song is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzI2FM2-7GM Switched On Pop's discussion of Bad Liar is here: http://www.switchedonpop.com/65-selena-gomez-bad-liar-great-performer/ You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

13 MIN2017 JUL 17
Comments
Episode 19: Flying Solo

Episode 18: The Kesha Spesha

Kesha's solo comeback Praying is a song that strikes at the heart of how pop is made and where the power lies. It also raises the question of whether authenticity is a prerequisite when listening to highly emotive songs. Source material for this discussion includes Amanda Petrusich's excellent piece for the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-pain-of-denying-kesha-her-audience And John Seabrook's highly recommended book The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory. Elsewhere in this week's podcast, there's a J-Hus challenge, some bickering over Rita Ora lyrics and an argument over Katy Perry, Calvin Harris and whether songs written as a patchwork quilt of little ideas still work. Popjustice's review of Liam Payne's new single is here: https://www.popjustice.com/songs/zedd-and-liam-payne-get-low/ And we've made a Songs of the Summer playlist, to be updated with new suggestions as they come along: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/3Dwx8dc86Zksmf8aUNKJ...

46 MIN2017 JUL 10
Comments
Episode 18: The Kesha Spesha

Episode 17: Rebreak My Chart

The Official Charts Company have issued new rules to tackle the Sheeran Singularity, and they appear to be partly based on suggestions that have appeared in previous Unbreak My Chart episodes. We take a look at the new rules, and give them a prod to see how robust they may be. And along the way, accidentally embark on an imaginary cull of some of our biggest pop talents. Pitchfork's Rihanna feature is here: http://pitchfork.com/features/overtones/10052-is-rihanna-the-most-influential-pop-singer-of-the-past-decade/ St Vincent's Guitar Moves interview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vRPmJx8bYs And we've made a Songs of the Summer playlist, to be updated with new suggestions as they come along: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/3Dwx8dc86Zksmf8aUNKJxG Laura's most-listened-to song this week is "New York" by St Vincent and Fraser's is “Last Chance Saloon” by Hightown Pirates. As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://o...

48 MIN2017 JUL 3
Comments
Episode 17: Rebreak My Chart

Episode 16: Songs of the Summer

At last! The results of our Song of the Summer poll are in, and they are mighty, although a little predictable in some cases (take a bow, Fraser McAlpine). The Zayn Malik piece mentioned by Elizabeth is here: https://melmagazine.com/two-directions-5a4321b0156 Also under discussion this week: the Artists for Grenfell single and Lorde's new album. As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Here's a collection of excellent stuff to read about Lorde's Melodrama: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/26/on-melodrama-lorde-learns-how-messy-adulthood-can-be http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/music-theatre/2017/06/lorde-melodrama-lyrics http://themuse.jezebel.com/lorde-admirably-confident-comes-of-age-on-melodrama-1796219150 http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2017/06/lorde_s_new_album_melodrama_reviewed.html https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jun/16/lorde-melodrama-re...

52 MIN2017 JUN 26
Comments
Episode 16: Songs of the Summer

Episode 15: Ed is Dead

It's the first week in Unbreak My Chart history that Ed Sheeran does not have a song in the Top 10, but Laura is not here to enjoy the moment. Fraser is joined by the comic artist, writer and chart-keeper John Allison, designer of the UMC logo, who has plans to revolutionise the chart with democracy. Note: there's some irksome telephone interference in this week's podcast. Do not adjust your listening device. As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON John's most-listened-to song this week is "Yuk Foo" by Wolf Alice and Fraser's is “Space” by Dizzee Rascal. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic https://twitter.com/badmachinery

47 MIN2017 JUN 19
Comments
Episode 15: Ed is Dead

Episode 14: Witless vs. 1984

Anyone in the mood for old beef? Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are on hand to dispense their leathery grumps, and Fraser appears to be trolling Laura. Elsewhere, there's a realisation that nice people aren't always nice, we finally nail our political colours to a mast, and swoon appreciatively in the direction of One Love Manchester. Fraser's BBC Music piece about Over the Rainbow is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/efc32112-f7a0-49b3-bfae-6e6a72a80572 As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Laura's most-listened-to song this week is "Did You See" by J Hus and Fraser's is “3WW” by Alt-J. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

46 MIN2017 JUN 12
Comments
Episode 14: Witless vs. 1984

Episode 13: Pants on Fire

Political discourse has invaded the charts, in the shape of Captain Ska and his Theresa May-baiting social media hit Liar Liar. But will this usher in a new era for pop and politics, or is it just the Boaty McBoatface of popular song? Also, indie veterans are making pop music, to varying degrees of success. As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Laura's most-listened-to song this week is "Perfect Place" by Lorde and Fraser's is “The Line” by RAYE. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

47 MIN2017 JUN 5
Comments
Episode 13: Pants on Fire

Episode 12: Fandemoanium

This week, in an act of fannish solidarity with everyone who has been affected by the Manchester bombing, we're adopting a positive, gushing tone, putting all moans to one side and celebrating Great Things in pop music. The Smash Hits Black Type tea towel is here: https://smashhitsttowel.tumblr.com/post/161066715057/swingorilliant-tea-towel-news As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Laura's most-listened-to song this week is “Yellow Flicker Beat” by Lorde and Fraser's is “Power” by Little Mix ft. Stormzy. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

46 MIN2017 MAY 29
Comments
Episode 12: Fandemoanium

Episode 11: Where's the Beef?

This week, why Harry Styles didn't saturate the charts, a consideration of all the One Direction boys' solo careers, and Katy Perry's pitiful Swish Swish. Ann Powers' opus on Harry Styles and rock masculinity is here: http://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2017/05/16/528617874/styles-of-the-times Mitski's brilliant piece on how we project fantasies onto Styles is here: http://www.talkhouse.com/one-projection-harry-styles-art-idealism/ As ever, all of this week's notable tracks are in our rolling Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/snapes/playlist/2J6T6Ks6rQNNe9vUeu24ON Laura's most-listened-to song this week is “Being Special” by Sophia Kennedy and Fraser's is “Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez. You can email us on unbreakmychartpod@gmail.com, or tweet us: https://twitter.com/laurasnapes https://twitter.com/csi_popmusic

46 MIN2017 MAY 22
Comments
Episode 11: Where's the Beef?
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