We weren't expecting great things from our selections last week, so, as you will see from this week's picks, we're going all out for the chart glory this week. Amerie was our most bankable bet and she was nowhere, Joe Goddard's album probably sold about 11 copies and the Girls single missed the top 75 too. We're trying not to be too despondent, but it's difficult.


Echo by Leona Lewis

This week can rightly be labelled 'run up to Christmas' week. For those lamenting the inclusion of someone like Leona, the only other options were that dire-sounding Them Crooked Vultures album or the new Stereophonics collection...So, we thought we'd include this so that if you were having problems deciding on what to get your mum or your older sister for Christmas, this might help you out. Echo isn't exactly what you'd call experimental, but there are moments when that voice wraps itself round an undeniable melody and you get a strange feeling in your stomach (see 'Outta My Head'). 'Happy' is still really dull though.


The Hits by Will Young

We will be buying this for our Nan and we suggest you do the same. Well-executed, intelligent pop music sung by a nice young man who doesn't swear or 'carry on' like all those other ghastly singers and who has a handful of genuinely great singles. For example; the piano ballad, 'All Time Love', the career-defining 'Leave Right Now' and the underrated 'Who Am I'. What you will need to do, however, is put a little note on the present label, warning your elderly relatives not to listen to the first two songs. 'Evergreen' is an abomination and Will's jazzy cover of 'Light My Fire' is about as jazzy as Simon Cowell's record collection. After that, the rest is plain sailing.


'Cornerstone' by Arctic Monkeys

After the lukewarm reaction to 'Crying Lightning' and the general frustration at the lack of tunes on Humbug, Arctic Monkeys release what their record label will hope is the song to reverse their sales slump (the album sits at no. 75 this week). Luckily, it's a brilliant, beautifully phrased singalong that benefits from the relatively stripped back production and Alex Turner's characterful croon. Revelling in their new-found desire to sell less records, however, the band have made a video that makes Turner look like an androgynous electrical salesperson from the Eastern bloc.