In the spirit of European musical brotherhood, it's been some time since we had a shufty at another country's top 20 singles chart. We did Italy last February, but what the hell:
20 Hilary Duff - With Love
One of the reasons we persist with this is to check up on those bands who we're occasionally told do surprising big business elsewhere, in the vein of Dirty Vegas' claimed runaway US success or Art Brut supposedly being huge in Germany. Here we are in Italy, though, and apart from the cultural exchange wide enough to encompass Just Jack at 28 we find nothing of surprising UK interest in the whole top fifty.
19 Neffa - Passione
Sounds like the sort of wine bar plastic sophistication thing Tony Christie would be harvested if his label wanted him to make new music.
18 Simone Cristicchi - Ti Regalero' Una Rosa
Winner of the San Remo song competition, apparently. Why don't we have serious national song competitions here? Middle Europeans do this kind of urgent sing-rapping over lazy strings and acoustic guitar well - they all have that haircut too - and apparently it's actually about love and loss between mental hospital patients, which instantly adds another thousand layers.
17 Paolo Meneguzzi - Musica
Because Ronan Keating will always mean something to young Italian record buyers.
16 Tiziano Ferro - Ti Scattero' Una Foto
Heavy symbolism in that video, certainly. Latin American MOR singer who's duetted with Jamelia and even looks a tiny bit like Ronan.
15 Timbaland - Give It To Me
So here's the country where people still rate Timbaland's solo efforts.
14 Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Catch You
We noticed the other day that her live DVD includes three Theaudience videos but not I Know Enough (I Don't Get Enough), which was after all their biggest single. The best one of what is there is of course If You Can't Do It When You're Young When Can You Do It? for its occasionally flattering close-ups (1:33 no 2:28 yes), Hamleys ramraid of a set and Sophie on pink rhythm guitar.
13 Biagio Antonacci - Lascia Stare
"Biagio Antonacci's return after two years of silence. The endless and faithful fan base is already advised and ready to welcome him again with a big hug". Blimey, the love for mouse-worrying Totoalike AOR must be huge in central Europe.
12 Gym Class Heroes - Cupid's Chokehold
Hail the Len of 2007.
11 Daniele Silvestri - La Paranza
Another San Remo winner takes the run for summer hitmaking a touch too early. Best thing about this clip: in no way does it need a conductor!
10 Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend
Presumably about to qualify as the new Kelly Clarkson.
9 Mika - Grace Kelly
Lollipop is still hanging around the bottom end of our own top 75 despite there being no plans to release it as a single. Do you need to know that much more about the British record-downloading public?
8 Jennifer Lopez - Que Hiciste
From her all-Spanish new album, which might as well be called This Will Not Sell Any Records In Britain. One can only assume the dancing-amid-flames video is postmodern in this sense.
7 Dennis - Come Bambi
Doesn't sound entirely wholesome, does it? It is, lyrically if not musically. It's The Fray with a drum machine, essentially.
6 Nelly Furtado - Say It Right
Having exhausted the new role of the asocial R&B Tori Amos you wonder where next for Furtado. We'd like to see her try to meld her hippie-folkie and dirty-beaty sides, because then the pop world might collapse.
5 Michael Buble - Everything
And to think they should know a thing or two about cod-easy listening in Italy already. His album is number one in their chart, which is also notable for Travis at 17, Patti Smith at 24 and Blonde Redhead climbing to 75.
4 Fabrizio Moro - Pensa
And another big shot from San Remo. What is the San Remo Song Festival anyway? Surely it's not beyond ITV to tell Nutini, Morrison etc. to write a new song for a prime time contest, although if they do we'll be out that night. And none of them would come up with a protest song about Mafia death. The advertisers wouldn't allow it.
3 Linkin Park - What I've Done
Less of the nu, luckily. Unfortunately, it's turned them into the heavy rock U2. This is what happens when you ran out of ideas a minute into your first single, and most of those were half-inched anyway.
2 Dolores O'Riordan - Ordinary Day
There's a reason why the latter Cranberries records sold bugger all, but if you want to continue sounding like them, Dolores, go ahead.
1 Beyonce & Shakira - Beautiful Liar
In which two ladies in figure-hugging decorated scanties dry hump a wall over some sort of tune nobody really recalls. The label sit back and rub their hands.