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Haruki Murakami Reviews: The UK's Top 20 Singles
Karl Smith , July 26th, 2015 13:02

“Music brings a warm glow to my vision, thawing mind and muscle from their endless wintering.” Well, actually, as it turns out: not so much.

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With the looming, simultaneous release of his two new novels – Wind/Pinball – it occurred to us that (as well as being kind of a big deal in the literature game) as Japan's premier aficionado of music, cats, loneliness and their orrery-like entanglement, Haruki Murakami is more or less the zeitgeist incarnate. With that in mind, and given the author of Norwegian Wood's seemingly-endless tap on the sticky, sweet and oh-so-often sickly sap of contemporary culture, we wondered what he might make of this week’s UK Top 20 singles.

20. James Bay, ‘Let It Go’

Narrow minds devoid of imagination… Those are the things that really frighten me. What I absolutely fear and loathe.

19. Flo Rida, ‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’ (feat. Robin Thicke & Verdine White)

Taking crazy things seriously is a waste of time.

These days I just can't seem to say what I mean. I just can't. Every time I try to say something, it misses the point. Either that or I end up saying the opposite of what I mean. The more I try to get it right the more mixed up it gets. Sometimes I can't even remember what I was trying to say in the first place. It's like my body's split in two and one of me is chasing the other me around a big pillar. We're running circles around it… Some feelings cause us pain because they remain.

18. 5 Seconds of Summer, ‘She’s Kinda Hot’

Some things are forgotten, some things disappear, some things die. Don't you think it would be wonderful to get rid of everything and everybody and just go some place where you don't know a soul?

17. Ed Sheeran, ‘Photograph’

Don't feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.

16. Jason Derulo, ‘Want to Want Me’

Mediocrity's like a spot on a shirt—it never comes off. No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.

15. Krept & Konan, ‘Freak of the Week’ (feat. Jeremih)

What we call the present is given shape by an accumulation of the past.

14. Fifth Harmony, ‘Worth It’ (feat. Kid Ink)

I'll never see them again. I know that. And they know that. And knowing this, we say farewell.

13. Fetty Wap, ‘Trap Queen’

It is not that the meaning cannot be explained. But there are certain meanings that are lost forever the moment they are explained in words.

12. Major Lazer and DJ Snake, ‘Lean On’ (feat. MØ)

The sense of tragedy - according to Aristotle - comes, ironically enough, not from the protagonist's weak points but from his good qualities. Do you know what I'm getting at? People are drawn deeper into tragedy not by their defects but by their virtues.

11. Tinie Tempah, ‘Not Letting Go’ (feat. Jess Glynne)

There's no such thing as perfect writing, just like there's no such thing as perfect despair.

10. Avicii, ‘Waiting for Love’

I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning. If they invent a car that runs on stupid jokes, you could go far.

9. OMI, ‘Cheerleader’ (Felix Jaehn Remix)

It's because of you when I'm in bed in the morning that I can wind my spring and tell myself I have to live another good day.

8. Walk The Moon, ‘Shut Up And Dance’

People soon get tired of things that aren't boring, but not of what is boring.

7. Calvin Harris, ‘How Deep is Your Love’

In everybody’s life there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves. That's all.

6. Sam Feldt, ‘Show Me Love’ (Feat. Kimberly Anne)

Something inside me had dropped away, and nothing came in to fill the cavern.

5. John Newman, ‘Come and Get It’

Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.

4. David Zowie, ‘House Every Weekend’

The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory.

3. Years and Years, ‘Shine’

Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won't make time stand still. What we seek is some kind of compensation for what we put up with.

2. Lost Frequencies, ‘Are You With Me’

Why do people have to be this lonely? What's the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?

1. Little Mix, ‘Black Magic’

The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can't be learned at school. As time goes on, you'll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn't, doesn't.

...Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.

Asunderground
Jul 26, 2015 5:53pm

Hang about. Where does the author of Norwegian Wood get off calling people mediocre?

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Charles Hodgson
Jul 27, 2015 12:45am

He's better when he writes about records he actually likes. I have zero interest in reading his novels, but that book he wrote about jazz records should be translated into English. I wonder if he'd be any kinder to modern music that's any good? Would he also despise Pharrell's 'Happy' or Sleaford Mods 'Tarantula Deadly Cargo' or Lime Crush's 'Graveyard'?
How about a re-match, or at the very least, a 'bakers dozen'?

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John Cannon
Jul 27, 2015 5:02am

The empire on which the sun never sets on UK's Top 20. Where is the moon?

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w
Jul 27, 2015 11:43am

Pretty sure these are snippets of existing Murakami works, decontextualized and randomly assigned.

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Dan John
Jul 27, 2015 12:24pm

In reply to w:

duh.

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noodles
Jul 27, 2015 1:19pm

In reply to w:

you must be shitting me

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morphic
Jul 27, 2015 7:27pm

where is his "BAKER'S dozen"? !!!

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Mason Jones
Jul 27, 2015 7:49pm

Very nicely put. Note, though, that Wind/Pinball are not in fact new books, just new in widespread English translation. They were among his first novels in Japan and were available as cute little Japanese/English editions for readers who wanted to use them to learn English.

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Apop
Jul 27, 2015 10:37pm

Is this really the current top 20 singles list in the UK? Who the f- are these people? I recognized maybe 5 names. Damn I'm old.

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toots
Aug 4, 2015 3:22pm

In reply to morphic:

INDEED!

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Mark S.
Aug 4, 2015 4:46pm

Haruki Murakam didn't write these mini reviews, or did he?

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adam wilson
Aug 6, 2015 10:48pm

How did this article seem like a good idea? Worse than Buzzfeed.

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Peter
Aug 11, 2015 10:47am

This is great. For more tongue-in-cheek Murakami-related reading, this is quite amusing:

http://dinnerwithmurakami.tumblr.com/

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