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I have as you’ve had the potential to read been to some of the best shows in my music going life this year; Regina Spektor on Broadway and Metallica with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. That’s not bad considering I’ve been going to gigs since I was seventeen and I’m now almost forty. I’ve also had the pleasure of enjoying three amazing Rosalie Cunningham shows in small venues, with her debuting her stunning album live, as well as having Machine Head celebrating their monumental debut Burn My Eyes album round the corner! This does not include the ‘normal’ shows I’ve also enjoyed and those coming up with Kill ii This, teenage and now adulthood - since they’ve reformed - heroes playing this week. Musically this year has been incredible but at the same time has also been the worst.


I haven’t mentioned in these blogs (I think) that I have moved jobs because why on earth would you care? Of course every time I meet someone new I always tend to ask what they do because it’s polite but without ever taking it in because the answer is almost always really boring. However there was one monumental and devastating change in the move of roles and it has nothing to do with the job or the people (who are lovely). The only problem was the following:


In every other job I’ve had I’ve never had an office with a radio on and I have hugely enjoyed that. I’ve known that this has been a good thing because when I have people over generally speaking they have not heard of ninety percent of the music lining my CD shelves and when they ask have you got so and so I have to tell them no I haven’t. I have also realised that my music tastes are different to most as I would say ninety-nine percent of parties, functions and places I visit have in my opinion terrible music playing but everyone else is enjoying it and dancing. I honestly think that one of the main reasons I have enjoyed discovering drinking is it’s the only way for my ears to be distracted from the awful music that I interpret is being played from the speakers at whatever event I am at. The drunker I am, the more tolerable it manages to become (it works the same with people too). At work you can’t (as far as I can work out and get away with it) drink and so therefore nothing can distract my ears from what I am hearing. And so below I will list the problems I have with Heart FM (whilst listening to some good music on my computer):


1. The Playlist


I am not sure how many songs exist in the history of recorded music but it is certainly in the millions if not the tens or hundreds of millions. It therefore boggles my mind how few of them Heart actually play. You could even narrow the hundreds of millions down to just the genre of pop and you’d still be in the millions wouldn’t you? Even if you narrowed it down to just Top 40 Western pop in the last 40 years you’d be in the thousands. Therefore I do not understand why you get to a point where you need to repeat songs in the same day. Does it cost more or does the station think that their audience is not able to take in so many different songs in one go?


On a side note occasionally I did get Absolute radio on once in a while and they promise a no repeats during the day guarantee that whilst better I soon learnt also had a problem. If you listened to it for more than a day repeats would happen because they seemed to not realise bands wrote more than one song. Now we have a Guns n Roses classic… Sweet Child O’ Mine by any chance? Oh yes, there we go…


Also whilst much more diverse in what they played than Heart it still didn’t get passed the fact that in whatever genre you enjoyed they only played the four or so biggest bands in that genre so for rock for instance you had better love the Foo Fighters and Guns ‘n’ Roses.


2. The Playlist


I am not sure I truly pick up on how many songs are repeated during the day as so many of them seem to sound exactly the same. There are a couple of them that are so bad that I notice they come round every couple of hours but the rest, I’m just assuming they do.


The current prime example of this is Jess Glynn (Gline, Glin, Glyn, Glynne?) as all this week Heart have been running a competition that if you hear one, two or three Jess Glynn (Gline, Glin, Glyn, Glynne?) songs in a row and text in you have a chance of winning money. The winner who is picked is then called up (about a song or two later) and they do the whole ‘How does it feel to have won thirty thousand pounds?’ ‘Ohhh emmmm geeeeee, it feels amazing’ and yet I still have no idea what songs Jess Glynn (Gline, Glin, Glyn, Glynne?) sings. I try and recall the song/s from a few moments ago and can’t. It’s incredible really. Two or three times every day for a week someone screams in delight because they have won thousands of pounds and I still have no idea what the source of their enjoyment sounds like.


3. The Competition


Every day they do this competition (the artist changes each week and for a mere £1.50 plus network charges you have a chance to win this money). My colleague entered it for a while and even made me do it once. I have given money to Heart FM!


The problem with this is that every day and at least twice I have to hear someone else that I have never heard of get excited about winning money. Why on earth should I care? The main problem however is the Heart FM DJs who try and wring out every last drop of emotion possible… So how does it feel? It really means a lot to you doesn’t it? How do you think your wife will feel when you tell her? So the kids will totally be excited about going on holiday for the first time won’t they?


This drags on forever and you either get a willingly responsive winner ‘ohhhh mmyyyyy goooodddddd I cannnnnn’tt bbeeeeelliiieeeeveeeee it, this is the best thing that has EVER happened to me’ or someone who less able and just replies with ‘That’s great’.


You almost get a feeling the presenter is hoping the winner has a dying relative or a kid who is very ill as you know £20k going towards dialysis is a lot more powerful than to someone who is taking their kids on holiday. The DJ either way has to try and drag out the emotion and so it makes sense doesn’t it to hope for the easier option. I’ve always hoped for this option to occur once just to see the DJ have to truly work


DJ: You’ve just won THIRTY THOUSAND POUNDS… how does that feel?

Winner: Well I earn that in a day so it won’t really make a difference

DJ: Oh right, but it must feel good right?

Winner: Well I won’t really notice to be honest

DJ: So WHAT are you going to spend the money on?

Winner: Probably just add it to my share portfolio…


I think the real thing that pisses me off about this segment though is just how happy the winners are to win any amount of money because it shows we live in a society where three hundred or three thousand pounds actually makes a huge difference to people. Three thousand pounds is a huge amount of money to a lot of people and loose change to others.


4. Pandora


I’ve singled her out because she seems actually enthusiastic about the music. Every other DJ will say great tune that and then babble on about something else but Pandora seems to genuinely enjoy the music and tell you why it is making you feel good. She has one particular segment that she REALLY enjoys telling you will make you feel good too.


5. The Five Club Classics In A Row Segment


I would have thought a change-up from the regular playlist no matter what it was would be amazing but I was wrong, this is worse.


Firstly Pandora tells us every day at great length that she has got five huge club classics in a row coming up and then after each one she eulogises about just how great they are, how much she loves them and how much they are getting us through work. Hey maybe you are filing at the moment or having to wade through emails, well why don’t you give it a break for a moment as I have got a truly great club classic coming your way… the thing plays and then… you can’t help but dance to that one can you, I was bopping round the studio myself here. And don’t forget we play you five classic club songs in a row every day to really get your day going.


I can’t tell you the difference between any of them bar one and that was played at the end of this week and I only remember it because when I was young everyone went on and on about the video (women exercising). No-one that I remember went on and on about the song which I rediscovered goes on and on. Caalllllll onnn meeeeeee, callllll onnnn meeeeeee, calllll onnn meeee, callll onnn meeeee. Is there another lyric? You wouldn’t get away with that in any other form of word performing would you? Imagine if I just said the same sentence to you over and over and over again? It’d be fucking annoying right? It certainly wouldn’t help you get you through your work day!


6. Lady Gaga Is A Genius


I am not saying Lady Gaga isn’t talented or you shouldn’t like her but it was only after listening to Heart FM that I realised why she is considered a genius by most. Compared to everything else on the station it actually sounds different. Out of the thirty songs they play ad nauseam during the day the Lady Gaga one sounds slightly different. It’s always Poker Face (I think) but I recognise it. By the 500th time I’ve heard it of course it gets as tedious as every other song they repeat but at least for the first few times it was different. This is also true of one girl group’s song whose name (band and song) I can’t remember at this moment but I do notice it coming on as it has a different beat to everything else.


7. The Song That Sounds Like It’s Borrowed A Bit From Sharon Jones


This is the most bearable song on at the moment as there is a small part of it that has a Sharon Jones funk guitar lick in it. It for a second makes me feel good but then it’s ruined by the chorus that has a typical modern thumping beat type thing. It’s my colleague’s favourite song and so she will crank it up which in equal measures is okay when the Sharon Jones part is on and woeful when the rest of it is played.


8. The ‘I Just Want To Be Beautiful’ Song


On the first two listens I thought well at least this song has a good message but after hearing it like every other song ad nauseam I didn’t want her to be beautiful, I just wanted her to shut the fuck up and if it took an abusive partner to do it I wouldn’t have cared! The song is fucking awful! The abusive partner bit is just a joke of course but it really is a shit song.


9. The Playlist


I’ve now been listening to Heart FM for over six months and the above few songs plus a few more I will list below are the only ones I can actually remember and even then I am struggling with the song title or the artist. I listen to the songs two or three times a day and I still on the whole have no idea who or what I am listening to. That’s how samey and bad it all is.


Here is a list of the others I know they play:


Bonus Song One:


Dancing With a Stranger - Sam Smith (I am impressed with myself for actually getting this far) and a woman.


Verdict: It’s no wonder your partner wants you to dance with a stranger and not them if this is the type of music you come up with. Can you sing with that stranger too and NOT with me.


Bonus Song Two:


Move Like Jagger – Maroon 5


Verdict: This is possibly the shittest song that has ever been written and it only just occurred to me it might be the worst band name ever too.


Bonus Song Three


Giant – Rag & Bone Man (I think the title and band name is right)


Verdict: I understand that you have abnormal growth compared to everyone else but I am sick and tired of hearing about it. I am an averagely height sized man in case you were wondering.


Bonus Song Four


No Idea – No Idea


All I know is there is one, or maybe two or three songs played (I can’t distinguish them) where the singer sounds like he is from Creed. It is ‘earnest’, ‘powerful’ and most noticeably, shit.


Bonus Song Five


No Idea – No Idea


They sing a bit in Spanish and it’s backed by an awful beat.


10. It’s Almost The Weekend


They start telling me how it is almost the weekend on a Thursday Morning! I still have two fucking days left you cretin, which is a lot!


11. Inane Talking Points


I was going to recount you some but between work ending on Friday and me writing this on Sunday I have forgotten anything that was said but it will always go something like ‘Tell us if you have ever worn socks’ and ‘Do you remember eating crisps?’.


12. They Got Excited For Ages Telling Us Amanda Holden And Jamie Theakston Would Be The New Morning Presenters


It seems an odd thing to be excited about as they are Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston but also because they sound exactly the same as everyone else that presents on the station apart from Pandora who is actually excited about the music she is playing.


13. I’m On Page SEVEN!


I think this is going to be the last point as I really should do something more worthwhile today. I have spent a few hours and seven pages griping about this. That is how bad this station is. I still have to reread it, edit it (to a point) and post it on my site too. In case you needed a summary Heart FM truly is shit and rather than giving me ‘feel good hits’ as they keep telling me, give me a headache (that is genuinely true by the way). It also often makes me think the deaf are better off until I start my walk home and put on anything else on my portable music device.


Heart FM Is Shit