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2008-10-02 - 12:16 p.m.

One of the items on my task list at work is monitoring the U.K.singles and album charts, keeping tabs on what the kids are listening to across the water.

As any Anglophile knows, British folks, as a whole, are far more adventurous (and fickle) in their pop music choices then we are, and their Top 40 has always been amazingly heterogeneous, embracing everything from treacly love ballads to "At Home He's A
Tourist
."

This chart-watching has made me curious about what the rest of the world is listening to this week...so I did a little research.

In Finland, the two biggest bands are the Rasmus, purveyors of what they call "death pop" but what we might call "lite metal," and Popeda, all smoke-machines and theatrical Jim Steinmanesque anthems (although they seem to have an un-Steinmanesque sense of humor about themselves.)

The number one song in Italy is by Giusy Ferreri, the winner of an American Idol-type talent show, whose singleis pure Euro-pop.

One of the big movers on the French charts this week is "C'est beau la bourgeoisie," by "Discobitch" (aka DJ Laurent Konrad). I don't speak French, but I think the title translates as "three and a half minutes of annoying house music."

The Austrians are swayin' and wavin' their lighters to the groovy Adult Contemporary sounds of Das Hat Die Welt Noch Nicht Gesehen by the Söhne Mannheims, and the Bulgarians are wild about the yacht-rock of Grupa Te.

Although it's tempting to read character and cultural temperament into a country's biggest-selling singles, it's interesting to note that the song that dominated every singles chart this week is "I Kissed a Girl," proving that bad taste is truly a global phenomenon.


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