100 Plays Later is a series that is exactly how it sounds. I try to explain how I’ve managed to reach a century of plays on songs you may not even recognise. Or explain what it’s like to listen back to my favourite songs for the 238th time.
No Other One – Taio Cruz – 120 Plays
No Other One isn’t a brilliant song. It’s barely a good one at that, the definition of ‘basic’, but I really don’t care. For a few years between 2009 and 2011 I was OBSESSED with Taio Cruz. I can’t really explain why or how I ended up listening to his two albums back to back over and over again for 2 years, but I did and it was amazing. The sound that would now be lumbered with the ‘generic’ tag was actually pretty interesting back in 2009. By the time he’d conquered America with a #1 hit and the 2nd biggest song of the year the sound was so prevalent that Taio himself became even more irrelevant to the current pop landscape than he had been before.
The major hits still stand out now, all of which would be eligible for this list, but No Other One is the anomaly. Peaking at #42 in the UK, it has been brushed under the rug for everyone but me it seems. I actually love how simple and nonchalant it is, there’s no over singing, the heavily autotuned vocals making this sound more like it was programmed in a lab than performed in a studio, but that’s the point. It’s a mechanical beast that was lodged in my brain, whether by choice or not for a long time. No Other One wasn’t a hit, it probably didn’t deserve to be. Instead it’s a simple banger of a pop song with its heart on its sleeve and never attempts to be anything but that. It may not be a great song, but it’s definitely a TUNE.