Umbrella (Def Jam)
From the moment you heard it you knew you were going to hear it EVERY-bloody-where from BoomBox to Budgens, forever, and that, one way or another, you had just better get used to that fact. And quickly. After 10 weeks at Number One, by late July there were whispers that Bryan Adams might even be toppled from his eternal plinth. Yes, there was also the irony of its title given our Atlantis-like summer, but really, we should all feel blessed to have lived through any season with pop songs as timeless as this. The most flawless slice of chilly R&B since Aaliyah’s ‘Try Again’, it matched vintage songwriting to some hyper-modern knob-twiddling by producers The Dream for a minimal, sharp-edged but curiously affecting sound that seemed perfectly twinned with the shimmering rain of sparks that ends its video. Hella-ella-ella-ella good.