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Who needs guitars anyway?


Best Bits
Sunday, August 29, 2004

Top 5 'Indie' Bands It's OK To Like (And Why)

1. Snow Patrol

and

2. Franz Ferdinand



3. The Killers

and

4. The Thrills



5. Phoenix

and

Answers to the Europop Quiz!

Part 1: Who sings this?

1. Upside Down - A*Teens
2. Guilty - The Rasmus
3. Turn Back Time - Aqua
4. Despre Tine - O-Zone
5. Boys - Band Ohne Namen/B.O.N

Part 2: Where are they from?

1. Venke Knutson - Norway
2. September - Sweden
3. Alizée - France
4. Elisa - Italy
5. K-otic - Holland

Part 3: Identify these lyrics

1. Say hello, you're the one I've been looking for - Sita - Hello
2. I'm still alive, no matter what you do to make me cry - Alex - I'm Still Alive
3. Who's she looking goofy in a Gucci dress? - Lambretta - Bimbo
4. Love me, love me, say that you love me - Cardigans - Lovefool
5. I need your love, I need no hesitation - French Affair - Sexy

Part 4: Name this act

1. Jeanette
2. Outlandish
3. Maria Mena
4. Robyn
5. Da Buzz
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Video Killed The Radio Star

Girls Aloud - Love Machine
I seem to be in the minority because I absolutely love GA's new single and can't get it out of my head, whilst many others were disappointed with it. I feel like some people have tricked themselves into not liking it cos if they did it might seem like they only liked it cos it was Girls Aloud. But then I loved Jump too and that was unpopular with some. A lot of their fans seem to want a whole album of NGAs, but if you listen to Love Machine properly it wouldn't sound at all out of place on their debut album and would certainly have been one of my top tracks. Other people have said it is messy but the same could be said (and was, by me) for These Words which is heading for a second week at no.1. I don't expect that for Love Machine, but it deserves it. As for the video it is quite cheap-looking and Nicola looks even less like herself. Bring back the ginger!
93% Poptastic!

Rooster - Come Get Some
There is little better than a band that will annoy rock fans, and this fits the bill brilliantly. They look like a fresh-faced young rock band, the video fits that image, but listen to the song and you'll soon realise they sound more like 5ive than The Libertines. The song is really good and I will probably buy it and be listening out excitedly for more material from them, but I can see them being the new Dum Dums or the UK's answer to All American Rejects, which sadly means the dumper awaits.
90% Poptastic!

Alcazar - This Is The World We Live In
It seems like ages since I first heard (and adored) this song and since then I've purchased both their previous albums and generally become a massive fan. This is one of the happiest-sounding songs I know and I never get bored of it, even when it was played every 5 minutes on Swedish radio. Hopefully soon it will be the same in the UK, and it can claim it's rightful place alongside Darren Hayes and Annie in my top 3 singles released this year. The video is getting a bit of play although not as much as it deserves, but it's early days and with Crying At The Discotheque doing so well here a few years ago they are in with a chance of having at least a small hit with this excellent single.
100% Poptastic!
Wednesday, August 25, 2004

WHY Has No-one Told Me About This?

Maroon 5! Number ONE!

I had been expecting this to happen for a few weeks as SWBL comes out (top 5 in the midweeks, yay!) and as far as I can remember this is the first time SAJ has got to no.1 so it's excellent news. They can now say they're no.1 artists in the UK, which can't fail to impress. Also pleasing is the fact that there is not a single annoying artist in this week's top 5. Keane are hardly my favourites but bearable, M5, SS and SP are my fave albums of the year and Anastacia is pretty good compared to most. It's just a shame that the rest of the top 10 includes 3 of my most hated hates, Usher, Avril and RHCP. Yuck!
Saturday, August 14, 2004

Top 20 Reasons V Are Ace!

1. They have all the ingredients a boyband needs.

2. They are all buff hotties.

3. They love each other (and cross dress).



4. A lot.



5. A very lot!



6. Mark can do an impression of a plum tree, which leads to...

7. They are all mad.

8. They give fab interviews.

9. The 3 versions of their single have 13 tracks between them. Great value compared to most bands who seem to want to rip off their fans.

10. They did a boyband medley including BSBs, 5ive & Take That ie. the best boybands ever.

11. They have 5 members, just like all the other best boybands ever (see above).

12. Aaron is a pop genius.

13. They have worked with Xenomania, the first boyband to do so.

14. They can do great upbeat songs (eg. Hip To Hip) as well as lovely slow ones (You Stood Up).

15. Their duet with McFly only included the ace ones (Tom & Danny) and was written by the only ace one in Busted (James). Unsurprisingly, Chills In The Evening is very good indeed.

16. Mark was in a band with someone from Fame Academy. Admittedly, it was Gary but he made up for what he lacked in aceness (he didn't want to be in a boyband) with buff hottieness.

17. Kevin reminds me of one of my friends.

18. They want to be pop stars and not r'n'b or rock and they all seem happy to be doing the pop star job.

19. They are the most genuinely cheery band in pop.

20. They have the chance to be very successful now they've had 2 top 5 hits! You Stood Up is their best song and next single so it should be their biggest hit when it comes out in October and they might even get an album!
Saturday, August 07, 2004

Europop Quiz!

Now you've learnt all about Europop you'll be all ready to take the Europop quiz!

Part 1: Who sings this?

1. Upside Down
2. Guilty
3. Turn Back Time
4. Despre Tine
5. Boys

Part 2: Where are they from?

1. Venke Knutson
2. September
3. Alizée
4. Elisa
5. K-otic

Part 3: Identify these Lyrics

1. Say hello, you're the one I've been looking for
2. I'm still alive, no matter what you do to make me cry
3. Who's she looking goofy in a Gucci dress?
4. Love me, love me, say that you love me
5. I need your love, I need no hesitation

Part 4: Name this act

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.


The End!
Annie - Chewing Gum
I've been enjoying Heartbeat for a few weeks now so I was very excited to hear her single with Richard X, Chewing Gum. And it is just as I expected - as fun and catchy as you can possibly imagine and soaring straight into my top 10 singles of the year so far for certain. Plus, she's from Norway and I am very much into my Norwegians at the moment. But this would be 100% ace whoever was sing it. The lyrics are great ("I think you think you're chocolate but you're chewing gum" and "I don't wanna settle down, I just wanna chew gum" being obvious favourites) and I cannot stop singing it in my head. This surely cannot fail to be a hit?
100% Poptastic! (I think that's my first ever 100% as well!)

Tiziano Ferro feat. Jamelia - Universal Prayer
This is very Euro-sounding which (surprise) pleases me. That's because Tiziano is Italy's top pop/r'n'b star. He usually sings in his native language and actually wrote Blue's recent Italian no.1 hit, A Chi Mi Dice which is based on their single Breathe Easy. The video shows Tiz and Jam (as they will now be known) in various settings which could be either in Italy or perhaps Greece with this song featuring on the Olympics album, Unity, alongside many other collaborations a hundred times more bizarre. The lyrics to Universal Prayer are a bit dodgy but we'll let Tiz off if it's his first venture into writing in English (it may not be, I don't know for sure) and he is quite a hottie in some parts of the video (although a bit odd-looking in others) and the song is a little cheap sounding and much poppier than Jam's usual, but that is a good thing.
74% Poptastic

Brian McFadden - Real To Me
I had heard that the lyrics of this song were terrible but I thought people might be exaggerating a little. I was wrong because they are quite hideous, but hilariously so. The song is about Brian leaving behind the 'showbiz dinners' and 'men in suits' (er, wasn't that you Brian?) to be with his family and 'see his babies run' (He doesn't realise it's him they're running away from). My favourite bit is "we'll invite the family round and drink some English tea, then I raise up my finger and watch football on tv". I don't know why he is rasiing up his finger, or mentioning English tea since he is Irish, but this does prove that pop stars are not meant to write songs, just sell them with their talent, charm and good looks. Or maybe not in Brian's case. The most exciting bit of the video was when I thought I saw Hannah SC8, but it wasn't her.
36% Poptastic
Thursday, August 05, 2004

A-Z Of Europop

tATu



Who? The Russian pretend lesbians who caused a stir in 2003 with a new publicity stunt every day and managed to have one of the biggest hits of the year with All The Things She Said.
Nationality: Russian
Best song: All The Things She Said

Vanilla Ninja



Who? Estonian 4-piece girl band who have been successful recently in Germany.
Nationality: Estonian
Best song: Tough Enough

Vengaboys



Who? Pop group from 98-01 who had no.1 hits with Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom and We're Going To Ibiza.
Nationality: Dutch
Best song: We Like To Party (The Vengabus)

Venke Knutson



Who? Female singer behind a few recent hits in Norway; Panic, Sacred and Kiss.
Nationality: Norway
Best song: Scared

Within Temptation



Who? Dutch pop/metal group behind a few big hits in their home country including Ice Queen and recently their excellent cover of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill.
Nationality: Dutch
Best song: Running Up That Hill

Xavier Naidoo



Who? A successful German singer who had a hit duet with RZA from the Wu-tang Clan last summer. (There aren't many Xs...)
Nationality: German
Best song: Ich kenne nichts

New Darren Hayes Songs!

Here are some small clips from the Popular single: click and click

Touch sounds halfway between old Darren and Pop!ular Darren and Zero is a bit more on the old Darren side but both are positively lovely and making me very excited about buying this single. I just love his voice and sound so very much. There are several remixes to hear as well including the Almighty remix, which is usually good and this doesn't sound like a disappointment.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

A-Z Of Europop

Pauline (Kamusewu)



Who? Soulful young female singer who recently released her fab Motown-esque album, Candy Rain.
Nationality: Swedish
Best song: Running Out Of Gaz

Rasmus



Who? Creators of one of the UK's biggest rock hits this year, In The Shadows and one of the biggest bands in Europe right now.
Nationality: Finnish
Best song: In The Shadows

Robyn



Who? Pop r'n'b star known best in the UK for her excellent '98 top 10 hit Show Me Love. Songs from her latest album have been covered by Beverley Knight and Play.
Nationality: Swedish
Best song: Blow My Mind

September



Who? Group of DJs fronted by female singer responsible for several ace hits this year in various European countries.
Nationality: Swedish
Best song: September All Over

Shebang



Who? Energetic female pop-punk duo who had a big hit a few years ago in Sweden with Romeo and a few smaller hits since including a cover of the Primitives' 1988 hit, Crash.
Nationality: Swedish
Best song: Temple Of Love

Sita



Who? Ex-K-otic member who released a flop single Happy in the UK in 2002 but had much more success in her home of Holland as well as France where she duetted with one of their top boybands, and is one of my favourite female singers ever!
Nationality: Dutch
Best song: Hello

Surferosa



Who? Crazy thrash-pop group who had a minor UK hit with Lucky Lipstick earlier this year.
Nationality: Norwegian
Best song: Saturday Night
Sunday, August 01, 2004

A-Z Of Europop

K-otic



Who? The result of Holland's Starmaker programme and one of my favourite pop bands ever. Sadly they split up last year.
Nationality: Dutch
Best song: I Really Don't Think So

Kim-Lian



Who? Kids TV presenter turned excitable pop-rock chick, Kim-Lian's album Balance has my stamp of approval.
Nationality: Dutch
Best song: Garden Of Love

Kjartan Salvesen



Who? Winner of Norway's second Idol season who sounds like The Rasmus and is really rather good.
Nationality: Norwegian
Best song: Standing Tall

Lambretta



Who? Pop rock group fronted by the ace Linda who sounds like an angrier version of Robyn. Their recent album boasts several songs written by the one and only Max Martin.
Nationality: Swedish
Best song: Bimbo

Lene (Nystrom)



Who? Aqua's lead singer who went solo last year with the amazing single It's Your Duty and also contributed to GA's Sound Of The Underground.
Nationality: Norwegian
Best song: It's Your Duty (To Shake That Booty)

Maria Mena



Who? Talented young singer-songwriter making waves in the USA. Her sweet single You're The Only One is set for release here in September.
Nationality: Norwegian
Best song: Lose Control

Mylene Farmer



Who? Iconic French star who appears to have released nothing in the UK but did discover Alizée and her songs Libertine and Desenchantée were covered by French dance/pop singer Kate Ryan recently.
Nationality: French
Best song: Desenchantée

Natascha Thomas



Who? New pop princess who has worked with some of the same producers as Ace of Base and stars in the current Lacoste advert singing her hit It's Over Now.
Nationality: Danish
Best song: Why (Does Your Love Hurt So Much?)

Nena



Who? The lady behind the 80s hit 99 Red Balloons or 99 Luftballons as it was called in Germany, and the brilliant duet with Kim Wilde in 2003, Any Place, Anywhere, Anytime.
Nationality: German
Best song: Any Place, Anywhere, Anytime

Outlandish



Who? Melodic hip-hop group who were all over the radio in Europe last summer with their catchy hit Aicha and the follow-up Walou.
Nationality: Danish
Best song: Aicha

O-Zone



Who? The cheery boy band behind this year's biggest summer hit across Europe, Dragostea Din Tei. It's even caught on in the UK for once and has been in the top ten for months.
Nationality: Moldovan
Best song: Dragostea Din Tei



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