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Who needs guitars anyway?


Best Bits
Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Top of the Poptastic!

Février has come to end and I do believe it's time for a reshuffle in the chart of the year that I am cleverly building up to prevent any embarrassing forgetfulness at the end of the year. First of all, my top 20 songs of February (not including songs from January's chart):

1. Rihanna - S.O.S (Rescue Me)
2. Kate Ryan - Je t'adore
3. Elisa - Swan
4. The Research - Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same
5. All American Rejects - Move Along
6. Robyn - Crash & Burn Girl
7. Torgny Melins - Hey Boy
8. Marie Serneholt - That's The Way My Heart Goes
9. Madonna - Sorry
10. Anna Sahlene - This Woman
11. Jason Mraz - Geek In The Pink
12. Conjure One - Extraordinary Ways
13. Hooverphonic - You Hurt Me
14. Darin - Want Ya!
15. Girls Aloud - whole Lotta History
16. Bryan Rice - No Promises
17. Sandra Oxenryd - Through My Window
18. Magnus Carlsson - Lev Livet
19. Protocol - Love Is My Drug
20. Maria Mena - Just Hold Me

And the chart of the year so far:

1. Delays – Valentine
2. Rihanna - S.O.S (Rescue Me)
3. Will Young - All Time Love
4. Kate Ryan - Je t'adore
5. Fefe Dobson - As A Blonde
6. Protocol - Where's The Pleasure
7. Morningwood - Nth Degree
8. The Veronicas - Everything I'm Not
9. Elisa – Swan
10. The Research - Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same
11. Johnny Boy – 15 Minutes
12. West End Girls - West End Girls
13. The Go! Team – Ladyflash
14. All American Rejects - Move Along
15. Robyn - Crash & Burn Girl
16. Gavin Degraw - We Belong Together
17. Torgny Melins - Hey Boy
18. Wigwam – Wigwam
19. Marie Serneholt - That's The Way My Heart Goes
20. Madonna – Sorry

When you look at it like that, it's been a rather good two months!

New Pop On The Block

Infernal - From Paris To Berlin
Like many of you I've known and loved this song for a long time now - I even got their album for Christmas and it's excellent, but I had pretty much given up hope on it ever getting released in the UK. However, it has now been added to The Box and The Hits, and already it's in the top 10 "Box Breakers". Infernal are one of the biggest pop exports for Denmark and deservedly so - this is a fantastic song and they have many more, the current European single A To The B being a prime example.
96% Poptastic!

Juanes - La Camisa Negra
One of the biggest stars in Spanish music at the moment is this guy, 33-year-old Juanes, a Columbian singer whose achievements include a no.1 album on the USA's Latin Billboard Charts, a duet with Nelly Furtado and a very impressive 12 Latin Grammy Awards. I don't know enough about Spanish music to say if he deserved them, but I do know that this is a very catchy song and the video is ace - jerky dancing and all!
74% Poptastic!
Sunday, February 26, 2006

American Idol - my top 12

After watching the first round of the American Idol live shows, here is who I would like to make it eventually to the top 12:

Boys:

Will Makar
Super-cute and lovely, the best of the teenage boys.

Taylor Hicks
The weirdest of all but clearly very talented.

Ace Young
How could he not get through with a name like that!

Chris Daughtry
He's a rocker but he does it well - this year's Bo?

Kevin Covais
He resembles my 6 year old cousin, but he really is sweet and a fairly good singer.

Elliott Yamin
Looks like a criminal but is one of the best singers.

Girls:

Paris Bennett
This girl is the one to beat in singing and cuteness.

Mandisa
A voice as big as her bum!

Lisa Tucker
Little girl, big voice.

Kellie Pickler
She has to stay just for her fab hillbilly accent.

Kinnik Sky
Very underrated this week.

Katharine McPhee
A good singer with a nice bubbly personality

And finally, here is my favourite bit of American Idol - the always hilarious and brilliant group song!
Saturday, February 25, 2006

Melodi Club

For those insterested, the results of tonight's Melodifestivalen are:

Finalists:
Magnus (yippee!) and Kikki

Andra Chansen (like the wildcard round in Idol shows):
Niclas and Velvet

The losers:
Osten med resten, Sonya, Pablo and Elephantz

Well done Magnus! Next week is the most exciting of all as Bodies Without Organs will be unveiling their new single and performing it in the 3rd semi-final of Melodifestivalen. The song is called Temple of Love and it will be the first release from their new album Halcyon Days. I'm so excited!

Melodi Club

First I must apologise for my lack of coverage of last week's first round of Melodifestivalen - I was in fact in Belgium, but I did pick up a copy of Kate Ryan's excellent Eurovision entry, Je t'adore, which surely makes up for it! So, this week's songs have just been posted up on www.melodifestivalen.se, and here are my initial reactions.

Magnus Carlsson - Lev Livet
This is Magnus from Alcazar making his first attempt at solo success, although something like his 5th attempt at Eurovision! The song is in Swedish but I really like it - a very catchy chorus with girls singing backing vocals so it could just be an Alcazar song with Magnus singing lead. Definitely a big thumbs up from me!

The Elephantz - Oh Yeah
This song begins with cries of "Wassup!" which is never a good sign. It's in English with a rapper who sounds typical of European rappers, although also a lot like Eminem. It's like D12, the Euro novelty version. I am not impressed. Luckily I am confident that they haved little chance of doing well.

Sonya - Etymon
I've not heard anything of Sonya before but I read that her song is similar to Elena's winning entry from last year and that's certainly true. It's pretty good though, and in English despite the title. It's very unoriginal sounding though, reminding me of many Europop singles, and not up to Elena's standard.

Osten med resten - Ge mig en kaka til kaffet
This is very jolly! Old-fashioned sounding and the singers look hilarious. The singing is a bit fast, not catchy like Magnus' song, although it improves towards the end. The style is certianly appealing more to the families and older people who watch Melodifestivalen, rather than young pop fans, but you could at least do a bit of crazy dancing to it if you were so inclined!

Pablo Cepeda - La chica de la copa
Sounds like a Ricky Martin wannabe but he's not good looking enough. The song is really catchy though - the first example of true cheesy pop. Another one with a title in a language different to the rest of the song. It's no way good enough to win as it's even less original than Sonya's song, but I'm sure I'll give it plenty of listens when I get the Melodifestivalen CD.

Kikki Danielsson - Idag & imorgon
This is typical Melodifestivalen, very ABBA wannabe, which of course is never a bad thing. I'd personally much prefer the young groovy kids to get through, but I won't be at all upset is Kikki is successful. However, she has little chance of being the most popular "older lady" of the competition with the legendary Carola coming up in a few weeks' time.

Niclas Wahlgren - En droppe regn
What's the betting that means "a drop of rain"? I actually saw Niclas sing live last summer as part of an NRJ (or it might have been Rix FM, I actually can't remember) concert. It's a ballad and very boring, and he's a bit weird looking so I hope he doesn't get through. I don't think he will but I don't know how popular he is. It reminds me of that song "Lorraine in the rain" from Bulgarian entry Kaffe last year.

Velvet - Mi amore
Yet another song with a title in a different language to the rest! Velvet has already made one appearance on the Eurovision stage, as a dancer for last year's Swedish entry, Martin Stenmarck. She usually does more disco-pop songs compared to this which is, as you'll guess, a Spanish style song. Again it sounds like quite a few other songs but I like it. This would probably be my choice to go through, along with Magnus. Good luck to them!
Thursday, February 23, 2006

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It's snowing! So, to celebrate, here are my top 5 snow videos:

1. S Club 7 - Never Had A Dream Come True (YouTube) - remember to watch and support Jo on BBC tonight!
2. Steps - Heartbeat (YouTube)
3. Sinéad Quinn - Breakdown (Real/Win)
4. A1 - Caught In The Middle (YouTube)
5. t.A.T.u - Not Gonna Get Us (YouTube)
Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Help!

Is there a doctor in the house? I think there's something wrong with my taste in music. I really like the new All American Rejects single. What's really worrying is there's no reason I should like this, out of all the rock songs to choose from. Why this one, when I can't bear any of the others? Perhaps it is the time of year - I remember this time last year I was really into Beating Heart Baby by Head Automatica and Oh Yeah by the Subways. I still love both actually. Maybe I just need this once yearly release of my pent-up rock angst, then I can continue as normal. I really hope so, cos this could get embarrassing if it doesn't stop soon!
Monday, February 20, 2006
Read my review of Darin's album here.
Thursday, February 16, 2006

The "real" Brits

This is who the nominations and awards should have gone to:

Best Pop
Girls Aloud
Will Young
Bodies Without Organs <- Win!
Robyn
Rachel Stevens

Best urban
Robyn <- Win!
Darin
M.I.A
Conner Reeves
Fannypack

Best Rock
The Veronicas
Fefe Dobson
Kaiser Chiefs
Melody Club <- Win!
The Ark

Best British Single
Will Young - Switch It On
Rachel Stevens - I Said Never Again (But Here We Are) <- Win!
Andy Bell - Crazy
Helen Love - Debbie Loves Joey
The Modern - Jane Falls Down

Best British Breakthrough Act
The Modern <- Win!
Kaiser Chiefs
Alexis Strum
Charlotte Hatherley
Imogen Heap

Best International Breakthrough Act
Gavin Degraw
Bodies Without Organs <- Win!
Pay TV
Gwen Stefani
Elize

Best British Group
The Modern
Girls Aloud <- Win!
Kaiser Chiefs
Goldfrapp
Freeform Five

Best British Female
Rachel Stevens <- Win!
Imogen Heap
Alexis Strum
Kate Bush
Charlotte Church

Best British Male
Patrick Wolf
Will Young <- Win!
Andy Bell
Tyler James
Mark Owen

Best International Female
Gwen Stefani
Robyn <- Win!
Madonna
September
Annie

Best International Male
Darren Hayes <- Win!
Gavin Degraw
Darin
Espen Lind
Jason Mraz

Best International Group
Alcazar
Maroon 5
Bodies Without Organs <- Win!
t.A.T.u
Melody Club

Best British Album
Will Young - Keep On <- Win!
Girls Aloud - Chemistry
Rachel Stevens - Come And Get It
V - You Stood Up
Kaiser Chiefs - Employment

Best International Album
t.A.T.u - Dangerous & Moving
Bodies Without Organs - Prototype <- Win!
Robyn - Robyn
September - In Orbit
Melody Club - Face The Music

Best British Live Act
The Modern <- Win!
Guillemots
I haven't seen any more British acts live this year!

Outstanding Contribution
Darren Hayes (now he'll have to reunite with Daniel!)

Top 10 Weirdest Moments of The Brit Awards 2006

1. Jack Johnson fainting on the ITV2 show
2. James Blunt winning Best Pop despite the only similarity between him and a pop act is supposed cool people hating him
3. Chris Evans (AKA Worst Presenter of All Time) announcing "here's Prince", Prince coming on to sing 4 songs (despite having no hits this year) and actually being probably the best performance despite me never having liked any of his songs.
4. Coldplay performing a random album track, despite having the apparent best single of the year under their belts, while Chris Martin flailed aroudn the stage appearing to be immensely drunk.
5. Thingy from Hard-Fi suddenly turning into David Walliams.
6. Jack Johnson winning an award. A whole country of ITV1 viewers asks "WHO?"
7. The Arctic Monkeys sprouting an extra member who is American, can pronounce discombobulated and has more charisma than the actual Monkeys combined.
8. Blunty performing in front of a huge video of himself swimming in not many clothes. Anything to distract from the crap song, I suppose.
9. Kelly C performing Since U Been Gone - does she want everyone to know she can't sing? I don't think there was a single note in tune!
10. James Blunt.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006

You gotta slow it down baby, just get out of myspace!

Because my dissection of the Last FM charts last month just wasn't depressed enough, I have decided to delve into the Myspace 'Top Artists' section. I picked out the artists who looked most interesting from their photos, so sere's what I found:

Plain White Ts



These guys leaped out from the page for the simple fact that they are wearing colours other than black, although I can't say I wasn't intrigued by their very shiny-looking hair. Their motto is "Dance is the new mosh!" which again sounds quite promising, but turns out to be complete rubbish. The Backstreet Boys are more likely to be categorised as dance music than this young male 5-piece, who don't even deserve to be called a boyband. Their songs aren't completely unbearable (I live with My Chemical Romance's biggest fan, I know what unbearable sounds like) but really, what is the point? Also, none of them are wearing plain white t-shirts which surely breaks the trade descriptions act AND worst of all, they put an apostrophe in their name (to make it Plain White T's) which is grammatically incorrect! This band will not be appearing on my friends page any time soon.

Saving Jane



After scrolling through 5 pages I come to the first female act I've not heard of. I had to click just to make sure the photo wasn't just a lure to get boys to listen to another crap punk band, something Myspace is far from lacking in. Saving Jane is a band, though, and it has some boys in it, but the singer is a girl - presumably the one in the photo. The music's pretty good poppy rock, but they don't stand up against the Veronicas or even Kelly C.

Girls of Summer



I'm not entirely sure who this band is, since their only pictures are of a girl in a bikini and the above kitten, but their songs are actually pretty good! Perhaps this exercise wasn't completely worthless after all? Give them a listen if you like nice girly music.
Saturday, February 11, 2006

Is Norway the new Sweden?

I may have given up on reviewing the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix out of utter boredom (leave a comment if you want me to review the final) but I will not be giving up on Norwegian pop any time soon. It may be their Swedish neighbours who are known for their pop supremity, but increasingly the Norwegians are catching up.

Annie
Annie is probably the most successful new Norwegian artist, and with phenomenally ace songs like Chewing Gum, Heartbeat and Me Plus One she completely deserves it. There were a few less exciting tracks on the album but I'm hoping she'll go all out on the next one and make it 100% ace.

Kristin Frogner
The lovely Kristin starred in the first issue of my Poptastisk fanzine and I even got a mention on her web site. She recently released her album and the tracsk are available on iTunes even in the UK so go and support her and buy them, or at the very least her top single

Kurt Nilsen
His music may be dull but he is a complete legend simply for this photo:



What a buff hottie!

Kjartan Salvesen

The second winner of Norwegian Idol was Kjartan and his musical output (or at least the one single of his I heard) was much, much better. Watch the video for Standing Tall and wonder why our reality show winners don't get given songs like this for their first single, here.

Bertine Zetlitz
Just as cute and talented as Annie but a bit less polished, Bertine is another super-cool blonde Norwegian electro-pop girl who has worked with Richard X. She could be described as a cross between Annie and Gwen Stefani - a recipe for aceness if ever there was one!

Venke Knutson
One of the nicest pop stars from Norway must be Venke Knutson, who seems impossibly sweet and makes music as gently beautiful as she is. Panic, Scared and Love Explains It All are three particularly great Venke songs.

Erik Faber
With all the rubbish in the UK album charts of late, you'd think the words "singer-songwriter" and "ace" could never be in the same sentence, but they can and they will. Erik Faber is a singer-songwriter and he's utterly ace. His songs, such as Century and Open Your Eyes, are immensely powerful, emotional ballads which I never tire of.

Espen Lind
One of the biggest music stars in Norway is Espen Lind, who released a great song in the UK called Unloved last year. His latest album is fantastic, especially the song Driving In Your Car, and his duet with opera star Sissel, Where The Lost Ones Go, is amazing.

Lene Nystrom
Lene was the lead singer in Aqua and, after marrying Soren Rasted from the band, she went solo in 2003 releasing an iconic single called It's Your Duty (To Shake That Booty) and a great album which sadly sold very few copies in her homeland. She has had some success though, co-writing No Good Advice for Girls Aloud.

Lilyjets
If you like the Veronicas you have to listen to the Lilyjets, cos they have also worked with Max Martin on their songs, which are in the "nu-Max" (girly pop rock) style. Only 2 singles have been heard so far but I'm looking forward to more as both were fantastic.

Top 5 Great Singles By Rubbish Bands

Ordinary Boys - Talk Talk
Strangely enough, I had the idea for this post when this song popped up on my MP3 player approximately a week before the whole Big Brother debacle and it ocurred to me that their career was "completely over", so I thought maybe I'd just give them a last little celebratory mention. How ironic. Why they re-released Boys Will Be Boys I will never know, when they had this masterpiece in their back-catalogue. Maybe if they had they'd have got to no.1 and not just hovered around the top 5 for a few weeks. Although the whole country yelling "GREY! AND! BOR! ING!" every time they were asked "How's the weather?" would not be funny for very long at all.

D-Side - Pushin' Me Out
D-side started off with an OK single, Speechless, but followed it with two of the worst boyband songs of all time - Invisible (the terror of which you can imagine once you know it was later recorded by Clay Aitken) and Real World (which seemed to have been recorded by the Chipmunks). Pushin' Me Out was their 4th UK single, like many other fab songs it sampled Salt 'n' Pepa's Push It, and it was utterly acetastic. To this day I have absolutely no idea how they managed it. Although 2 members have left, D-Side are still quite popular in Japan and one of them is starting to look a bit like Lee Brennan. They recently released a second album which includes a duet with Antony Costa! It also includes their original version of Friday Hill's new single, which is rather hilarious if you ask me!

McFly - Room on the 3rd Floor
I don't despise McFly - they're always fun on Popworld and their first 3 singles were fairly jolly, but I never really cared for them until I heard this one. Actually I never started caring for them and unless they start taking style tips from Phixx I never will, but this song is still great. It is especially surprising for me to like it since it's probably their most Beatles-aping song, and everyone knows the Beatles are evil for making everyone think they are the best band in history when actually it was ABBA. There are some excellent bits in this song though, especially the rhymes of "early" and "thirty", "hurting" and "curtains" and "raining" and "complaining". I don't know why they're good, they just are! The only other truly great thing McFly did was Chills In The Evening, which was a duet with V, but not a single so it doesn't count in this post.

VS - Call U Sexy
You've probably forgotten VS, because they were incredibly forgettable. All they were known for was being managed by Simon Webbe, who at the time had to be explained by "you know, the black guy from Blue", and even then people didn't show any interest. They did somehow get one top 10 hit with their first single, whatever it was called, but not with Call U Sexy, their second single, which was properly ace. It showed exactly how r'n'b pop should be done, not that many people are even bothering to add pop to their r'n'b these days. Idiots!

Keisha White - Don't Fool A Woman In Love
Keisha is the pop star with 9 lives. So far I think she's on her 5th and still looking unlikely to get her paws (must continue the pointless cat metaphor) on a big hit, although the new single, a very boring ballad called The Weakness In Me, has gained some good reviews. Don't Fool... actually reminded me a lot of VS in its sound and the look of the video. It's another very catchy r'n'b pop song and it's a shame more people didn't buy it cos then she might be making more ace stuff like this instead of her new bland direction.
Thursday, February 09, 2006

I've had an epiphany!

Will Young has been abducted by aliens! It is the only way to explain his increasingly strange and un-Will-like behaviour. I have pin-pointed the exact time it happened as well. It was towards the beginning of 2004, during the promotion of Your Game. It was when Will went to Australia to film the YG video that the aliens arrived in search of the most supremely ace being on the planet. Of course it was Will they took and the man we see in all his videos and performances since is in fact an alien imposter, made to look and sound exactly like him. This explains his exaggerated gayness (the alien had been fooled by his copy of The Earth Visitors' Handbook which told him that all gays were extremely camp) and this (he knew Will smoked but not what). See, I knew there'd be a logical explanation!

The Ch!pz Are Down

Looking at the German top 10 singles just now I was very surprised to see the song 1001 Arabian Nights by Ch!pz - a song I posted on Into The Groove in May last year and had on my mp3 player for quite a while before that. Surely it doesn't take 15 months for a song by a Dutch band (who I had presumed dumpered) to arrive in Germany? There's not even water between them! Still, it's good news for Ch!pz even if it is a bit random and luckily it is their one really good single which has found new success and not any of their "just OK" ones.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Everyone wants it their way

After Richard Ashcroft and Westlife, yet another terrible musical act are plagiarising the Backstreet Boys. It wasn't even me who noticed it first this time.

Edit: Having now bravely listened to the song, it doesn't really sound like IWITW at all. Phew!
Sunday, February 05, 2006

Smash Hits TV must be feeling the strain of their traumatic week

Because earlier today they broadcast a programme called Top 20 Bad Boybands, and they broke the trade descriptions act by including Phixx, Triple 8, V, Ultra, Point Break, O-Town, 911, O-Zone - in fact the only actually bad boybands included were Blazin' Squad and the Noise Next Door. It was the best programme I've seen since Eurovision!
Saturday, February 04, 2006

New Pop On The Block

The Like - June Gloom (Video)
I loved their last single, What I Say and What I Mean, a fabulous fusion of pop and rock, but this new one is as gloomy as it's title suggests. If What I Say... had been their one off rocky single, they'd be an amazing band, yet it seems it was actually their token pop single instead. Maybe they have other good songs but I was so bored listening to this one I really don't think I can be botherd to find out. If you know of any other good songs by The Like, please let me know!
53% Poptasic!

Westlife - Amazing (video)
Do you know this is only their second original single since 2002? If you excluded Obvious (which didn't do very well anyway, they would have released 7 covers in a row! Having successfully ruined the career of my childhood idol Diana Ross, the 'Loife turn their attention to my all-favourite boyband, the Backstreet Boys. Luckily the boys of Backstreet weren't insane enough to agree to duet with their Irish inferiors, but they haven't yet sued them for the rip-off of I Want It That Way. It's a good move for Westlife to head back towards the sound of their first album, as that was when they were at their most bearable, and Shane gets full marks for his 'fist of pure emotion' (an all important piece of boyband choreography, after all), but I just can't like it, not after the terror and repulsion Louis Walsh caused me last year, something that can never be forgiven.
32% Poptastic!

For more video reviews visit Video Killed The Radio Star
Friday, February 03, 2006

Time for some more "questionable readings of Nietzsche"

I don't know why anyone was surprised at my last post claiming that Nietzsche was condoning the love of pop music in Beyond Good & Evil. Since I wrote that I have discovered that I am far from the first person to link pop and philosophy. In the comments to my Nietzsche post, Tim (who himself proves that pop music and philosophy are happiest sat side by side in his blog, The Wrong Side of Capitalism) quoted another philosopher who I had not previously heard of, called Gilles Deleuze, who cleverly noted that "We criticize things which are superficial for having no depth, but we never remember to criticize things which are profound for having no surface." I found this quite amusing and so was rather excited to see Deleuze mentioned again later that week, in the Stylus Singles Jukebox no less. And guess what? It turns out that the name Bodies Without Organs comes from Deleuze too! And that's not the only link between my favourite Swedish group and philosophy - last night, reading a post on the Club Contact MP3 blog, I learned that Alexander Bard (BWO member, kind of Swedish pop and writer of a genius Popjustice column) is a teacher of post-Capitalist philosophy, whatever that entails, in Stockholm. If only I knew a bit more Swedish, I'd be applying to study there right away.

So if that isn't reason enough for me to continue my foray into the idea of pop music philosophy, nothing is!

We're still studying Nietzsche in my philosophy class, as we will be until June, so I've had plenty of time to develop my "Nietzsche loves pop" theories. I realised that one of Nietzsche's main theories in Beyond Good & Evil could be translated into pop terms. Nietzsche says that there are three moral stages in human evolution, and I think the same can be said for the a person's taste in music.

First, there was the pre-moral stage, where people followed their instincts. This represents the time when we first discover music. We have no idea what is cool to like, so our tastes are at their most genuine, hence the naive love of pop music or at least novelty records.

Second is the moral stage. This is where we are taught to deny our instincts, replacing them with "herd instincts" (following the crowd), and we care for the weak, disregarding the Darwinian "survival of the fittest" theory. Therefore we pretend to like what we are told is cool, and support the sensitive singer-songwriters, stagnating the evolution of music. Luckily my moral stage lasted about 2 minutes before I got bored.

Finally there is the extra-moral stage. This is a return to the pre-moral following of desires, which represents the time I and most of you reading this now are experiencing. Having survived the moral stage we have now become aware of the general wrongness of denying our desires, so we love pop music in a more rational, educated way. We have learnt about other genres but wisely returned to pop.

So I think that proves it once and for all - philosophy is just a load of analogies for pop music!

Everything Changes But Me

In mourning of Smash Hits I went rifling in my cupboard for SH related things and found the Smash Hist yearbook of 2002. The book was actually about 2001 and everything that happened in it. Only a few months later I stopped buying Smash Hits altogether, but not without good reason (it was around the time when Busted were getting popular). Reading this, though, I half wish I'd kept going a bit longer because it really was amazing, even in the early 00s, despite it being generally agreed that the late 80s was the magazine's peak. Anyway, on the first page of the yearbook is a questionnaire which I filled in, so I've decided to do the same questions about 2005 and compare the answers:

My highlight of the year:
2001 - the Poll Winner's Party
2005 - going to Sweden

My top song of the year:
2001 - All Rise by Blue (please bear in mind that this liking for Blue did not last!)
2005 - Hung Up by Madonna

My ear-achingly hideous song of the year:
2001 - Doo Wah Diddy (this was either by DJ Otzi or the Cartoons)
2005 - Crazy Frog

My favourite word:
2001 - Poptastic
2005 - Poptastic (this will NEVER change!)

My favourite band:
2001 - Backstreet Boys
2005 - BWO but BSBs are a close 2nd

My most delightful person:
2001 - Me! (I was such a modest 14 yr old)
2005 - Martin BWO

*N Sync or Backstreet?
2001 - Backstreet
2005 - Backstreet

Eminem or Fred Durst?
2001 - Neither
2005 - Neither

I'd love to meet:
2001 - Backstreet Boys
2005 - Alexander Bard (so we could discuss the philosophy of pop music!)

My worst hairdo ever:
2001 - I haven't had a bad one
2005 - still the same, luckily

My favourite cheese:
2001 - I hate cheese!
2005 - I now love cheese, but I don't have a favourite

So, a few changes, but none very significant (apart from my complete turn around on the issue of cheese) and most importantly I have stayed poptastic!
Thursday, February 02, 2006

And the winner is...

A couple of weeks ago I posted a tricky pop quiz and invited readers to e-mail in their answers. Everyone who responded did excellently well - here are the scores in ascending order:

Susan - 27
Hanzan & Abbie - both 28
Barney - 33

Well done everyone and especially Barney who only got 1 question wrong! Your prize will be in the "post" soon.

Here are the answers:

Section 1: (Worth 1 point each)

Which country is each of the following acts from?

1. West End Girls - Sweden
2. Alizée - France
3. The Veronicas - Australia

Name these acts' food-themed hits:
1. Craig David - What's Your Flava
2. Snow Patrol - Chocolate
3. Ash - Candy (or Girl From Mars as one entrant cleverly pointed out!)

Section 2: (Worth 2 points each)

Guess the talky bit:

1. You do the things that make me feel this way
It's so hard to find the right things to say - Billie Piper - Something Deep Inside
2. Celebration, toast the occasion
Talking about love and true dedication
The hand of love that's, oh,
so tender is gonna give you a night to remember - 911 - A Night To Remember
3. You can tell me to my face or even on the phone
You can write it in a letter, either way, I have to know - All Saints - Never Ever

How many no.1 singles have each of these boybands had in the UK?

1. 5ive - 3
2. Backstreet Boys - 1
3. *N Sync - 0

Section 3: (Worth 3 points each)

Who sang the original versions of these songs?

1. Rachel Stevens - Je m'appelle - Shelly Poole
2. Britney Spears - Do Somethin' - Melodi Brown
3. Javine - Don't Walk Away - Jade

Name the song entered and position reached by each of these acts in Eurovision:

1. Antique - Die For You - 3rd in 2001
2. Vanilla Ninja - Cool Vibes - 8th in 2005
3. Fame - Give Me Your Love - 5th in 2003

It's sad, so sad...

The saddest thing about Smash Hits' closure for me is that I will never fulfil my dream of writing for it. Even if, some time in the future, I'd had only one small article published in the magazine, it would have made my life. Now more than ever we have to carry on its legacy, because I highly doubt I would be writing this blog if I hadn't started buying Smash Hits as a pre-teen pop fan, and it's likely that many of you would not be reading it if you hadn't done the same. I just hope it made enough of an impact for something similar to emerge in years to come when there is a market for it again.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Top of the Poptastic!

Today, as you've probably noticed, is the 1st of February, so it's time to count down my top 20 favourite songs of January:

1. Protocol - Where's The Pleasure
2. Morningwood - Nth Degree
3. Christian Falk feat. Robyn & Ola Salo - Dream On
4. Pay TV – Miss Capitalist
5. Will Young - All Time Love
6. Delays – Valentine
7. The Go! Team – Ladyflash
8. Fefe Dobson - As A Blonde
9. The Modern – Industry
10. The Veronicas - Everything I'm Not
11. West End Girls - West End Girls
12. El Presidente - Turn This Thing Around
13. Gavin Degraw - We Belong Together
14. Wigwam – Wigwam
15. Marit Larsen - Don't Save Me
16. Shuji to Akira - Seishun Amigo
17. Belle & Sebastian - Funny Little Frog
18. Dannii Minogue - I Can't Sleep At Night
19. Deejay Snake - Love Hurts
20. Roxane - Push It



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