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Four Candles
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One thing about the streaming revolution in pop is that it gives us a pretty accurate tracker of the UK’s changing tastes in Christmas songs. Now, by “tastes in Christmas songs” it’s probably fairer to say “what goes on Christmas playlists[…]

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3. Priceless Junk
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(The third part of the 3-part piece about the 1000th Number 1, the charts, and 20 years of writing about them. Part 1. Part 2. See also the pieces on #999 and #1000 on Popular.)

Here’s the thing, though. I still really like pop music.

When I […]

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2. All My Lazy Teenage Boasts Are Now High Precision Ghosts
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(This is Part 2 of a 3 part piece around the 1000th No.1. Part 1 is here but you might also want to read about the 999th Number 1)

Dr Manhattan is on Mars, some time before he leaves our Universe at the end of Watchmen to become a meme. It is 1958[…]

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1. No Bird Can Fly, No Fish Can Swim Until The King Is Born
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(This is part 1 of a 3-part piece designed to fit around the 999th and 1000th Popular entries, which will go up on the Popular site.)

Almost my first memory of the charts is of the charts being broken. Broken hearted; collapsed by shock and grief […]

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#FearOfMu21c #16 – 2021-2023
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The #FearOfMu21c selection struggle reaches its end – two years once again dominated by the pop polls and then bang up to date with the sounds of 2023. These have also been years of gradual personal improvement after 2019-2020 were bin-fires fo[…]

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#FearOfMu21c #15 – 2019-2020
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A bunch of things happened in 2020 but the most consequential (OK, the most consequential FOR ME) is that I started doing pop polls on Twitter. I think I can state at this point that there is nobody better at creating and running track-based Twitter […]

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#FearOfMu21c #14 – 2016-2018
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2016 is my moment of maximum disconnect with current music – aside from Lemonade I doubt I could even name an LP from that year. It was a tough time personally, too – the market research firm I worked for decided to beta-test an experimen[…]

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FearOfMu21c #13 – 2014-2015
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More from the ‘lost years’ – these tunes are pretty much all ones which showed up on End Of Year lists, which were becoming my main point of contact with the contemporary ‘scene’. That’s not to say I didn’t f[…]

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FearOfMu21c #12 – 2013
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The next few years are my ‘lost’ ones – like a demographic cliche, I turned 40 and began steadily to lose touch with contemporary music, pop or otherwise. By mid-decade I was caring less about current music than at any point since 1[…]

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Fear Of Mu21c #11 – 2012
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Free from the grind of having to write about music on the regular, and at the time I’d have said “not a moment too soon”. Pop in 2012 felt directionless, the weakest year I could remember. Naturally now it’s contributed more t[…]

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