Jul 03

Freaky Trigger Pop Music Focus Group 8

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Nos. 15-11

15. DANNII MINOGUE – “I Begin To Wonder” Score: 4.74 / Controversy: 2.42

Boom boom boom wiggle wiggle – good. 8 (IS)

Pipes aren’t as good as Alicia Bridges,
never mind Taylor Dayne, but she’s got the snarl which is the key to Alica Bridges (if not Taylor Dayne). Refrain crazy also which adds to the neurotic tension (the snarl provides the erotic tension), someone should go back in time and stick this in the danceclub scene of Holy Smoke. 8 (JB)

Dannii is so great that even Lisa Scott-Lee wants to copy her style. Respect. 8 (JL)

Ruined by dead-eyed drums which stop this being good for more than 20 seconds at a time. Those 20 seconds are top, though. 6 (TH)

Didn’t think I liked this, damn damn damn. Really generic If-Kylie-went-electroclash-without-putting-any-thought-into-it-whatsoever meaninglessness and sounds exactly like you’d expect that to which is why it’s kind of great. Doesn’t seem to stand up to in-depth critical probing. Noteworthy for wobbly-unsecured-bridge sound under the chorus (that “tsh-tsh-ubble-ubble” bit). 6 (AL)

Never will I tire of the I Feel Love riddim. Except maybe when Goldfrapp do it. Still very much trying on big sister’s clothes but likeable enough. 6 (TE)

Bring back Goth Dannii and send this back to the dinosaurs. V boring. 4 (SC)

The kind of bland backing that screams for a bootleg. Dannii pays off the bailiffs once more – I daresay we’ll see her again in another 5 years. 3 (PB)

Way too skinny and boring. She should have married Craig Logan when she had the chance – I would have when I was 14. 2 (MH)

14. EVANESCENCE – “Bring Me To Life” Score: 4.80 / Controversy: 2.86

The definition of a breakout hit. So many bands have chased the bloke/bird/rock/rap pop song. There is no way it could be done any better – no need for them ever to make another single, which I’m sure will effectively be the case. 10 (PB)

Best song of the year! Melodramatic, uplifting and well just perfect. The shouty guy isn’t on any of their other songs! 9 (JL)

The Cranberries do nu-metal. 9 (MA)

You’d assume that Evanescence are clueless christogoth bastards but on this showing they SO understand the dynamics: the churn goes GRIND and the strings go UP, also it’s really loud and they instictively realise that pretty much any record can be saved by simultaneous male/female vocals and a few well-positioned dramatic pauses/guitar-dropping-out bits. But mainly it’s the strings-up/churn-grind that makes this so colossal, like warring galaxies imploding on themselves and splattering the solar system with bits of skyscraper and nuclear warhead and planet and tar and post traumatic stress disorder and fishnet. The sound of a band completely shooting their creative load all in one go, but aces for all that. 7 (AL)

Third best thing about Daredevil after Jennifer Garner at the top of the stairs and wondering if they made Ben Affleck’s hair look bad on purpose cuz his character’s blind. 5 (JB)

It has a tune! For some reason it puts me in mind of Linda Ronstadt. For Linda, 4 (TH).

My hard rock friends tell me this is the best single to come from the genre in forever, and my Jesus friends say I should like this cause they love the lord. Every time it comes on the radio on the car or a public place I need to comment on how awful it is, and I think I’ m right. The only way to save this band is to put them in the one hit wonder rack and hope to god they go away. 3 (AE)

Julianne Regan’s solo career gatecrashed by grunting orcs! That would get a 10. This won’t. Like most No.1s, not entirely without merit. 3 (TE)

Gives rock a bad name. They’re Christians you know. 3 (MH)

A bit like god really. 2 (SH)

A haunting voice. (Not a compliment). 1 (IS)

13. THE WHITE STRIPES – “Seven Nation Army” Score: 5.05 / Controversy: 2.58

They resurrected Loretta’s career and do better pure balls out rock then most. I know that I am supposed to hate this, but really I find myself yelling, pogoing and doing other untoward things. Rewards the part of me that wished to air guitar, which is not something I usually admit to in public. Not the second coming of anything but not bad at all. It is very strange lyrically, with more interest in numerology then can be healthy, and a creepy sort of paranoia but it has restored Wichita as a great musical place name. (compare Tulsa) 5 (AE)

Stroppy kids. 5 (MA)

Seven, obviously, but minus two points for it not being a real bass. Sounds surprisingly great in a club and awful in a shop – unfortunately you tend to hear it in a shop. 5 (TE)

For a band that has no bassist, I’m rather pleased it is the bassline that stands out. 4 (SC)

Jack White wishes he lived in a squat in Hackney with Billy Childish. Also Meg White is a slack-jawed yokel. Not mysterious. 3 (SH)

Makes me long for the halcyon days of punk. 0 (TH)

Snore! 0 (IS)

12. ELECTRIC SIX – “Gay Bar” Score: 5.30 / Controversy: 3.02

WINE bar! WINE bar! 8 (SC)

Their only other good song. Also best playground hit for many a year. Also also HAMSTER! IN A TUBE! 8 (SH)

Adorably animalistic passion from these toned and vibrant young men. 6 (MA)

Novelty single ruined by Glastonbury performance – serves me right I suppose. 6 ,obviously. (TE)

Fast, cheap and out of control album filler. 4.5 (MD)

Lively and a bit tedious. Like a gay bar. 4 (AC)

I’m the only person in the world who finds the video genuinely offensive. I am altogether too po-faced for this brand of songless japery. I’m sorry. 4 (AL)

Any band that can score two novelty hits in one year can’t be as all bad as I’ve been told they are. The song that was going through Professor Stephen Hawking’s head at Stringfellows. 3 (PB)

Bad B-52s with none of the pop and a sickening ‘We rock!’ attitude. 0 plus joker. (TH)

Fags are the new funny, and we really do enjoy pretending that this sort of novelty is funny so breeders won’t hurt us. There is something really scary about the idea of starting a war at a gay bar, considering the history and not to come across as humorless but the music works like one of those old vaudeville scores, nudging the ribs with a ‘isn’t this funny’. 0 Joker (AE)

11. R KELLY – “Ignition (Remix)” Score: 5.48 / Controversy: 3.34

Gary Glitter made some great records too! Even if Pete Townshend didn’t. The blithe and beautiful sound of Tooting Summer 2003, and probably everywhere else Summer 2003 too. Could have been No.1 forever as far as I’m concerned. 10 (TE)

B-b-but he is BALD and has no ‘fro! 9 (SC)

I still prefer audacious Kelly channeling
Elizabeth Barrett Browning on “You Remind Me of Something” or employing Ron Isley’s “oh oh oh oh oh oh / OH oh oh oh oh oh oh” on the “Down Low” remix, but if laid back and humbled is what it takes to keep him from copping Christ poses and singing with Celine Dion at the Special Olympics so be it. 7 (JB)

I wish he was sleazier. Barry White (God rest his leathery soul) wouldn’t have wasted time talking about remixes, he’d be straight on to the sweating and slurping. 6 (TH)

Conveniently unintrusive – ideal for the soundtrack to Fortysomething. Or Manchild. Or Babyfather. 5 (MA)

Dull, overly sentimental, ego centered, the closest thing that hip-hop has produced to John Denver, which is a sentence I hoped never to write. 4 (AE)

I really dislike this, I think because it’s very dull. If you listen, it’s really ploddy and dirgey, and he’s not singing about being sensitive on a bicycle or the moment when he passed Clare Richardson in the school corridor and his hand brushed again hers for a second but she doesn’t even know who he is, she doesn’t even know his name, oh yeah, the pain, oh yeah. Talking about cars is boring unless it’s my car. 1 (AE)

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