You will no doubt be astonished to learn that in my search for pop perfection I download a lot of tat. None of it deserves a separate review, most of it is dribbly and half-arsed, but writing a round-up at least forces me to give it a second listen.

Louise‘s return, with ‘Pandora’s Kiss’, is an awful mess. It starts off as a swipe from J-Lo’s ‘Ain’t It Funny’ remix, which exposes Louise’s flimsy voice, and then switches gears into a lift from Xtina’s ‘Fighter’, which exposes Louise’s lack of charisma. Like most second-division R&B, it sounds very cheap.

Travis‘ new single, unbelievably called ‘Re-Offender’, is slow, pained and painful, very much on the nursing-a-last-pint-as-the-chairs-go-on-the-tables side of their style, not the arms-linked-matey-swaying side. It isn’t their worst record but I’d be surprised if you liked it.

Lemar from old Fame Academy has a single out, ‘Dance (With U)’, a play-it-safe bit of classicist disco which is impeccably soulful and as exciting as a prawn sandwich. By no means unpleasant, though.

You will not be surprised to learn that the new Limp Bizkit track (which has the same ‘plot’ as the Lemar single, plus panty-sniffing and whinging) is a stinker. I have been misled by the admirable open-mindedness of ILM to re-invent Fred Durst in my head as a fun-loving rock pranksta with a great ear for a hook. Whereas in fact he’s a tiresome fool and ‘Eat You Alive’ has the sad, tawdry heart of an office sex pest.

The second listen thing pays off with the Real Actual J-Lo, whose ‘Baby I Love You’ (praised by Raposa below) has a delicate, delicious backing track and whose intrusively sincere lyrics don’t cloy quite as much as they did at first, though ‘Blessed and cursed on the same day, the day I first felt the power of you inside of me, such a strong feeling’ is hard to stomach. First thing here I won’t delete.

Beyonce feat Missy – should be great right? Listening to ‘Fighting Temptation’ (the single from the Fighting Temptations movie soundtrack) will make you glum, though — the beat is hot in that Under Construction old school style, but there’s a nasty Pearl and Dean style horn sample which keeps breaking the mood, and Beyonce’s chorus is olestra to the ears. More a missed opportunity than a bad record.

Jamelia‘s ‘Superstar’ starts off pleasant enough and gets better every time you hear it — this kind of easy, Summery feel is what Lemar is aiming for, but Jamelia sounds much more effortless and her chorus is a gem.

Finally a strange record: ‘Download It’ by Cleo. When I saw it in the listings at (where all these came from) I thought wa-hey! It must be some kind of Fast Food Rockers-style novelty hit about the Interweb! But no, it’s a poor-quality R&B record which rests on what seems to be an extremely tenuous digital metaphor (if I can’t have you with me at least I can download you, or you can download me, or something, really who knows, maybe it’s some kind of pervy webcam deal). The songwriters should be ashamed of themselves.