2003 – Year Of The ‘KICK ME’ Sign: As if critics weren’t having an easy time anyway (blah blah manufactured pop idol blah blah White Stripes blah blah bling bling blah blah dance is dead), the world of pop is trying its hardest to turn its back into a comfy foot-cushion for the idle reviewer. On the front page of www.mp3sfinder.com ALONE we find:

Britney Spears – Me Against The Music
Black Eyed Peas – Shut Up
Speedway – Save Yourself
Kosheen – Wasting My Time
REM – Bad Day
Blue – Guilty
Delta Goodrem – Not Me Not I
Pink – Trouble

…and those are the ones which require not even the tiniest remotest bit of ‘wordplay’ to turn into a diss. We have also recently had Starsailor’s “Silence Is Easy”, Travis’ “Re-Offender” (the nerve!) and the jaw-dropping open goal of Radiohead releasing a single called “I Go To Sleep”. Regardless of the quality of these records, what are pop stars up to? Pull your socks up, pop, and make the rest of us work for our jokes!