Rescued from a LJ comments box, about the Rachel Stevens album (and the Girls Aloud one):

“That is kind of the problem though, it’s a terrific album partly because it’s a series of little revived micro-genres (‘the Bucks Fizz one’, ‘the Adam Ant one’ and so on) but it’s hard to sell that to a mass market and harder still if it’s going to be packaged in as dull a way as possible.

The other thing I don’t get is why there’s such a huge focus on FHM, Nuts, Zoo etc. in the promotion of pop acts – YES lots of men buy these mags and they fancy GA, Rachel et al. but they DON’T buy their albums I’d bet and a large potential market might be put off by it as it reinforces the “totty not talent” anti-manufactured line, obv. this is a false opposition but it’s a false opposition believed by a great many people.

The Spice Girls got big not so much from showing off in the lad mags but because they pushed the gang-of-mates angle, dare I say it that GA’s marketing people need to be thinking more Lambrini?”

First impressions of the new Madonna album: too little variation, she’s fallen for the bangin’ pop JLC style – and who wouldn’t – but she doesn’t have many ideas what to do with it, vocally, so a lot of the time it sounds like she’s making it up as she goes along over the top of some (great) grooves. The one about “New York” takes this to an amazing/awful extreme, there is one bit where she says new york ain’t for whiny little pussies and it’s like a poptastic Lou Reed! The one with the Arabic sample shd be a single probably.

Fans of more thoughtful criticism should look at the revived Church Of Me.

I have about 200 Christmas songs sitting on my hard drive and I want to write about them.