What’s up and down in my personal pop pantheon

Oh MaritUP: Marit Larsen! Ha ha laugh at rubbish Tom who didn’t hear “Don’t Save Me” the week it was in the Stylus jukebox, and then didn’t hear it for weeks and weeks and MONTHS after because he thought it might sound like Robyn, instead of sounding like some kind of lost pop summit between XTC, ABBA and Natalie Imbruglia. Good grief! Isabel hates it and says it’s indie.

UP: Lily Allen, clinging on to not being annoying yet, and particularly “Knock Em Out” which brings back lovely memories of the Summer of ’03, “Original Pirate Material”, and so on, lovelier memories than Mike Skinner himself is likely to summon anyhow.

UP: Belle Lawrence, the boss diva of the euro-handbag scene, whose speciality is taking up-to-date chart AOR and polishing it up. With mixed results to be sure – the best thing you can say about her cover of “Bad Day” is that nobody’s likely to beat it. But her Arctic Monkeys cover has slowly worked its way into being one of my favourite tracks this year – “ELECTROPOP POP POP POP POP POP!”

DOWN: Justin Timberlake. YES what a strong comeback statement, to release a stripped-down rough-edged banger as yr return single. But for goodness sakes keep it off radio A-Lists: away from its presumed dancefloor home “Sexyback” wears out its welcome way too quickly.

DOWN: Tim Rice. I learned today that “Take That Look Of Your Face”, #1 evidence in my “Tim Rice is sort of maybe a genius” argument, was in fact written by Don Black (who also wrote the lyrics to “Thunderball”). Without this, Timbo is just an affable cove who happens to look quite a lot like Jeremy Bentham.

Now I just need to hear Paris Hilton’s single and I’ll be all caught up (sort of).