POP-EYE 15/10/00

I have a wretched headache, for once not drink-induced. Oh, alright, when it started yesterday evening it was probably drink-induced, but it’s gone on far too long now and is almost certainly a brain tumour. In my stricken state, kicking off with a critique of U2‘s chart-topping “Beautiful Day” is quite beyond me, so I’ll turn my attention to the record it beat to No.1, Robbie’n’Kylie‘s awful “Kids”. Robbie puts on that particular bellow of his – you know, the one he thinks makes him sound rockin’. Kylie, horribly, follows suit, and while the whole song flaps like a banked trout her contribution is a lot worse. The dark secret of Kylie is that she was never good: it does pop a disservice to pretend otherwise. She can barely squeak and she’s absolutely lacking in charisma – when the most complimentary adjective a pop star merits is “perky”, you’re onto a loser.

The best new entry this week is “Dooms Night” by Azzido Da Bass, hands down. The Autumn’s big dance hits have been all about cool noises, a trend to be encouraged I rather think. Azzido’s vweop-vweop-vweop acid chopper sound is the making of “Dooms Night”, and the Trojan Horse which gets its stark rhythms and nasty bass into the Top 10. One objection: the single edit is too short and bitty, though you can console yourselves with remixes that are (gasp!) actually worth playing.

Otherwise, blah. Second-rank pop outfits (Atomic Kitten, Madison Avenue) shuffled together with has-beens like Lionel Richie. A low entry for Muse‘s “Muscle Museum”, thank the Lord – the first indications perhaps that Kid A‘s art detour has raised the stakes for the ‘head-wannabe bands? Or is it just that it’s an infernally poor record? And speaking of poor records, U Bloody 2, back like a rash with the same grandiose waffle they’ve always peddled. Every time they say that they’re returning to their roots, and this time, sadly, the hype seems to have taken. Vacuous but stirring pop can work, but Bono’s voice is too grainy and funless to let this song lift off. The most – the only – fun you can have with “Beautiful Day” is when Bono yells, “Touch me!”, and you can sing along to A-Ha’s “The Sun Always Shines On TV”, a better song by half. But it’s hard to care. The whole exercise feels like a re-enactment, not a step forward: U2 have surely been more hateful but rarely more irrelevant.

ALL SAINTS – “Black Coffee” (3)
KERNKRAFT 400 – “Zombie Nation” (7)
AZZIDO DA BASS – “Dooms Night” (8)
EMINEM – “The Way I Am” (13)
BAHA MEN – “Who Let The Dogs Out?” (14)