POP-EYE 12/11/00

Oh, I pity poor Tom & Tanya last week. It truly was a seething cess-pit of horror that particular chart. Admittedly the run-down I get to cut my Pop-Eye teeth is one constituted of much of last weeks dross, but at least this week we had a bona-fide chart battle on our hands. Whilst the tabloids were much more interested in the battle twixt Westlife and ver Spices (won at a canter by Westlife’s Balladorama) – there was something much more interesting happening in the Top Ten. A battle royale if you will of the boy bands. In the Limey corner I give you A1 : in the Yank corner the Backstreet Boys.

This was experience versus new(-ish)comer, ballad versus upbeat, slightly rough versus slightly androgenous. Suffice to say it turned out to be a non event. The slightly androgenous, newish, British pop song touting A1 frankly kicked the balls of the Backstreet Boys who dripped their way into number four (still beat by the indestructible Baha Men who frankly should have been able to round those dogs up now – even with the help of Jaspar and Horace from 101 Dalmatians). Fear not though, because A1’s success still marks the end of the boy band phenomenon.

I would admit that it is a bold claim, but as soon as any genre starts getting too self reflexive – implosion is in the post. “Same Old Brand New” is indeed the same old kind of song, released as brand new. I am probably not the first to make this comment, and in some ways it is unfair. SOBNY (a coded message to Hillary Clinton voters mayhap?) is actually a pretty good pop song – being one third “Baby One More Time”, one third East 17 and one third Brother Beyond. Its that last third that lets it down, but its upbeat, got a catchy chorus and the boys sing like the Spice Girls rather than Boyzone (ie they all take turns). The Backstreet Boys’ slushfest “Shape Of My Heart” is almost as sappy as Wetlife’s “My Love” – which inexplicably stayed at number two despite everyone owning it buying it again on the album.

Phew, all that and not even at number five. Tom does this every week? Tweenies. Sounds like the Jackson Five. Best song in the top five. If you did not know it was being performed by purple six foot tall puppets you really might mistake it for something off of Daphne and Celeste’s album. One of the worst tracks granted but…

Travesty of the week, Marilyn Manson not breaking the ten. Whilst “Disposable Teens” is pretty much what we expect from the man people still believe played Paul from the Wonder Years – it has been set to a fabulous Glitter Band beat and frankly drums its competitors hands down. Did Marilyn go Gary Glitter because of the paeodophile connection? You try your hardest to be the baddest man in pop and some bad British hasbeen trounces you. Rather Marilyn Manson than Mansun everyday, who limp in at 21 one with the song they released the last five times about a bird called Mavis or something. Too painful to listen to frankly.

Obvious joke of the week goes to Girl Thing. “Girls On Top”. Girls who barely scraped the top twenty five more like. Second obvious joke of the week is The Offspring. No look, it just is alright. “Original Prankster”? I suppose it rhymes with Original Gangster, vaguely, but what other excuse do they have of claiming originality. The only tune with a whiff or originality in the whole ten is the Baha Men – and that goes to prove that original is not necessarily equal to good. If the envelope is opened by just one track we get to encompass Nelly’s “Country Grammar” – which sounds a lot more interesting than the rest of the top ten put together. Mind you the rest of the the top ten put together would sound terrible. Still it would reunite Martine McCutcheon with the Tweenies (she used to play one you know. Maybe.)

New single by Sade. Zzzzzzz. Tom Jones and Heather Small – Double Zzzzzz. Punters agree – into the unforgiving, one week only twenties for you.

We are now about to face the slow trot into pre-Christmas mediocrity and frankly all of my hopes are held on a Florida style recount at Crisis At Christmas when Westlife and the Spice Girls take their battle back to the people. Same old brand new indeed.

A1 – “Same Old Brand New” (1)
THE TWEENIES – “Number 1” (5)
NELLY – “(Hot Shit) Country Grammar” (11)
MARILYN MANSON – “Disposable Teens” (12)
KERNKRAFT 2000 – “Zombie Nation” (30)