“The pop underground is here to stay, and it’s a zillion strong”: Metal Mike Saunders on the A*Teens. Metal Mike is one of the best writers on the nu-pop because he’s so clear and enthusiastic, and because he doesn’t (well, not too much) overload his style with whizzy popcult references, unlike most of the critics covering the chart beat. He just cleanly joins the dots between the A*Teens and Edison Lighthouse and Motown, and by the end of it I really wish my little cousins were uncool enough to own Teen Spirit (title!) so I could check it out.

Actually my little cousins are cool enough to like Papa Roach’s “Last Resort” and play it over and over again until I got the point, something I never had the guts to do when I owned that copy of Now 48. I resign.