Tuesday, March 02, 2004


We love portentous song lyrics here at Panda Pops, whether it be Gareth Gates releasing 'Say It Isn't So' just as we all began to realise he wasn't selling many singles any more, or Lisa Scott-Lee releasing 'Too Far Gone' (I'll let you work out your own comedy snark to accompany that one, it's just too easy). So it's no surprise that our attention was drawn to the line 'I need a hit, baby give me it' in Britney Spears' new single, 'Toxic'.

Poor old Britters. The knives have been sharpened for her ever since...actually, when weren't the knives sharpened for Britney? Such is the penance for releasing one of the greatest pop songs known to mankind as your first single, I suppose. You'd think people would have the decency for thanking her (or at least Max Martin) for bringing three and a half minutes of unsullied joy into their lives, rather than going "what a lovely song, now let's see how long it takes her to fuck it all up nicely."

"Comeback" single 'Me Against The Music' was unfairly maligned, we thought. Admittedly it took a few listens to get into, and perhaps it was foolish of some people to suggest it would be able to hold a candle to '...Baby One More Time', but we're still listening to it months after it went out of the charts. Besides, we still maintain that it was far superior to Kylie's electronica snoozefest 'Slow' that was released around the same time and was a thoroughly undeserving number one.

This anti-Britney silliness should not be allowed to infect (geddit?) 'Toxic', which is the finest pop song we've heard this year, and possibly the only thing Britney will ever release to even come close to the brilliance of '...Baby One More Time'. 'Toxic' has everything required of a stellar pop song - shrieking sound effects, irrhythmic guitars (fast becoming Cathy Dennis's trademark), a Tales of the Unexpected bit, a video that is effortlessly cool without even trying, a split-second silence, and an admirable vocabulary. In the same way that we applauded Girls Aloud for using the word "anaesthetise" in 'No Good Advice', Britney and Cathy have our utmost respect for including the world "intoxicate" in a pop song.

To ensure that 'Toxic' is the big hit it deserves to be, we've formed an undercover pop vigilante breakout group, known as Britney's Released Effortlessly Another Stupendously Top Song (BREASTS for short), and we will be parading along the length and breadth of Great Britain in red wigs that we stole from the set of Alias, pushing hostess trolleys and wiggling our bottoms with the song blaring from a loudspeaker, just so that everyone knows it's out this week to go and buy it. Honk if you love Britney, kids.

*Erm, having just written this article, we popped across for our daily visit to Popjustice.com and found that they'd already posted a pro-Britney announcement and used this line as their focus. We'd just like to reassure them (and indeed everyone else) that we didn't intend to rip them off, and we're sorry if this looks a bit like plagiarism. We've been planning to write this for a week, honest...


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