Thursday, October 14, 2004


In a move that will surprise precisely no-one, we're basically going to paraphrase something that was on Popjustice a few weeks back and claim it's all our own work.

We had the honour and privilege to be invited to a showcase for Tyler James today in Glamorous London, so we popped on our best clobber (and then buried it under three inches of waterproofing, such is the weather in Glamorous London today) and headed on down.

In between our amusing experiences of managing to get guacamole all over our coat and trying to look like we weren't a complete loser despite not actually knowing anyone in the room, we were privy to live performances of four songs from his forthcoming album, including ace lead single 'Why Do I Do'.

Tyler's been tipped as the British Justin Timberlake, which seems a slightly odd comparison because there's nothing in his music that really qualifies it (apart from the bits where he sounds vaguely like the Backstreet Boys, but then Justin was in N*Sync, not Backstreet), so this is presumably because he is young, British, male, achingly cool, talented and not ugly. And he's got rain in his new video, just like there was in 'Cry Me A River'. Briefly.

Imagine, if you will, a fantasy world where Amy Winehouse has had Will Young's babies. Those babies would sound like Tyler James. Yes, even the girls. Coincidentally, Ms Winehouse is a very good friend of Tyler's, and they've known each other since he was 13. The concept of William Winehouse might not exactly float your boat, but let's put it this way: it is very clear that Tyler James was put on this earth to show up jazz gnome Jamie Cullum for the talentless, soul-stealing, coattail-riding hack he has always been. With any luck, he'll take Katie Fucking Melua down with him too...

*It's funny how we go away for ages, but when we come back, our puns haven't got any better, isn't it?

Monday, October 11, 2004


Dear Beyoncé,

Having heard the stomping, sassy, R&B masterpiece that is Destiny's Child's comeback single, we hereby grant you total absolution for your solo album which, 'Crazy in Love' aside, was rubbish.

Love and kisses,

Panda Pops xxx

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


Ah, lovely winter. Winter is ace for many reasons:

- You can look forward to Christmas
- Hot boys wear scarves
- You have an excuse to make lots of lovely stews

However, winter is sometimes rubbish, because it means that pop stars release not-all-that-brilliant records. We have to confess to being slightly disappointed with the tendency of our favourite pioneering popstars to rest on their laurels at the moment.

Rachel Stevens started it with the lacklustre 'More More More' (and yes, we know we say that we like it a few posts down, and we do, but we're still capable of realising it isn't fit to share airspace with 'Some Girls'), and now Girls Aloud and Jamelia are getting in on the act.

Girls Aloud, by and large, can be given the benefit of the doubt because even when they're not that good ('Life Got Cold', 'Jump') they're still miles ahead of most other popstars. That said, we don't feel particularly able to get excited about their new single, a cover of the Pretenders 'I'll Stand By You', which may or may not be in the running to be this year's Children in Need single. We were going to suggest that being the CiN single might actually get them a number one for a change, until we remembered that Shane Richie had it last year and didn't get to number one (understandable), and neither did Will Young the year before (understandable, but only because he was up against 'Dirrty'. Please feel free to insert your own joke about wanting to be dirrty up against Will Young here). One notable reservation is that it must be something to worry about when even aren't all that excited about the new GA single. We were under the impression that Girls Aloud were doing fairly well for themselves these days in terms of finally starting to shift some units, but this just seems like such a step backwards for them. Or at the very least, a step sideways, which is very nearly as bad. At this point we'd strongly advise any and all popstars to take a leaf out of Busted's book (warning: a few of the pages might be stuck together), where it's fine to do as many covers as you want, as long as you put them where they belong: on the b-side.

Still, we've got 'Here We Go' to look forward to, haven't we? Yes. Good.

Jamelia probably has nothing to worry about, since she has won so many awards recently she probably needs a bigger mantlepiece and a second bathroom to store them all. But 'DJ' is a poor choice of fifth single from the album, for the following reasons:

1. It will mean that she has released tracks 1-4 from her album as singles, and it's always annoying when popstars do that. We know she released track 9 as well, but 'Bout' seems to have gone the way of 'Funky Dory' and is now officially erased from history.
2. The video is rubbish. Honestly. It's a bunch of stock footage of Jamelia performing songs that aren't 'DJ' most of the time. We all know it's a last-ditch attempt to get as much cash as they can out of this album, but surely a little bit more budget could have been allocated for the video?
3. There are much better songs that she could have released - 'Club Hoppin'', 'Taxi' or 'Dirty Dirty' would have been much better choices. Think how great it would be to have a top ten single that includes the line "Go up to the bar, get a vodka, get it free cos I'm a superstar" or "I can kick a rhyme round like I'm tossing a salad." Very, that's how great.
4. Releasing the two tracks that were added on before the re-release makes it looks like the rest of the album was shit the first time round. It isn't, it's great. And in all honesty we'd rather her third album sounded more like 'Dirty Dirty' than 'DJ', if we had a choice. Not that we don't like 'DJ', we do, it's just the sort of song that could conceivably be anyone, and isn't idiosyncratically Jamelia in the same way that 'Thank You', for example, is.

There are things to look forward to in winter, though, we're sure. We're very excited about Tyler James. And Gwen Stefani. And What Will The Neighbours Say?. Phew.