Monday, November 29, 2004


...we'd just like to point out that Girls Aloud's not-difficult-at-all second album, What Will The Neighbours Say?, is out today, and that if you care about pop, like, at all, you must buy it, at whatever cost. We paid £13.99 for it, which is more than we'd normally pay for a CD, but in terms of good causes this makes Band Aid 20 look like a whip-round for Margaret Thatcher's birthday present.


1. Kimberley
2. Cheryl
3. Nicola
4. Nadine
5. Sarah
6. It's the best album of 2004. Fact.
7. Do you really want to be the only person who is unaware of the genius of 'Wake Me Up' until it gets released as a single? Exactly.
8. They co-wrote five tracks themselves so they are officially "proper" and "credible" now.
9. Kimberley and Nadine aren't fussed about Christmas, so they need something else to celebrate.
10. It features the definitive rendition of 'Here We Go'.
11. You get fourteen (14!) tracks for your money. That's ever so slightly less than £1 a track! And every penny from this album's royalties goes towards something really worthy, we expect.
12. Cheryl apparently refused to appear on the EastEnders Christmas Party. Now that is pop integrity.
13. We'll mock you if you don't.
14. The artwork on the inlay sleeve is truly stunning.

There you go. 14 tracks, 14 reasons to buy it. So, in the words of Gwen Stefani, "take a chance, you stupid ho". Erm, we mean, "what you waiting for?"

Thursday, November 25, 2004


We've just found out that Javine has been dropped by Virgin. We will be treating this as an official day of mourning in the following ways:

- Listening to 'Definition Of A Man'
- Wondering why 'Surrender (Your Love)' didn't make the top ten despite being a tune and a half.
- Watching Garfield: The Movie

Also: check out our new layout. It's still a work-in-progress, so bear with us. We've lost all of our old comments, unfortunately, but that doesn't mean we don't still love and treasure them.


We recently found ourselves in the thoroughly unenviable position of not entirely disliking Brian McFadden's new single. Before you all run off to report us to Jump The Shark, don't worry, we're not going to buy it or anything, we just find it relatively catchy and inoffensive. Bear in mind that the yardstick we have to compare it to is Brian's work as part of Westlife, so you can see how it's not too tricky to come out of that smelling of roses.

Sadly we cannot issue any kind of Panda-related support to Brian because it has come to our attention that the standard of grammar in his song titles is less than satisfactory. It's been brought to our attention that his album includes tracks called 'Lose Lose Situation' and 'Sorry Love Daddy' (sic to both).

Just when we'd forgiven Kelly Rowland for Pop Crimes Against Correct English, another offender rears his unshaven head. Oh, Brian - is there some kind of puncuation embargo at your record company? Would it have been so hard to make the title 'Sorry, Love Daddy'? It would have made more sense. In the other case, you are positively swimming in alternatives. 'Lose-Lose Situation'? 'Lose/Lose Situation'? Either would have been preferable to the punctuation vortex you decided to follow. Punctuation is a wonderful thing, Brian. We can only hope that the tabloid rumours about you and Delta Goodrem are true; at least she remembered to put a comma in 'Not Me, Not I'.

DISCLAIMER: Any instances of incorrect grammar in the post above are totally irrelevant. Pop is a medium that has the potential to influence millions of people. Panda Pops influences, on average, three people.

Thursday, November 18, 2004


Last week (we think) we asked our readers to suggest classic pop tracks for Il Divo to sing in a cod-opera style on their album in order to make it less shit than the one they've released. Our thoughts were that they chose the wrong Toni Braxton track to cover, and should have gone with 'He Wasn't Man Enough'. Some of you agreed, some of you disagreed, and a lot of you, to be perfectly frank, didn't really give a toss either way.

Without further ado, we bring you the definitive Il Divo tracklisting (original artists in brackets to avoid confusion) as suggested by the readers of Panda Pops. Major thanks to Luke for helping with this list.

1. 'He Wasn't Man Enough' (Toni Braxton)
2. 'A Little Respect' (Erasure)
3. 'State Of Mind' (Holly Valance)
4. 'Some Girls' (Rachel Stevens)
5. '20th Century Boy' (T-Rex)
6. 'Op!ular' (Darren Hayes, title changed for "comedy" value)
7. 'Confide In Me' (Kylie Minogue)
8. 'Bad Ass Strippa' (Jentina)
9. 'All The Young Dudes' (Mott The Hoople)
10. 'Me Against The Music' (Britney Spears featuring Madonna)
11. 'Year 3000' (Busted)
12. 'In Da Club' (50 Cent)

In conclusion: well, we'd buy it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Just to remind all of our regular readers (yes, both of you) that there's still time to suggest songs for Il Divo to cover in an operatic style before the closing date. The deadline for entries is tomorrow at 1pm, and we'll get the results up shortly afterwards. Erm, we hope.

It has also been brought to our attention that Samantha Mumba's phone has been ringing, and that she's on the verge of a comeback. This does not mean we'll be letting Louis Walsh off the hook, because he's still a tit, and we still want him to be the first X-Factor judge to lose all of his acts, because we're mean and spiteful like that.

Monday, November 15, 2004


News reaches us that Strictly Come Dancing trounced The X-Factor in Saturday night's ratings, and to be perfectly honest, we're not surprised. We sat down to watch it, and we lasted all of about five minutes before turning over to BBC One. Why? Because Louis Walsh is simply unbearable.

We honestly didn't think that Louis would be the X-Factor judge we'd hate most. After all, Simon Cowell is easy to hate because he's such a pantomime villain, and everyone's eyes and ears would be better off if Sharon Osbourne had practised birth control. The offences of Osbourne and Cowell, however, are but a drop in the bucket to those of Walsh.

Does he really think that all those spiteful little asides he makes about Simon's bands make him look clever? All those snide comments about how at least he won't make any of his acts sing 'Unchained Melody'? Louis: remember, you're responsible for foisting Westlife on the public, you are every bit as much to blame as Simon is for the atrocity that is Allow Us To Be Frank. Also: please knock it off with all this I-care-about-my-acts schtick - you dumped Girls Aloud onto the hands of whoever would take them as soon as the cameras stopped rolling on Popstars Colon The Rivals, and any success they have achieved since then has been in spite of you, not because of you. Also, again: if you care about your acts so much, please explain to us why Samantha Mumba is sitting at home looking forlorn and waiting for the phone to ring?

Our e-mail address is in the sidebar if you'd like to get in touch, Louis. In the meantime, we'll be backing Cassie and Rowetta, if only to get your smug face off our screens as quickly as possible.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Having just been treated to a viewing of the new Cheeky Girls video - of their cover of Sabrina's 'Boys Boys Boys', given an equal opportunities makeover and renamed 'Boys and Girls' - I have to confess to being proved wrong on two counts.

1. It is possible for the Cheekies to release a song that is worse than all of their previous output. Combined.

2. It was possible for Andy Newton-Lee to find a career more humiliating than being in Hollyoaks.

I am almost literally floored by the general horrendousness of this song/video. It's so bad that even a guest vocal from Kelly Osbourne couldn't have made it worse. Actually, scratch that - we really don't want to be putting ideas into Mama Cheeky's head if this is what she's capable of.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Stop press!

We received a copy of The 411's debut album 'Between The Sheets' today, and it contains our very favourite type of song - a comedy ballad about homeless people.

Even better, it features The 411 girls swearing in frustration at the plight of the homeless! Those poor homeless! Whom no one cares about! Except the popstars! The popstars care, and they are the only ones!

Challenging Mel C's "I couldn't live without my phone / But you don't even have a home" for most unintentionally hilarious song lyric about the homeless ever, The 411 enter with "What if it was you down on your luck? / What if it was you, and no one gave a fuck?"

We may have to deduct points from The 411's effort for poor grammar, but otherwise: a sterling effort.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Okay, we admit this is getting eerily close to a vendetta, but let's look at it this way. Westlife have gone swing, which is pop treachery of shark-jumping proportions (admittedly, Westlife were pop traitors from day one, but that doesn't excuse them). D-Side are Big In Japan, but nowhere else, so we thought the legacy of Westloife was finally dying a long overdue death.

But no - Simon Cowell, in his infinite wisdom, has now forced Il Divo onto us. Il Divo, the operatic Westlife, who are not attractive or particularly good singers, but appear to be selling albums faster than you can say "Dear God, not again".

So we decided to take a slightly different track in our campaign. Since it looks as though we cannot stop Il Divo, we could at least reform them. You know, turn them around and make them good. Or, at least, less shit.

For example, their first release is a tongue-burningly awful Italian operatic version of Toni Braxton's 'Unbreak My Heart'. This is a huge mistake, since if you are going to cover Toni Braxton, then clearly you should begin and end with 'He Wasn't Man Enough'.

This got us to thinking that there are thousands of songs which, given the cod-operatic treatment, could be quite entertaining. We noticed on Amazon that track two on their album is called 'Mama' - this is almost certainly not the famous Spice Girls track, but it should be! Can't you just hear it, opera-style? Now that's good cover.

They've covered 'My Way' - yawn. Why not cover 'When Do I Get To Sing "My Way"?' by Sparks. Far less predictable, far less dull.

We can't do this alone, readers. We need an entire tracklist of songs that Il Divo could cover in a faux-opera Italian stylee in order to make their presence in the music industry less grating. E-mail us with your suggestions at and, assuming we get any e-mails (which is a fairly foolish assumption), we'll print the best ones up here.

(Also: clicky for the hilarious reviews on Amazon that can only have been written by bored housewives with no taste, or Simon Cowell himself.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Cast your minds back to our recent post about Il Divo, where we came to the following conclusion:

And I'm wondering who the hell is going to buy this shit? I'd even credit Westlife fans with more refined tastes. Hell, I'd credit Atomic Kitten fans more sophisticated than that.

Well, it seems we gave the Great British Public too much credit, as per bloody usual, since Simon Cowell's wretchedly bland genre-hopping boyband (no, not Westlife, the other one) are set for a number one album this week. Presumably the CD will just look really nice nestled in the collection between Dido and Katie Melua.

A WARNING TO RECORD-BUYERS EVERYWHERE: In an effort to make you see sense, we are not above substituting your Il Divo CDs and barcodes for those of Tyler James. You know, someone who's actually not shit.