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BRITNEY SPEARS – "Toxic"
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The first thing you notice about “Toxic” is the strings – urgent, stabbing, a shock of treble. The string bursts compress a riff into a couple of seconds, turning its curling snatch of melody into a red alert, a warning sign on a system out[…]

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BEYONCÉ – "Crazy In Love"
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History in the making,” says Jay-Z in the intro, and he’s been proven right. As I’ve said before, there’s a temptation with Beyoncé to treat her big moments as inevitable steps in a process of becoming. Her control over her career and image […]

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GIRLS ALOUD – "Sound Of The Underground"
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Looked at one way, this had to happen. Reality TV pop shows weren’t going away. Lightning had struck for Hear’Say, then again for Liberty X, then so often for Pop Idol that you’d think Zeus had the ITV voting lines on speed dial. The maths of i[…]

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DARIUS – “Colourblind”
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Such was the grip of Pop Idol on the singles-buying imagination that two winners weren’t enough – bronze medalist Darius Danesh got a career too. But “Colourblind” is not just a participation medal. In Darius we see not one but two of the[…]

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OASIS – "The Hindu Times"
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The biggest band in Britain grinds on, and as usual when an Oasis single toils its way by, their own past is the best stick to beat them with. In 1994, Oasis’ approach – putting great chunks of rock’s past in a smelter and using noi[…]

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AALIYAH – "More Than A Woman"
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The Queen Of The Damned soundtrack, released later in 2002, is a fearful pile of tosh, a body count of nu-metal second-raters which illustrates a dilemma the film didn’t totally resolve: just which children of the night was this thing aimed at – […]

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KYLIE MINOGUE – "Can't Get You Out Of My Head"
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Between its two writers and its performer, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” is the sound of over seven decades’ pop experience. It’s better heard as distillation than prediction. Maybe its bright, brisk pop-dance sensibility c[…]

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DJ OTZI – "Hey Baby (Uhh, Ahh)"
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So the cruddiest number one of 2001 lands at the top in a week when a lot of people were not caring about music. And certainly, spending £1.99 on “Hey Baby” is one of the more aggressive ways you could find to not care about music. The song is a[…]

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SO SOLID CREW – "21 Seconds"
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WHAT YOU LAUGHIN AT?
Eight people rap or sing on “21 Seconds”. One more – producer G-Man – provides the music. But So Solid Crew as a concept contained multitudes, and became famous for it. A few other producers and MCs, for sure, but also ba[…]

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LIMP BIZKIT – "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)"
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“Take my advice,” says Fred Durst on “My Generation”, “you don’t want to step into a big pile of shit.” Wise words. But shit comes in many forms. The spoor of Durst, the self-styled chocolate starfish, the anus, is compacted nuggets of […]

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Latest comments on Popular

  1. Re-reading the comments here and James Masterson's is typically (unintentionally) hilarious - just the sheer inability to imagine any experience…

  2. I can understand why people wouldn't enjoy this song. It's repetitive, some of the sounds could be considered annoying. I…