Oh, hi! How are you? GREAT. Us too, especially now Britney’s all better, Dizzee’s living the pagan dream and we’re here, there and everybloodywhere watching it all happen. This is the front line. This is war reporting. We are Jeremy Bowen, we are Kate Adie, we are twenty four hour news, THIS IS THE REAL SHIT.
1/ The feelgood story of the decade: Britney Spears – 3
Britney Spears: what a woman. She’s a pop phenomenon who’s bounced back from a horribly overexposed mental breakdown, so if she keeps on trucking down the boring-but-sensible road to recovery she’ll probably become something of a role model to ladies like Pixie Lott, Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis who are all a couple of toots on a friendly crack pipe away from being The Next Britney. Someone’s gotta do it.
2/ The pioneers: Animal Collective – Brother Sport
Animal Collective are a few hip dudes who’ve been making groovy tunes for over a decade now. Their latest album Merriweather Post Pavilion sounds like magic and merges bleepy trancelike psych-rock with ever-so-much feeling. Such nice and thoughtful boys were never supposed to be so talented. Embrace the weird, and you too can wear a torch on your head and still have people think you’re cool.
3/ The Britpop here: Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications
The ex-Pulp man is the kind of chap you’d always feel proud to be seen with. People would ask: “Who was that cool tall guy with the glasses and the beard you were with the other day?” And you’d say: “That was Jarvis Cocker!” And you’d feel smug because he’s still the greatest thing invented by Britpop and all he wanted to do was hang out with you.
4/ The ailing pop band: Sugababes – About A Girl
This isn’t, as we hoped, a cover of the Nirvana song of the same name. We got over that disappointment, and then tried as hard as possible to work out who the bloody hell is in the Sugababes at the moment. We had a brain haemorrhage. Then we realised that at the moment, pop songs like this all sound lightweight compared to the forward thinking madness of Lady Gaga who’s ruining pop for everyone else by being really good at it. She’s like Roger Federer.
5/ The ROCK: The Ghost Of A Thousand – Knees, Toes, Teeth
ROCK is a wonderful thing, and The Ghost Of A Thousand are pretty good at it. This sounds like The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster crossed with Mclusky, The Bronx and loads of other punk-edged guitar heroes no one’s ever heard of. This is just how we like it: dirty, underground and top secret.
6/ The boy done good: Dizzee Rascal – Dirtee Cash
Ain’t no party like one that Dizzee Rascal’s invited to, that’s what S Club 7 wanted to sing all those years ago before their record company told them off. In the video to Dirtee Cash he’s taken on the role of a leader of a fancy dress pagan parade, and he’s doing it with the confidence of a man who thinks it’s exactly what the most distinctive voice to emerge from London’s grime BOOM should be doing. He looks like he’s having a good time though, which is all that matters.