Well, I’m on a roll so I might as well carry on. Has it really been 11 years? Wow. OK, Fever came out in 2001 and I remember listening to it two or three times, thinking “this is a really good album”, and then promptly forgetting all about it and never hearing it again.
It was certainly more sophisticated than anything I’d heard by Kylie before (though not a huge step away from one of my favourite songs by her, Breathe). It was breezy pop for grown-ups, rather than of the aimed-at-eight-year-olds variety. There was something European about it. Come Into My World might have been by Air, for example.
It’s been a day for celebration as the Chilean miners have begun their ascent. My mate Kenny reckons he liked them when they were still underground – but now everyone’s talking about them …
Kenny’s weird. He doesn’t like pop. I mean, granted, most pop’s rubbish, but every now and then a pop song makes the charts that’s as weird and wonderful, complex and exciting as any other style of music. Here, to remind us, are some of the best.
Gwen Stefani – What You Waiting For? (Love. Angel. Music. Baby., 2004)
The story behind this New Wave treat goes that Stefani’s first day in the studio with the legendary Linda Perry was disastrous, with Gwen breaking down in tears of self-doubt. Perry played her a tune the next day, which Gwen really loved, and Perry said, “Well, what are you waiting for?” The pair then documented Gwen’s emotional state to form the lyrics. It is unknown whether white rabbits were involved in the proceedings.
Sugababes – Stronger (Angels With Dirty Faces, 2002)
Back when the Sugababes made truly excellent records, this ripped off Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy to devastating effect. Lush strings complement the fine three-part harmony against a languid trip-hop beat. This song is a great reminder of how they used to sound before they lapsed into bland, shallow elevator muzak.