dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Corporate Rock

At some point you just have to wonder if there are actually entire departments at record labels devoted to downloading the same five songs all day long.

The woman in charge of Fergie must be getting tired fingers...

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "I Wanna Love You" - Akon feat. Snoop Dogg *2 weeks*
2. "Irreplaceable" - Beyoncé *airplay gainer*
3. "Smack That" - Akon feat. Eminem
4. "My Love" - Justin Timberlake feat. T.I.
5. "How To Save A Life" - The Fray
6. "Lips Of An Angel" - Hinder
7. "Wind It Up" - Gwen Stefani *sales gainer*
8. "Money Maker" - Ludacris feat. Pharrell
9. "Chasing Cars" - Snow Patrol
10. "Fergalicious" - Fergie


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jennifer Hudson: Nuts Never Sounded So Good

Golly, everyone's all abuzz about that Dreamgirls flick -- especially regarding third season American Idol-castoff, Jennifer Hudson (far right).

Jennifer always seemed like she had a touch of "the crazy" back in her AI days. You know some messed-up shizz was goin' on under that weave...

Now, sexy mogul Clive Davis, pictured here with alleged crack whore Whitney Houston (We don't believe a word of it, girl!), has signed Hudson to Arista Records...

...you know, something he could have done three years ago, when she was useless and not generating awards cred.

The press release states that "Arista Records...has been home to an illustrious group of award-winning artists including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Annie Lennox, Sarah McLachlan..." (What about Ace Of Base, bitches?)

Clive warbles something about the Hud being a "vocal wonder" and "a tremendously gifted artist," but there's nothing about a rushed release date for what'll most likely be her tepid ballad-caked set of schlock.

Now, for Christ's sake, Whitney! The cameraman doesn't have any blow!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pop Fight: Jason Donovan Vs. Chistina Milian In Battle For The Most Useless Greatest Hits

For reals, let's just call it as we see it. PWL Records, home to Kylie Minogue in the '80s, is spitting out Jason Donovan's Greatest Hits next Monday in the U.K. The tracklisting is almost identical to that of the greatest hits PWL put out in the early '90s, save for swapping out "Fool Such As I" with "Any Dream Will Do." Jeez, where are the b-sides, at the very least? You're better off picking up the Very Best Of that was released in France in 2000. Here's the tracklisting of the new one:

1. Too Many Broken Hearts
2. Every Day (I Love You More)
3. Especially For You (Duet with Kylie Minogue)
4. Sealed With A Kiss
5. Any Dream Will Do
6. When You Come Back To Me
7. Nothing Can Divide Us
8. Rhythm Of The Rain
9. Hang On To Your Love
10. Happy Together
11. I'm Doing Fine
12. Another Night
13. R.S.V.P.

Equally low-rent is the Best Of Christina Milian, which has been out (in Japan -- hot!) for two weeks. You may recall that Def Jam dropped that broad faster than a burning Pocket Rocket after she turned down recording "S.O.S.," which went on to be a #1-charting single for Rihanna in the spring. Christina's career took another dismal turn when she turned up in the video for Jessica Simpson's last flop, then starred in the box office disaster, Pulse. Here's the noise on this waste:

1. L.O.V.E.
2. Say I (featuring Young Jeezy)
3. Whatever U Want (featuring Joe Budden)
4. Dip It Low (featuring Fabolous)
5. AM to PM
6. Down For You
7. When You Look At Me
8. Spending Time (featuring Charli Baltimore)
9. I'm Sorry
10. Get Away (featuring Ja Rule)
11. 7 Days
12. Someday One Day

THE VERDICT: You gotta figure Jason Donovan wins the useless title here, since this is only Christina's first (and let's face it -- last) hits collection. But that said, it's Christina Milian, for God's sake. Who's next -- Samantha Mumba?

Oh, wait...

Jason Donovan photos courtesy of PWL Empire, all others from Amazon.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

After 10 Years, Take That's Patience Pays Off

Maybe a true testament as to how popular Take That were at the time of their breakup is the fact that their comeback single, "Patience," has gone to #1 in the UK 10 years after their last single was released. This now gives them a total of nine British chart-toppers. Time will tell whether the foursome can sustain momentum, or if it's merely a brief nostalgic wave that's swept over the music-buying public during the holiday season. Either way, it's hard to deny this single's catchiness.

Starting with Take That, you'd be forgiven for taking a quick glance at this week's Top 10 and momentarily forgetting which decade it actually is. Spice Girls alum Emma Bunton has made a sassy bound up to #3, and so "Downtown" becomes her second best-charting solo single (not counting the 1999 collab with Tin Tin Out) after "What Took You So Long" peaked at #1 in 2001. And All Saints, Westlife, Justin Timberlake and even Eminem further add to acts whose careers started in the '90s that are riding high 'n' mighty this week.

Finally, the fourth single from The Feeling, "Love It When You Call," debuts at #18, while their previous one, "Never Be Lonely," makes a re-entry at #40. But you can almost feel the rumble coming along from the Scissor Sisters in the weeks ahead.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Patience" - Take That *1 week*
2. "Smack That" - Akon feat. Eminem
3. "Downtown" - Emma Bunton
4. "My Love" - Justin Timberlake feat. T.I.
5. "The Rose" - Westlife
6. "Irreplaceable" - Beyoncé
7. "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit" - Fedde Le Grand
8. "Rock Steady" - All Saints
9. "Something Kinda Oooh" - Girls Aloud
10. "America" - Razorlight

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Love Is All You Need

I was at first curious when I read about this album in Entertainment Weekly's "Twenty Best Albums Of The Fall" a few months back... then somehow I found myself thinking I'd hate Love, based on the sacrilege factor alone.
So yesterday I picked up the set of newly rejigged songs by The Beatles (mixed from the masters by the foursome's original producer, George Martin, and his son, Giles), because curiosity really gets the best of me most times. Note: Apple (the computer company, and owner of iTunes) and Apple (The Beatles' label) still have not resolved their ongoing issues, so you'll not find this for download, at least legally.

I won't bother writing much else other than the four stages I went through listening to the CD today: Anger, awe, getting choked-up and then, finally, wanting to hear it all again immediately after it'd ended.

I never throw this word around lightly, but Love is truly brilliant, and it really makes you take note of how inferior pop music currently is by comparison.


Music Junkie Digest: Meet Sexy Singles

Whether it's a goat, a little kid or a Jamelia, are you noticing the pattern with the pose for British single covers? That's right: make sure the cocktail dress is on tight when you stick your tits out. At any rate, The Killers' label seem to have learned a lesson -- release the week before Scissor Sisters, not after. It must bruise prickish Brandon Flowers' ego that the power of Sam's Town wasn't all he touted it to be.

This past September the Sisters' "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" spent umpteen weeks at #1 in Britain, keeping, amongst other tunes, The Killers' "When You Were Young" at bay. And now it's time for Round Two, as the Vegas act have "Bones" out on Monday, a week before "Land Of A Thousand Words." It seems strange that a more upbeat single, such as "Lights," wasn't chosen to keep the Scissors' momentum going, but ballads historically do well at Christmastime, too.

That brings us to fiery minx Jamelia. To be fair, although she wasn't exactly able to launch a celebratory fireworks show out of her skirt, "Something About You" hung in the lower reaches of the Top 10 for a few weeks in September. "Personal Jesus"-sampling "Beware Of The Dog" is out December 4, the same day as "Land Of A Thousand Words," and it'll likely take a miracle for this one to emerge the victor.

Now here's a dame that likes the break the rules of The Pose...

But, hey, however Natalie Horler of Cascada likes taking her candy, that's cool. This useless cover of "Truly Madly Deeply" is out December 11, and I'd put money on the fact that it won't even dent the Top 5. In fact, it's probably a safe assumption this act will join Infernal on the one-hit wagon.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Akon Doesn't Cover Solid HarmoniE, But Somehow Goes To #1 Anyway


Golly, what a bland chart to report on during this festive four-day weekend. Mere days after I chided the Brits for placing Akon atop their own tally, we have to go and do the same thing, albeit with a different song. "I Wanna Love You" makes a crazy jump up from #17 to #1 on Billboard's Hot 100, due to the album being released and kiddies downloading that track like fiends all last week. Meanwhile, "Smack That" is still the bridesmaid at #2. Incidentally, "I Wanna Love You" is not a cover of Solid HarmoniE's third single. (Hey, you never know!)

Thus ends Justin Timberlake's stint at the top in 2006. All in all, between "SexyBack" and "My Love," the scamp spent 10 weeks at #1. And Beyoncé's pulled a nice hat trick with "Irreplaceable," considering "Ring The Alarm" didn't even register in the Top 10, and "Déja Vu" only made a two-week appearance there (peaking at #4) before falling like a hooker in front of a fifty dollar bill. Further down, like Akon, Gwen Stefani's "Wind It Up" also makes a big leap this week -- from #36 to #25.

Finally, though it's hard to untangle the labyrinth of singles released across the globe from Nelly Furtado's Loose album, "Say It Right" looks to be her next U.S. hit. Currently, it's the 15th most-downloaded song on iTunes.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "I Wanna Love You" - Akon feat. Snoop Dogg *1 week*
2. "Smack That" - Akon feat. Eminem
3. "Irreplaceable" - Beyoncé *airplay gainer*
4. "My Love" - Justin Timberlake feat. T.I.
5. "Fergalicious" - Fergie
6. "Lips Of An Angel" - Hinder
7. "Money Maker" - Ludacris feat. Pharrell
8. "How To Save A Life" - The Fray
9. "Chasing Cars" - Snow Patrol
10. "Shortie Like Mine" - Bow Wow feat. Chris Brown & Johnta Austin

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ain't No Other Man Band

Somehow, through a (cruel) twist of fate, this became unofficial boyband week here at the playground. Blame it on the boogie. Now surely you've not yet forgotten our shrieking over MTV UK's Totally Boyband, followed by our squawking over the ker-floppity-thud! of Upper Street's single.

Well, the "brass" at VH1 here in States apparently think the show is a good-enough idea to bring to our airwaves -- albeit with the more Americanized, macho name, Man Band. And, no, the guys you see below aren't the ones who bag your groceries at the supermarket (actually, don't quote us on that) -- they're none other than the Man Band-ers themselves:

1. JEFF TIMMONS (ex-98º)

Well, hello, hotstuff! Jeff's aged pretty well. You may remember him as the "the other cute one" from the group, outside of Nick and Drew Lachey. That fourth guy? Yeah, he sucked...

2. RICH CRONIN (ex-LFO, aka "Lyte Funky Ones")

Oh, you remember LFO. They did that "Girl On TV" song, 'cause the one was banging Jennifer Love Hewitt...? And "Summer Girls"? They were both big hits in 1999. No?

3. BRYAN ABRAMS (ex-Color Me Badd)

Hey, if he wants to spend the "I Wanna Sex You Up" money on a lifetime supply of Ho-Hos, that's his prerogative. Don't judge, haters!


Can we maybe go back to Jeff Timmons...?

Anyway, the press release states that their will be five members, but it doesn't name the fifth. Surely one of C-Note is available, no?

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Monday, November 20, 2006

UPDATE: I Want Il Divo Take That Way

It just never stops with these boybands, does it?

Throw a few himbos on a dusty road, wearing Armani...

...or K-Mart...

...and suddenly it's a Road Warrior sausage-fest with the CD covers.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Take That And "Smack That"

Maybe Upper Street and their accompanying MTV show primed the British public with a need for a real boyband to save Planet Pop...

...or maybe it's just nostalgia -- but this week, based on digital downloads alone, the return of Take That finds them debuting at a whopping #4 on the UK singles chart with "Patience," just before its physical release. It's almost a no-brainer that Barlow & Co. will be enjoying a nice stay at #1.

From Take That we move on to "Smack That." Christ, not even us Hip-hop-addicted Americans put this trifle at the top of the chart. Who knew Akon had such a sturdy English following? But the Brits seem to have at least barred Justin Timberlake from #1, since "My Love" is his second single off whateveritscalled album to get the smack (that) down.

It's hard to feel bad for Robbie Williams only getting to #8 with "Lovelight," as it was a shit choice for a single. "Louise" would've been better. The rumored third single is "She's Madonna," supposedly set for a January release. And while it's good to see All Saints hanging in with "Rock Steady," the album debuted on the album chart at a tragic #40.

Finally, in at #24 is another download-only debut that's caused some grunting from fans on the internet. Granted, it has been awhile since there's been anything out from Emma Bunton, but it's probably wise to take into consideration that "Downtown" is, after all, a charity single, and not a proper album-launching first offering. Still, why are these always a lame-o cover version? God, Emma, why go the cliché route? You know what -- on second thought, torch the bitch.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Smack That" - Akon feat. Eminem *1 week*
2. "My Love" - Justin Timberlake feat. T.I.
3. "The Rose" - Westlife
4. "Patience" - Take That *new*
5. "Irreplaceable" - Beyoncé
6. "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit" - Fedde Le Grand
7. "Rock Steady" - All Saints
8. "Lovelight" - Robbie Williams
9. "The Saints Are Coming" - U2 and Green Day
10. "Yeah Yeah" - Bodyrox feat. Luciana

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Want You Backstreet For Good

When in a formerly-prominent 1990s boyband and designing the sleeve for your highly-touted (read: overhyped) comeback single...

...always opt for "mere coincidence":

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Friday, November 17, 2006

The Chart Rigger Holiday Gift Guide

Why are people shooting each other over Playstation 3 when they could be clawing their eyes out over these stocking stuffer gems, instead?

1. A Big Night In With Darren Hayes DVD

Out next month, this concert film (PAL only) was shot at Dazza's Sydney Opera House gig earlier this year, where he performed Savage Garden classics along with his solo material. Gotta love how, now that he's open about being gay, he's clutching a disco ball while wearing a bedazzled jacket on the cover. Find out where you can order this, and the accompanying 2007 calendar, at Darren's official site. Also, read an interview with him about coming out at Instinct magazine's site.

2. The Hitman And Her 3-Disc CD
What's better than watching Pete Waterman holed up in some disco on your TV in the wee hours of the night? Why, owning the soundtrack to the show, The Hitman And Her, of course! This is PWL Records' follow-up to last year's Stock Aitken Waterman Gold collection, and it features a slew of house and rave classics that were often heard first on the ramshackle UK program throughout the late '80s and early '90s. Check out the tracklisting here! I'm buying this for Bizz Nizz alone...

3. The Best Of Depeche Mode, Volume 1 2-Disc CD/DVD

I grabbed this set at Virgin, and it's sent me reeling down memory lane all week! The first disc has 18 Depeche classics, and covers each album they put out. On constant repeat in the house D'luv are "See You," "Everything Counts," "Enjoy The Silence" and new single, "Martyr." Disc two contains 23 videos, plus a half hour documentary on the band -- including interviews with each member, plus past bandmates Alan Wilder and Vince Clarke.

4. Nirvana: Live! Tonight! Sold Out!! DVD

It's about freakin' time! Originally released on VHS in 1994, this collection of rare footage and live clips was finally put out on DVD last week. Eat well, Courtney! It's all been remastered and color-corrected. Included is the scandalous Top Of The Pops performance where Kurt Cobain sang "Smells Like Teen Spirit" using his best Morrissey voice.

5. Pet Shop Boys: A Life In Pop DVD

Yay for us Americans -- this British documentary on the Pettos is now available in NTSC Region 1 format from Amazon Canada. My copy arrived yesterday, and I've watched bits and pieces throughout the day. There are extensive interviews with Neil and Chris, as well as famous PSB fans Tim Rice-Oxley of Keane, Brandon Flowers, Robbie Williams, David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Jake Shears and Trevor Horn. Bonus material is all the videos for the singles off PopArt and Fundamental, a few Top Of The Pops performances and their first-ever TV performance, from Belgium in 1984.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Snow Patrol Duets With Martha Wash For Ready-Made Dancefloor Toe-Tapper

It's been interesting to watch Snow Patrol lately. The UK-based band managed to succeed where Franz Ferdinand stumbled last year, in following up a previous buzzworthy album with a bona fide mainstream hit album in the States. Today's Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart marks the 26-week mark -- half a year -- for Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" in the countdown.

This puts them in the league of British acts who've crossed over in the U.S. in recent times -- folks like Natasha Bedingfield, Coldplay, James Blunt and KT Tunstall. But there's that sinking feeling that "Chasing Cars" has become so massive (it even peaked at #5, one notch higher than in the UK), there's nowhere to go but down; and chartwise, that usually finds an act banished to the dreaded One Hit Wonder colony. The irony is that "Chasing Cars" pales in comparison with the singles from the band's last album -- "Chocolate," "Spitting Games" and "Run."

But, to counter out the doom and gloom, the good news is that the new Snow Patrol single looks to be the most fab pairing of pop minds since Kylie and Jason! It's called "Set The Fire To The Third Bar," and it finds the lads teamed up with none other than -- gadzooks! -- Martha Wash! What a peak-hour shoe-shaker this one's promising to be! Call him Gary "Glitter" Lightbody! Extend those eager fingers and download now, pop children!

Aw, cheese whizz! Sorry, gang. It must be time to get the granny bifocals re-jigged. It actually reads Martha Wainwright. How'd that hanger-on land this classy gig? Well, maybe it's not too late for M. Wash to get in on those Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy sessions. There's still gotta be at least six more years before the release date.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "My Love" - Justin Timberlake feat. T.I. *3 weeks*
2. "Smack That" - Akon feat. Eminem
3. "Fergalicious" - Fergie
4. "Irreplaceable" - Beyoncé *airplay gainer*
5. "Lips Of An Angel" - Hinder
6. "Money Maker" - Ludacris feat. Pharrell
7. "How To Save A Life" - The Fray
8. "Show Me What You Got" - Jay-Z
9. "Chasing Cars" - Snow Patrol
10. "SexyBack" - Justin Timberlake

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The George Michael Banterview: Dissing A Fool

J'ason and MoogaBoo tried their best to listen without prejudice, but Twenty Five finds George Michael once again asleep at the wheel.

MOOGABOO: Did you see Kylie performing her new song, "White Diamonds," in that YouTube clip?

J'ASON D'LUV: Yes! It looks as if she went away and came back with every one of Cher's outfits.

M: I love the version of "On A Night Like This" that follows, especially the part where the explosion goes off onstage at 6:39, and some queen in the audience shrieks its wig off.

JD: That was probably the highlight of the concert for the people standing next to him. Kylie's costume resembles some exotic chimpa bird.

M: Oh, right. Exotic chimpa bird. We're supposed to be talking about George Michael...

JD: Oh, dammit. Okay, so George's latest hits set is called Twenty Five. Is that to commemorate the age he was when Wham! had their first hit? 'Cause that would make him about 67 now -- almost as old as Madonna.

M: Well, either that, or it's the number of greatest hits collections he's currently on. Didn't he just release one a few years ago?

JD: Well, there was the Wham! one. Then Men's Room & Lady's Toilet, back in '98...

M: Surely their presence on the shelves negates the need for anything more, but that's just my opinion.

JD: Babe, don't be so hasty. This one has a duet with Sir Paul McCartney. And "Last Chistmas."

M: I'll give you "Last Christmas," but Macca hasn't been worth much since he morphed into Aunt Clara from Bewitched. I suspect he ended up on this album by accident when he tried to blink Darrin back from being a frog.

JD: You're actually making me want to buy this now. Stop it!

M: Oh, but it's almost Christmas, so I'm going to be nice. No dissin' pop stars' appearances this holiday, D'luv. 'Tis the season!

JD: True, true. And despite the fact that George looks like he should be playing shuffleboard at a retirement village in Boca Raton, wearing a rayon blouse, this is going to be a joke-free banterview as far as looks go...

M: Is there any point in buying a George Michael collection that willfully ignores "I Want Your Sex"? I mean, what the hell?

JD: Also absent is "Kissing A Fool," but perhaps the label thought those two songs were a bit too ironically-titled given his recent penchant for bumping trolls in the ditches of London.

M: Here's the thing: George squandered a lot of talent, goodwill, opportunity and promise during his career, and now he's kind of an empty shell. Granted, "Amazing" was really good, but like most of his current output, it was suffused with a kind of neurotic, pity-party whining that most people just don't want to hear from someone who appears to own stock in Versace glasses.

JD: The only serious George Michael question I can conjure up is this; 1.) wasn't there a radio mix of "Spinning The Wheel," and b.) will it be the version on this ecologically-wasted hunk of plastic?

M: Oh... Oh, babe... "Spinning The..."? Radio mix?

JD: Well, it was either that or a question about botox.

M: I'm sure that track was canned to make room for his dancefloor-quaking pop smash, "Brother Can You Spare A Dime," featuring Pavarotti.

JD: George makes it really hard to care about him. He's such a Dumb Gay.

M: Couldn't you just say "Gay"? People will know what you mean...

JD: Looking down the the tracklist on Twenty Five -- "Freeek!", "Shoot The Dog," "An Easier Affair" -- it seems like all George has done in the new millenium is release a tired string of one mediocre single after another. He actually had an album out at some point in the last 15 years, didn't he?

M: Yeah, the one with "Amazing." I think it was called... er, Older?

JD: Oh, yeah! That's the one where Andrew Ridgeley looks like Don Johnson on the cover. I bet Keren Woodward pushed him into doing those supposed Christmastime Wham! reunion shows in London with George. She was probably all, "Pour yourself into the spandex, love. We need to pay the bleedin' electric bill!"

M: And Andrew was like, "Well, if you weren't always out on one of your bloody club tours in Eastern Europe, drinking away the 50 pounds you made...!" They're probably like the pop version of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolfe?

JD: And, you know Andrew will do it. He'll stand there and occasionally flick his hand across a guitar while George marches across the stage like a waxen peacock with gayface.

M: Maybe George will let Andrew do a few of his solo hits... I mean, solo singles? Make that demos.

JD: Oh, that's right! He had an album out when we were in 9th grade. Remember coming home after school, and the video got played, like, twice on MTV?

M: Yes, it was called "Shake," and even Billboard couldn't think of anything good to say. "Self-conscious" was the nicest term I think they used.

JD: So in the meantime, before this reunion of geniuses, George is supporting this new cash waste with the Twenty Five Live tour across Europe. Let's hope he's not driving himself around, else the crew will find him passed out and tangled up in his sling and a pink boa at an intersection again. Oh, and I just remembered -- Patience! That was the name of his last album.

M: Ah, yes. And like I said, "Amazing" was a good single, and actually, I guess it was a reprieve from his typically heavy-handed lyrics of recent times. It harkened back to the glory days of "Fastlove," another gem on a desert of an album. But I still can't be arsed to listen to any of his quasi-tropical funeral ballads.

JD: Did you know there's a limited "Deluxe Edition" of Twenty Five, with a bonus third disc? There's a song called "Precious Box" on it.

M: Something tells me there's nothing "deluxe" or "limited" about George's precious box, but I guess that's why it's called marketing.

JD: This third disc also has more schmaltz from that album of standards he put out.

M: If I remember correctly, that one had some real doozies, like the duet with Pavarotti. And wasn't there one with Queen Latifah?

JD: Remind me which of those two is which again? I always get them mixed up. Look, I can tell you what wasn't on it -- a disco-laden duet with Lulu; something most savvy British pop stars opt for at some point for a surefire hit. And that's why I couldn't be bothered. It's almost as if George goes out of his way to do middle-of-the-road crap music just to prove he's not going to be some "typical gay" and do dance or pop. He's a serious artist.

M: But doesn't George want to be a "typical gay"? That was certainly his defense when the paparazzos caught him cruising in Hampstead Heath. And he had that "candid" lyric in "An Easier Affair": I tried to be straight... Yeah, uh, when was that, exactly, George? I don't care how many girlfriends he had in the '80s, the man was fruity!

JD: Admittedly, I thought there might have been potential with his new single, the duet with Mutya.

M: Once I heard her separated from the pack, I realized Mutya has a very nice voice -- completely opposite of what I expected coming from under those eyebrows. Girlfriend has a tough demeanor, kind of like an early John Waters chick, but the voice of a nightingale.

JD: She does look like she'd stick a shank in your neck if you looked at her kid the wrong way.

M: But I hate when big stars waste duets on crappy songs. Er, maybe strike the word "big."

JD: George should put out a DVD of all his arrests, Cops-style. Now that would give him a comeback.

M: I shudder to think what would be on the third bonus disc of that...

JD: Why, the videos for his duets with Oprah Winfrey, Dame Edna and Il Divo, naturally.

M: The Andrew Ridgeley Collection is sounding better and better.

Twenty Five is out now throughout the galaxy... except the U.S., where it will be released in 2007.

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