D'Luv (US) writer of Chart Rigger and Idolator
J-Step (AUS) music industry insider
Mike (AUS) author of this classy blog
The Prophet (AUS) writer of The Prophet
We were also assisted by the following guest judges:
Adem (AUS) writer of the iconic Adem With An E. It's great to have him back on the Pop Panel. Bitch just needs to start updating his blog again!
Joe (US) writer of the amazing Milk Carton Pop Stars
Ok, let's get cracking. As usual the songs are ranked from lowest to highest.
Timo – Like It Rough (above)
Belgian pop star jumps on gay vampire bandwagon!
Adem: Did you see the incredible YouTube comments? Poor Timo has been told by a YouTube user he apparently needs this song to be a hit so that he can get a nose job because he - otherwise - cannot afford it. Watching the clip; I really hope he doesn't touch his nose because I spent the whole thing thinking about how much I'd love to sit on it. The song itself? I wasn't paying attention, but for Timo's nose and his hot mack-on scene with Brent Corrigan at the end, I think high scores are well and truly due. 5/5
D'Luv: There's a small, almost undetectable sample from Human League's "Love Action" running throughout "Like It Rough" — which is basically the only interesting thing about the song.
Joe: I like bad pop music, but this was just bad. The horrid acting, the guy's wonky eyes. Though if I was drunk at a bar I would probably dance to it. 1/5
J-Step: My first instinct was to hate this, but it by the time it ended I wanted a physical! A nice, catchy little track, seemingly written about my bedroom preferences. 3.5/5
Mike: I probably would have been down with this tacky piece of Eurotrash if it were sung by someone even remotely attractive. 2/5
The Prophet: No. 0/5
Paramore – Playing God (Video
Latest single from indie-pop favourites.
Adem: It's like listening to the other songs from the first Katy Perry album. Which makes this almost entirely shit. 0/5
D'Luv: I like the video better than the song, and the song better than Hayley's vocals. But at least her entire band is totally fuckable. 2/5
Joe: This is that airplanes chick right? It's alright I guess. Not amazing. 2/5
J-Step: A decent little pop/rock track, but nowhere near as catchy or memorable as most of their stuff. And Hayley, pink and red does NOT look good together, it's time for a colour change, doll! And seeing as you're at Just Cuts, you may as well get better conditioner, 'coz you just ain't rocking the whole Ronald McDonald thing! 3/5
Mike: This is the kind of faux rock shit that could have been playing when Willow first fingered Tara in a toilet cubicle at The Bronze. And for that it gets two bonus points! 2/5
The Prophet: My fave! 5/5
Savvy – Dance With Me Now (Video)
Yet another Disney act goes electro.
Adem: New Disney acts always excite me; purely because I can hardly wait for the cocaine addiction to begin. This clip is like watching a well-produced/autotuned version of High School Musical set in the 'Peach Pit; After-dark' from 90210. Forgettable trash, but pleasant enough. 2/5
D'Luv: Well, I guess 12 years is long enough ago that slyly re-creating Backstreet Boys' "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" video — albeit with a budget of $36 and a craft services table full of Cheetos — seems like an original concept to 13 year olds. Even the song sounds straight-up 1998. I kind of like it, though. Kind of. 3/5
Joe: A multi-ethnic Disney group? Is this The Party 2010? Only "in my dreams". Back to the song. I actually liked it. It's catchy and I think I may have to download it. 4/5
J-Step: Ace Of Base's "Don't Turn Around" meets the Pussycat Dolls' Melodie's fucking annoying (and always moving) mouth! This bitch needs another time-out and an earlier bedtime. 1/5
Mike: Well, fuck you all. I like it! I mean, she's no Selena Gomez or Ashley Tisdale but I still want to hear an album full of lifeless, age inappropriate gems from this flop in the making. 3.5/5
The Prophet: This girl's mouth is more dramatic than Jessica Simpson's. It really has a life of it's own. Why didn't the director tell her to calm it down a little? Anyway, the song is shit, so maybe Savvy should think about becoming a professional blowjob machine instead of a singer. That sweet young mouth looks mighty inviting... 1/5
Bruno Mars – Grenade (Video)
Follow up to #1 hit “Just The Way You Are”.
Adem: Is it wrong to generally think Bruno Mars is an alright thing? I fucking love this song - Bruno, it's like you found my letters and reach one out loud. 5/5
D'Luv: Yeah, okay. Sure. 2/5
Joe: I honestly haven't really paid much attention to this guy. Mainly because I tend to loathe anything that's currently on American radio. But it's that bad. Would I go out of my way to listen to it. Probably not. 3/5
J-Step: Oh, Jesus, pull the pin on the frikkin grenade. I'm so sick of this shit - 'so-called, sexy whinging'. Where's the fun gone, people? It's time for a new Kaci video I think! 1.5/5
Mike: You know, I really want to hate this guy. He's just a little too in touch with his emotions and I'm sure he steals his lyrics from the love letters I sent Julian McMahon in the 90s. That said, it's cute and I'd probably sing along to it after a bottle of Jack and a box of Tim Tams. 3/5
The Prophet: Cute. If you're into this kind of thing. 2.5/5
Jessie J – Do It Like A Dude (above)
This hot bitch wrote Miley’s “Party In The USA”.
Adem: JESSIE IS FIERCE. I like it when she grabs her cho-cha. It makes me think it's probably what Rihanna wanted the entire 'Rated R' campaign to look and sound like, you know, if she had any thoughts of her own I mean. 4/5
D'Luv: This is the latest broad everyone's masturbating over online. (Sorry, Sky Ferreira!) It's kind of the kitchen sink concept with the video, isn't it? The only thing that's missing is a glow in the dark thong. 2/5
Joe: I really don't want to like this. But I do. It's a little repetitive, but I didn't mind it. The video kind of gave me a headache though. I like her studded black lips. 3/5
J-Step: No, that's noice I feel! 4/5
Mike: So everyone's jumping on Jessie's wig like she's the second coming of Ann Lee but there's nothing wrong with a bit of hype. People are just connecting with her high brow lyrics and deeply spiritual message. 4/5
The Prophet: Vulgar! Only Ke$ha can get away with this garish behavior. 0/5
Kim Ann Foxman – Creature (Video)
90s House is making a comeback.
Adem: Who is this lesbian, and why does she look like a (slightly) more approachable La Roux? Whatever, she's an amazing lesbian and this is all kinds of hot. Did she hire Madonna's Blond Ambiton Tour dancers for the video? I can't wait to hear this in a club on a loud system; it's like it's 1994 and I'm listening to corker house music on my boombox in the bedroom. I also enjoy the fact it goes for a hundred years, like all house music in the 90's did. 4/5
D'Luv: I love this guy! And I also love the fact that the video could just as well have been shot in the time period the song sounds like it's from. 4/5
Joe: Oooh me likes! Kim looks like she took dance lessons from Whitney Houston. The voguing queens make up for her lackluster dance skills. And I am loving her Ya Kid K fasions! The more I listen to this song the more I am loving it. Anyone who wants to bring back early 90s House gets my seal of approval. I must hear more!! 5/5
J-Step: Don't get me wrong, the notion of decent 90's inspired house making a major comeback is beyond awesome. But when it's purposely dull and boring, what's the point, honestly? I've seen more excitement in the face of an arsehole than poor ol' Kimmy! 2/5
Mike: Dust off your favourite lime green t-sheet, re-charge your glow sticks and grab a chupa chump - the 90s are back! Just be careful. Listening to Kim's mesmerising opus will bring on every pill you've popped over the past 20 years. This shit should come with a warning! 4/5
The Prophet: Honey, I know the 90s are in right now, but this is just a little too desperate. Still, i can't bring myself to give it a flop rating. 3/5
Kylie – Better Than Today (Video)
Third single from "Aphrodite".
Adem: You know what? I am so fucking angry with Kylie's people for releasing this as the next single over "Aphrodite" or, you know, basicaly any other song on the album, that I'm tempted to give her absolutely no score at all. It's lovely and great and I enjoy it but this is NOT a single. Not at ALL. And what's with all the remixes taking out the best bit; the whales-being-raped sound after each chorus? This really is a frighteningly disappointing turn in events when it comes to the 'Aphrodite' album campaign. That said; 3/5
D'Luv: I really wish Kylie didn't have that unspoken rule about not releasing album title tracks as singles, because "Aphrodite" is miles ahead of "Better Than Today." Unfortunately, "Better Than Today" is probably deemed to be more "radio friendly." Oh, well—not a bad song. It's just kind of… there. 3.5/5
Joe: This is a great example of a song that gets better w/ a good video. I remember when Kylie did this on her North American tour, and I thought...meh it's ok. But it's one of those songs that gets better w/ more listens. Though I wouldn't say it's the best choice for a single. I'm still waiting for 'Cupid Boy'! 3.5/5
J-Step: "Cupid boy, when we touch, I'm in heaven in your arms..." Oh, no, wait, that was the BETTER option wasn't it! I mean it's cute, catchy, but...yeah. I've tried to react differently since hearing this was third single, but the best I can manage is a nice positive shrug of the shoulders! 4/5
Mike: The Pop Panel has spoken. "Cupid Boy" is single everyone wants from "Aphrodite" - not this annoyingly cheerful Scissor Sisters rip off! This is the dumbest decision Kylie has made since relegating "Tightrope" to a bonus track. I'll be happily surprised if this even cracks the top 30 in the UK but she is our leader, so I'm giving it 4/5. Begrudgingly.
The Prophet: I want to automatically give this a zero because I suspect it will win and I want to sabotage the PP and go against popular opinion, but then I remember that this is one of my favorite cuts from "Aphrodite", but also the one that most people bitch about, so I'm going to give it a high rating, partly because I want too and partly out of spite. I hope that's right. 4.5/5
SINGLE OF THE WEEKKim Zolciak - Google Me (below)
Real housewives of Atlanta superstar unveils her latest single.
Adem: The voice of an angel!! She's great and this trashy-bonanza is too, but she doesn't hold a candle to the genius musical stylings of Heidi Montag, does she? And also too, when is the great Snooki going to release a single? And Kathy Griffin's Mom? I am ALL FOR reality sluts getting in front a microphone. I don't even need to listen to the whole song to know Kim gets full marks. 5/5
D'Luv: Bow down to the High Priestess Of Pop! Thankfully she got off her lazy ass and recorded another masterpiece. And at this rate, we can probably expect a full album sometime in 2017! Her soaring, angelic vocals have me seriously thinking she just might be yanking that New Queen Of Soul title away from Ke$ha in the near future. Brava! 5/5
Joe: LEGEND!!!! Kim needs to do an album!!!!! 5/5
J-Step: What a pure talent!!! Does it get any better... NO!!! 5/5
Mike: The voice. Those lyrics. That wig. Kim really is the new queen of pop! Madonna must be shitting herself - when not googling "how to be as fabulous as that stunning beauty from the Real Housewives of Atlanta". 5/5
The Prophet: How could this not get a five? 5/5