Over on Popular the time has come for Tom Ewing to give his real take on the Sugababes' Freak Like Me. He rose to the occasion:

Pop as something worth fighting over, worth making wild gestures for: Seth Bingo wasn't the only one who liked that idea. In real-world enclaves on and off the Internet, young critics were taking up cudgels in the name of pop. Sometimes we were as showy and insufferable as Seth Bingo. Sometimes we shouted louder and harder to try and silence the Indie Daves we still glimpsed in mirrors. Most of the time though we were trying to answer honest questions – what was great about pop, and what did it mean to love it? I'm still trying to answer those questions. Let's take another shot.


From the vantage point of 2017, let alone 2009, 2002 seems like a champagne glass of bubbles: the madness of the credit boom, the New Labour liberal consensus it paid for, but also the CD era itself, and even the sense of the Internet as something whose creative force was essentially benign. The point of a bubble – in the metaphoric sense – is that it's artificial but that its artifice is hard to detect: it feels natural when you're in one, at least until it's just about to burst. Then burst it does, and you see it was never natural at all. Where does that leave the pop music which emerged from that time? […]

[Via Blue Lines Revisited]