Darren Hayes – Darkness
Had it, lost it, got it back on his own terms: here's Derek on the very wonderful Darren Hayes.
Alphabeat – What is Happening
Alphabeat exerted a certain fascination on the British public in 2008 - for precisely three singles. The fourth, annoyingly, was AMAZING.
Billie Piper – Misfocusing
The entire pop career experience squeezed into a little under two years: it's the one and only Billie Piper!
Robbie Williams – Better Man
In which Dan asks the question "Is 'Better Man' Robbie Williams' career-defining song?" Dan is American, and therefore has an entirely different perspective from the rest of us who are all shouting "NO, IT'S OBVIOUSLY ANGELS" right about now.
a-ha – Nothing is Keeping You Here
Not many bands really get better with age, but a-ha managed it.
Beyoncé – Ego
In which Dan asks the question "do singles even exist anymore?" The short answer is of course "no, not really and we sort of have Beyoncé to thank for it". But we'll let him delve a little deeper via discussion of the unbridled filth-fest that is "Ego".
Pet Shop Boys – Integral
You've had your chance, now we've got the mandate. If you've changed your mind, I'm afraid it's too late.
Lene Nystrøm – Pretty Young Thing
From "Play With Me" - the decade's other great lost pop album - it's Lene from out of Aqua with the quite frankly terrific 2003 flop "Pretty Young Thing".
Cyndi Lauper – Shine
The gist: in 2001 Cyndi Lauper made the album of her career but unless you lived in Japan or were willing to spend an insane amount of money on the import, you didn't get to hear it. This was a COLOSSAL SHAME.
SHeDAISY – Passenger Seat
In any other industry, a knock-off might be considered a bad thing. In pop, as Dan Poliak explains, it's often anything but.
Dame Shirley Bassey – After the Rain
Very few people would make you wait fifty years for their best record. But that's exactly what Dame Shirley Bassey did.
The Divine Comedy – Our Mutual Friend
We've all woken up in a stranger's bed with a sense of deep shame. Only The Divine Comedy would dare set that to an orchestra.
Sufjan Stevens – Christmas in the Room
Derek shares his love for "Christmas in the Room" by yuletide enthusiast Sufjan Stevens. A slightly less frantic way of saying "All I want for Christmas is you".
Mew – She Came Home For Christmas
Disturbing talk of blindfolds! Family trauma! CHIME-Y BITS! It's a Mew Christmas... *books flight to Denmark*
Paris Hilton – Screwed
It's the biggest test of pop snobbery there is: can you admit to liking a Paris Hilton record? We can.
Sam Sparro – 21st Century Life
Hook filled delirious pop? Keep your eye on the Sparro.
Siobhan Fahey – Bitter Pill
Because sometimes there's nothing better than a cheap fix of dirty electronic pop.
Tom Baxter – My Declaration
Coshed by a Blunt instrument, Tom Baxter's "My Declaration" could find a second life as a winner's song...
Jazmine Sullivan – Bust Your Windows
A tale of revenge which is, quite literally, smashing.
Cher – Song For the Lonely
Do you believe in life after "Believe"?