Popjustice » The Briefing http://www.popjustice.com 100% Solid Pop Music Sat, 31 Jan 2015 11:30:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The NEW RIHANNA SINGLE: good news and bad news http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/the-new-rihanna-single-good-news-and-bad-news/134022/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/the-new-rihanna-single-good-news-and-bad-news/134022/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 06:52:56 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=134022 rihannamaccawest

GOOD NEWS! Q1 is the new Q4. Rihanna released a new single overnight! It’s called ‘FourFiveSeconds’ and it’s on iTunes now!!!!!!

BAD NEWS: It’s not on iTunes in the UK. Maybe it will turn up later.

GOOD NEWS! Still – NEW RIHANNA!

BAD NEWS! It sounds like Track 9 on a Pink album.

GOOD NEWS! It’s got Kanye West and Paul McCartney on it. Collaborating with not one but TWO true music legends is a real coup for Macca.

BAD NEWS! Well, it’s got Kanye West and Paul McCartney on it. If there’s one popstar on the planet who doesn’t need a multi-act pileup in order to make an impact, it’s Rihanna. Also, Paul and Kanye have been working together anyway so it feels like Rihanna’s just fitting in with what other people are already doing. Which is not how Rihanna should operate.

BAD NEWS! It’s got acoustic guitar on it.

GOOD NEWS! At least it doesn’t have a fucking ukulele on it.

BAD NEWS! You’re not exactly going to be dancing to this one.

GOOD NEWS! The chorus melody is really good.

GOOD NEWS! It might just be for Kanye and Paul’s album, ie it might not be a proper Rihanna single.

BAD NEWS! Rihanna’s referring to it as “my new music”.

GOOD NEWS! It does get a lot better after a few plays. It’s basically ‘a nice little tune’.

BAD NEWS! The sense that ‘FourFiveSeconds’ is getting better with repeated listens might be influenced by the fact that one wants it to be getting better. Still, what’s life without hope? For the time being let’s just file this one under ‘nice little tune’ and leave it there.

GOOD NEWS! There’s a video coming soon! If it’s got Macca getting shitfaced and raving in an Irish field then we’re all for it.

BAD NEWS! The video is unlikely to feature Macca getting shitfaced and raving in an Irish field.

GOOD NEWS! The new Rihanna album’s definitely on the way then. Also, you know how Rihanna doesn’t like to be second guessed – so there’s every chance that the sonic direction of this song is a deliberate red herring and that the first proper single from ‘R8′ will be an all-guns-blazing banger of Biblical proportions.

gotonwithit

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The 2015 Brits: who should win, and who will win http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/the-2015-brits-who-should-win-and-who-will-win/133829/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/the-2015-brits-who-should-win-and-who-will-win/133829/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:24:25 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133829 2015brit

BRITISH MALE SOLO ARTIST

Damon Albarn
Ed Sheeran
Sam Smith
George Ezra
Paulo Nutini

Who should win: George Ezra really isn’t as bad as he seems on paper, but nor is he quite as good as he seems on Twitter. So from this shortlist the Popjustice pick would be Ed Sheeran, who’s released three great singles, a partially great album, and exists in 2015 as proof that you can’t ever really write someone off because any popstar, even the very worst popstars in the world, might one day simply decide to simply stop being crap.

Who will win: You’d imagine Universal have more votes than Warners so presumably this one will go to Sam Smith.

BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST

Ella Henderson
FKA Twigs
Jessie Ware
Lily Allen
Paloma Faith

Who should win: FKA Twigs is probably a future Brit-winner – let’s return to that when her tunes are as great as everything else about her – but we’re going for Jessie Ware in 2015.

Who will win: Brits voting is split into two different types of vote. In some categories – like the Sam/Ed faceoff for British Male – voting’s likely to concern itself with labels wanting to show off about the Important Male Artists who’ve conquered the world. In this category it feels like there could be more of a sense of ‘which artist would benefit most from a Brit win?’. It’s a fair question. Ella, Lily and Paloma are hardly unknowns, which leaves FKA Twigs and Jessie Ware. Both fine artists of course, but it’s hard to imagine FKA Twigs’ style appealing to the Brits panel. We’re saying this could be a win for Jessie Ware – everyone thinks she’s good, nobody has any reason not to vote for her, most people agree her music deserves a wider audience. Failing that – and for a contrasting set of reasons – Paloma.

BRITISH GROUP

One Direction
Royal Blood
Clean Bandit
Alt J
Coldplay

Who should win: We actually feel that Royal Blood have done the most to justify a win in this category but let’s be honest, their music’s a right old racket. So let’s go for One Direction who made an excellent album even though they didn’t even need to.

Who will win: We’re predicting a surprise win for Clean Bandit, and if something else happens on the night we’ll simply come back and edit this post.

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH

Chvrches
FKA Twigs
George Ezra
Royal Blood
Sam Smith

Who should win: Well Chvrches are the best of the lot here aren’t they?

Who will win: This one’s a public vote so we suppose is open to manipulation if, for instance, the indie brigade decide they want to make a point regarding Royal Blood. But it feels like Sam Smith will win most of the awards he’s been nominated for, even though we’d argue Royal Blood and George Ezra both had more breakthroughy 2014s.

BRITISH SINGLE

Calvin Harris – Summer
Clean Bandit ft Jess Glynne – Rather Be
Duke Dumont ft Jax Jones – I Got U
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
Ella Henderson – Ghost
George – Ezra Budapest
Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Route 94 ft Jess Glynne – My Love
Sam Smith – Stay With Me
Sigma – Nobody to Love

Who should win: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars – the best song here (with ‘Ghost’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud’ close behind). The Sigma single might have stood a chance if they’d bothered writing verses.

Who will win: Don’t forget that, as usual, Best Single is another of the categories the Brits don’t consider ‘proper’, which is to say they allow the public to vote, in spite of the fact that the public have already voted for their favourite single once by actually buying and streaming the songs. It’ll be an interesting vote – Ed Sheeran aside there are no nominees with wildly out of control fanbases, so we could actually be looking at a reasonably fair battle. We reckon that battle will be between Bronson, Smith and Sheeran; ‘Uptown Funk’ might lose out because voters don’t think it’s British enough, which means another Ed vs Sam faceoff. Ed Sheeran could win this one. (Having said this, ‘Rather Be’ is the only million-selling single on the shortlist, so it might sneak round the back and win.)

MASTERCARD BRITISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Alt-J – This Is All Yours
Ed Sheeran – X
George Ezra – Wanted On Voyage
Royal Blood – Royal Blood
Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour

Who should win: Ed Sheeran.

Who will win: We’re saying a draw between Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. There hasn’t been a good draw at the Brits for ages. If they won’t allow a draw we reckon they’ll declare Ed the winner.

BRITISH ARTIST VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Calvin Harris – Summer
Charli XCX – Boom Clap
Duke Dumont ft Jax Jones – I Got U
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
One Direction – You And I
Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down
Route 94 ft Jess Glynne – My Love
Sam Smith – Stay With Me
Sigma – Nobody to Love

Who should win: We desperately want to say that Charli XCX should win a Brit this year but the ‘Boom Clap’ video was shit so we’re picking ‘Uptown Funk’, which is a total masterpiece.

Who will win: This is another ‘leave it to the fans while we concentrate on the proper categories’ job – the winner will be “identified during live social vote during TV broadcast on 25th February”, but the vote’s already taking place with the aim of whittling down the shortlist. For this reason we’d suggest a three horse race involving One Direction, Ed Sheeran and maybe Rita Ora, with One Direction’s video winning due to pier pressure. (Actually looking at that voting page, is it already in order of who’s getting the most votes? If it is, One Direction are already winning.)

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST

Beck
Hozier
Jack White
John Legend
Pharrell Williams

Who should win: We’ll be happy with anyone except Jack White. Anyone. Even Beck.

Who will win: Pharrell.

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST

Beyoncé
Lana Del Rey
Sia
St Vincent
Taylor Swift

Who should win: This is the best shortlist of the lot. Taylor Swift to win.

Who will win: Taylor Swift.

INTERNATIONAL GROUP

5 Seconds of Summer
The Black Keys
First Aid Kit
Foo Fighters
The War On Drugs

Who should win: In terms of the act whose album we’d happily sit through again this’ll have to be 5 Seconds Of Summer, but we reckon they’ll probably be more deserving of a win in 2017.

Who will win: People who vote for the Brits are the sort of people who like Foo Fighters, aren’t they?

GLOBAL SUCCESS AWARD

(No shortlist here – this one’s announced on the night.)

Who should win: Charli XCX. Come on you fuckers, show some respect to the planet’s greatest popstar.

Who will win: Is it cynical to think of this as the ‘sorry you didn’t win enough other awards’ award? Basically if Sam Smith sweeps the board Ed Sheeran will get it, and if Ed Sheeran gets everything else then Sam Smith will win. And they’ve both achieved a huge amount of global success so fair play etc.

BRITISH PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Alison Goldfrapp & Will Gregory
Flood
Jake Gosling
Paul Epworth

Who should win: Eppo.

Who will win: Only four nominees here which seems a bit rude. Jake Gosling will win, presumably.

CRITICS’ CHOICE

James Bay
George The Poet
Years & Years

Who should have won: Years & Years, who should also win every single category next year for this song alone.

Who did win: James Bay – a sober reminder that the influence of Fearne Cotton should never be underestimated.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that.

Bookmark this page and come back on the night of the Brits to see how we did, but be quick because we’re definitely going to come back and change all our predictions so that it looks like we knew what we were talking about.

And if you’re a popstar and you don’t win, don’t worry – the award this year is totally revolting and will look ridiculous on your mantelpiece.

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Nine slightly less aggro tweets from Kelly Clarkson fans who’ve now heard the new single http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/nine-slightly-less-aggro-tweets-from-kelly-clarkson-fans-whove-now-heard-the-new-single/133763/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/nine-slightly-less-aggro-tweets-from-kelly-clarkson-fans-whove-now-heard-the-new-single/133763/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 15:33:08 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133763 Kelly ClarksonOn Friday, we ran ‘Ten slightly passive aggressive tweets from Kelly Clarkson fans awaiting a song snippet’, a post assessing the hysteria, sorrow and anger surrounding an hour-late Kelly Clarkson song clip.

Fans had been invited by Kelly to share details of forthcoming single ‘Heartbeat Song’, but even though they’d met their target within the required time, the song clip was nowhere to be seen.

Things got pretty ugly, albeit in a polite Kelly Clarkson fan sort of way. But once the song eventually appeared, how did those fans change their tune?

Let’s find out. (There are only nine tweets here because we included one fan twice.)

1. “DIVINE LISTENING”

On Friday, @KCFColombia had been disappointed by the lack of professionalism shown by Kelly’s team. “Next time we hope for the team to be more accurate,” they noted.

Their reaction when it appeared:

That’s three hearts there –  a decent response.

2. QUOTING LYRICS HAS TO BE A GOOD THING

During those dark hours when a teaser clip seemed increasingly unlikely and doubts began to form regarding Kelly Clarkson’s very existence, @JusticeGrande noted that she was “just gonna wait patiently”. There was an aggressive, some might say murderous subtext to that tweet.

When the song appeared?

We’d say that’s a positive reaction.

3. BEHIND THESE RAVIOLIS

@Joseph_Riz was annoyed that waiting for the clip to appear was interfering with his studies.

Within a matter of days, those woes had been forgotten, as Joseph acknowledged via a photograph of some pasta.

Some worryingly uneven mushroom distribution there Joseph – please pay more attention to this in future.

4. 10x PLAYS = CAUTIOUS THUMBS UP

On Friday afternoon, @KellyClarksonAl was very annoyed that Kelly’s social media team didn’t have a YouTube clip uploaded and set to private in anticipation of the big reveal.

Within days, they were able to overlook the pain they once felt.

5. STILL ANGRY

On Friday, @Vickyweaver7 was waiting impatiently.

She’s since heard the clip, but she’s still waiting.

6. THAT $0.0003 SPOTIFY PAYOUT IS IN THE BAG

On Friday, @mvgomez20 was getting twitchy. “Watch them be like ‘y’all didn’t share enough,” he wrote.

Something tells us he didn’t have to worry about Kelly’s play counts.

7. “KELLY IS BACK”

On Friday, as the minutes turned to hours, music blogger @josepvinaixa tweeted Kelly to tell her she’d forgotten to set her alarm clock. Here at Popjustice we think Josep crossed a line there, and brought journalism into disrepute for almost forty minutes, but we understand that it’s easy to become hot-headed when you’re refreshing a VEVO page every three seconds.

Anyway, Josep was able to overlook his troubles by the time the full stream rolled around.

8. THE FINAL STRAW

On Friday, it looked like @rileylange had finally had enough of Kelly’s arsing around. Here’s his original tweet:

He may well have had enough: after the song appeared, Riley didn’t mention it once. (Give it a spin, Lango, it’s quite good.)

9. WHAT A RELIEF

Finally on Friday, tweet-embedding content provider Popjustice was feeling hungry, and asked Kelly if there was time to go and buy a Twix before the song appeared.

When the song did indeed appear?

What have we learned?

Fans don’t like being dicked around, but at the same time they’re not really that bothered if the song they’ve been waiting for turns out to be half amazing.

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Ten slightly passive aggressive tweets from Kelly Clarkson fans awaiting a song snippet http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/ten-slightly-passive-aggressive-tweets-from-kelly-clarkson-fans-awaiting-a-song-snippet/133684/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/ten-slightly-passive-aggressive-tweets-from-kelly-clarkson-fans-awaiting-a-song-snippet/133684/#comments Fri, 09 Jan 2015 17:18:25 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133684 A bit of Kelly Clarkson’s new single ‘Heartbeat Song’ was supposed to go online today at 10am CT (4pm UK time).

By 5pm, it had not appeared.

1. NOT ANGRY, JUST DISAPPOINTED

2. OK I’M JUST GONNA TWEET PASSIVE AGGRESSIVELY

3. BECAUSE OF YOU

4. I’VE SEEN ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT TO KNOW HOW IT WORKS

5. LET’S APPEAL TO THE GENEROSITY OF A MAJOR LABEL SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM

6. GETTING A BIT ANGRY NOW TO BE HONEST

7. I UNDERSTAND THE PRESSURES FACING A MOTHER WITH A YOUNG CHILD. BUT EVEN SO

8. MY LIFE WILL SUCK WITHOUT YOU(R TEASER CLIP)

9. OOH – TOPICAL

10. FEELING A BIT HUNGRY

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POLL: Why do you hate Rita Ora? http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/poll-why-do-you-hate-rita-ora/133621/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/poll-why-do-you-hate-rita-ora/133621/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 18:05:49 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133621 Rita ora

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Which artist will get everything right in 2015? http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/which-artist-will-get-everything-right-in-2015/133536/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/which-artist-will-get-everything-right-in-2015/133536/#comments Thu, 01 Jan 2015 14:44:24 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133536 imperial

The imperial phase is that period in an artist’s career when everything’s completely brilliant.

The imperial phase of someone’s career is a bit like an amazing post-chorus in an amazing song: you think you’ve got the general idea of what’s happening, but then things shift up a gear and become truly immense.

About 25 years ago, when Neil Tennant coined the term, he reckoned that Pet Shop Boys’ own imperial phase ran from June 1987 to April 1988. Less than a year, but ten months in which the band scored three Number One singles and released ‘Actually’, a 4m-selling album.

Unusually, given that most artists refuse to admit (or admit they’ve admitted) when things start to wobble, Neil also acknowledged the point when the band’s imperial phase was over: a few months later, when the first single from the band’s next album, ‘Introspective’, missed the Top 5. ‘Introspective’ was brilliant, the album after that was better than ‘Actually’ and the album after that gave Pet Shop Boys their first ever UK Number One, but the imperial phase was long gone.

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing an act enter its imperial phase: that period in their career when somehow, through luck or judgement or a hefty amount of both, they just get everything right, and the world reacts accordingly.

We’re talking about Lady Gaga during the ‘Fame Monster’, Girls Aloud’s ‘Chemistry’ winning streak, Madonna for an unusually long stretch of the 1980s, that sort of thing.

2014’s imperial acts

swiftandsheeran

Last year two acts – Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift – entered their respective imperial phases. You could say Sia and Beyoncé both touched on it too, but Taylor and Ed really romped through the year in the most spectacular fashion.

Ed and Taylor were mates with each other. They both released singles in the summer and albums in the winter. They both embraced digital album release campaigns in an effortless and reflexive way; one supported streaming and broke Wembley Stadium’s ticket sales record while the other gave streaming a swerve and broke US album sales records.

They presumably both had high hopes for their new albums. But nobody could have predicted quite how well things eventually went. Tellingly, neither of these two superstars appeared from nowhere – they were already world famous, platinum-selling artists at the beginning of 2014.

And that’s the thing with imperial phases: they tend not to happen during an act’s first album campaign. There’s a sense of momentum to to an imperial phase. Most artists hope to release albums that give them a step up; when an act is in its imperial phase, their album release is more like an entire staircase.

2015’s imperial artists?

lorde-bbc-thing

The exciting thing about the need for momentum is that while there’ll surely be some exciting new arrivals over the next twelve months, any artist entering their imperial phase in 2015 will probably not be a fresh act we haven’t heard of.

It’ll be an act that’s already walking among us. We might already think they’re pretty great – just like we thought Taylor Swift was pretty great at the start of 2014 – but we have no idea how great they’re going to become.

This act might already have recorded the album that’ll be the centrepiece of their imperial phase. Most importantly, they’ve probably already recorded the single that’ll kickstart the whole thing.

Maybe, while they were recording that music and hatching their first ideas about how to promote it, or what the artwork would look like, or what should happen in the first video, the artist found that the decisions were incredibly and quite surprisingly easy to make. They found that the creativity was flowing in an unusually free way. Maybe they didn’t remember things being so easy last time, or the time before. Something, they maybe thought, had changed.

When an act’s in its imperial phase they make everything look incredibly easy, and a lot of the time that’s because the planets have aligned and everything somehow is genuinely easy.

The popstar has have achieved a higher sense of pop consciousness.

They are Neo.

So who could get everything right in 2015?

Well it won’t be a Cheryl or a Britney or a Gwen Stefani or a Madonna or any of that lot.

In creative terms Charli XCX is probably in the right kind of zone at the moment, but ‘Sucker’ doesn’t represent a true imperial phase and her next album’s not likely to come until 2016, so it won’t be her either. Marina looked like she had the potential to enter an imperial phase, but we’re not convinced the ‘FROOT’ campaign to date has laid appropriately robust foundations.

So. Lorde could do it, Sky Ferreira could do it. Adele, Emeli Sandé, Ellie Goulding, Leona; they could each do it. Could an FKA Twigs or a Grimes pull something out of the hat? If Ed Sheeran proved anything in 2014 it was that you can never quite predict which popstars are on the verge of being brilliant.

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Pop Entity Of The Year 2014 http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/pop-entity-of-the-year-2014/133531/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/pop-entity-of-the-year-2014/133531/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 19:22:55 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133531 POP-ENTITY

We had a big post planned for this. A big explanation of why how and why the Popjustice Pop Entity Of 2014 was so amazing, going into all the various different aspects of their amazingness, pulling it all apart then putting it all back together again.

We knew that our Pop Entity Of 2014 would seem, to some, like a strange choice, and we knew that the Pop Entity we’d chosen had been less prolific – and less successful – in 2014 than artists who’d arguably conquered the year. But we also knew we could explain exactly what was so great about not just the Pop Entity itself, but what it represented and why it was important.

Unfortunately, and there’s no easy way to say this, we got really pissed this afternoon and can barely string a sentence together, so we’ll just say the name and leave it there. In a way it works as well with no explanation as it would have done with a 1200-word one, so not to worry.

Anyway.

The 2014 Popjustice Pop Entity Of The Year is…

Troye Sivan.

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2014 A-Z: Z is for ZOOMING AROUND IN A CAR BECAUSE YOU’RE DAVID GUETTA http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/2014-a-z-z-is-for-zooming-around-in-a-car-because-youre-david-guetta/133502/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/2014-a-z-z-is-for-zooming-around-in-a-car-because-youre-david-guetta/133502/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:00:12 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133502 pj_357

2014azPopjustice’s 2014 A-Z endurance test comes to a close now with one of our favourite videos of the year.

It’s hard to imagine who – apart from David Guetta – could have made this David Guetta video.

We think the ‘Dangerous’ video benefits from two things.

Firstly, it hinges on David Guetta taking himself quite seriously.

Secondly, it hinges on David Guetta knowing that deep down, he is completely ridiculous.

Pop’s always a better place when there are moments like this, and let’s hope there are plenty more in 2015.

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2014 A-Z: Y is for YOU GOT THAT JAMES, DEAN, DAY, DREAM, LOOK IN YOUR EYE http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/2014-a-z-y-is-for-you-got-that-james-dean-day-dream-look-in-your-eye/133371/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/2014-a-z-y-is-for-you-got-that-james-dean-day-dream-look-in-your-eye/133371/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133371 taylor swift

Taylor Swift’s ‘Style’ might not have been a single in 2014 but it was the song of 2014.

Do you remember life before ‘Style’? It’s hard to recall exactly how we went about our business before that song appeared. Well let us remind you: life was shit.

And now life is excellent.

Strange to think that the first time most people heard this tune was in a crap commercial. But there it is. Pure art, pure commerce, blah blah blah.

Anyway when ‘Style’ is released as a single in 2015, we would like the video to be this:

1. Point of view shot. Someone’s in bed, they open their laptop and click play on a video.
2. Home video footage of Taylor being happy in a relationship. Frolicking, romantic dinners, that sort of thing. Lots of smiling at / kisses blown to whoever’s filming the video. Various footage of Taylor being ‘goofy’ and ‘relatable’ but also footage of Taylor arguing over stupid things like whose turn it is to take the bins out.
3. Song ends. “That’s a fairly shit video” you think. BUT NO. Cut to reveal the person who’s been watching the romantic video…
4. IT’S HARRY STYLES. Actual Harry Styles. Not someone who just looks like Harry Styles. In 2015 Taylor has persuaded Proper Harry Styles to be in the video for a song about Harry Styles.
5. Harry sits there in bed with his laptop looking quite pensive.
6. Camera pulls out – HE’S IN BED NEXT TO TAYLOR SWIFT! They’re still together. They never went out of style.
7. Camera pulls out a bit more – HARRY AND TAYLOR ARE IN BED WITH ED SHEERAN!

Send all the awards to the usual address. Cheers!

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2014 A-Z: X is for XCX http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/2014-a-z-x-is-for-xcx/133501/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/2014-a-z-x-is-for-xcx/133501/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=133501 2014az

Charli XCX is pretty good. Here are ten pretty good things she did in 2014.

I. The ‘Fancy’ chorus
The best bit is the second chorus where it goes into the “trash the hotel, let’s get drunk on the mini bar” bit.

The song’s heading for half a billion views on YouTube.

II. ‘Boom Clap’
A superlative pop banger and Charli’s first US solo hit, in which she found a way to combine the best bits of ‘True Romance’ with the best bits of ‘Superlove’ in a way that meant none of those best bits cancelled each other out.

III. A great interview with UK-based music website ‘Pop Justice’
So Charli did a really good interview with us in which she talked about all manner of things but didn’t fall into our trap of talking about working on something for Rihanna even though it later turned out that she had. This interview for TIME was good as well.

IV. ‘Octahate’
During 2014, Charli tweeted about a song she’d done for Ryn Weaver. ‘Octahate’ was extremely good, and became an instant ‘internet hit’, whatever that means in the real world.

Charli should probably use her powers to help launch another new act in 2015. IMAGINE A GIRLBAND. Speaking of which…

V. That song on the Neon Jungle album
‘So Alive’ was rather a lot better than you’d expect a Neon Jungle album track to be.

VI. The ‘I Need Your Love’ piano-based knee-drop thing on Letterman.

Charli drops down and carries on singing. The rest of us would at least go “fucking hell my knees”. This is the difference between a popstar and a normal human being.

VII. The pop concert at Heaven in London
We’ve seen Charli a few times ‘over the years’ but as we said in C IS FOR CHARLI her Heaven show was the first time we saw her being properly incredible.

You will probably see various reports of Charli being the ‘surprise hit’ at festivals over the summer of 2015. But you will not be surprised, because you read about it on December 31 2014.

VIII. Not a punk album
As she discussed in our interview, Charli went off to Sweden and made a punk album, but she didn’t release it and for that we are truly, eternally grateful, and by ‘eternally’ we mean until the day she chucks it online as a surprise gift to fans. On that day all gratitude and goodwill toward Charli will be suspended for a strict seven-day period.

IX. The ‘Break The Rules’ video 

X. Some people seem to like the other song she did for Iggy so here’s that as well

Anyway: Charli XCX was properly excellent in 2014 and while we admit this post tailed off a bit near the end at least we didn’t just use the word ‘excxellent’, so give us that at least.

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