Icona Pop had a decent run at the top of the PJ Almighty, but now it is time to reassess who's been doing what in the sphere of popular song. And the new PJ Almighty looks like this:
1. Katy Perry
We were already quite excited about Katy Perry's forthcoming new album — it feels like the sort of big release that will rely more on the quality of the tunes than the clutter and noise that tends to surround some other major pop releases — but the sudden appearance of the 'Prism' funbus was a great move. Admittedly a MASSIVE GOLD TRUCK is a bit cluttery, but it's simultaneously audacious and enigmatic in the way most brilliant popstars tend to be. Let's just hope 'Prism' doesn't hint at the worst musical direction any major pop artiste could possibly take in the year 2013.
For many years there was only room for one Sophie in pop, but that double-surnamed Sophie is not making the most of this simple pop principle so we turn our attentions instead to a Sophie that comes without any surname at all. We heard Zane Lowe play Sophie's current song 'Bipp' on the radio last night but if we had been paying closer attention to Pitchfork (don't let these reference points put you off) and Dazed we might already have known that the song in question is a fantastically fresh-sounding and lightly demented pop gem.
3. Monsieur Adi
As we mentioned last week, Monsieur Adi's new track with A*M*E…
…is pretty great, but we think this and even his recent mixes for people like Beyoncé and Mikky Ekko only hint at what might be up his sleeve for the next twelve to eighteen months. On the strength of his recent output and the flashes of amazingness in his older work [iTunes] we don't think production work for big-name popstars is an unreasonable expectation, and if the A*M*E song leads to further collaborations he'll have a pretty sharp artist album of his own by next summer.
4. Bonnie McKee
It's the rare songwriter-turned-popstar whose own material achieves the commercial success of songs that have propelled other artists into the Top 10, and it's hard to predict whether Bonnie McKee's 'popstar persona' will hit the right note with the pop-buying public, but 'American Girl' remains a triumph and we're excited for the album.
"I was raised by the television" is a good line isn't it. We can't figure out whether it's satire or celebration or both or neither. It's almost like what Marina was going for with the whole Electra Heart persona except marginally more successful due to the fact that Bonnie is actually American.
We've been listening to their EP loads over the last month or so…
…and there's an album due in October, so that's nice.
666. Jahmene Douglas
You're always on thin ice when criticising the music-purchasing habits of The Public, but what sort of message does it really send out when an album as relentlessly piss-poor as Jahmene's gets to Number One? Well, the message is this: "Please give us more shit. As much shit as we can take. Even when you think we can't take any more shit we'll keep on taking it. Bathe us in shit. Allow us to wallow in shit. Give us shit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pump shit at us while we sleep. WE LOVE SHIT." It's probably naive to think that if labels know that an album will sell regardless of its content, at least one person involved in its creation might pipe up and go, "if we're going to the bother of making and marketing this album, how about we make some of half-decent". But it really wouldn't have hurt to give it a go.