Which decade is Tops for Pops? – the results: 3rd place.

3rd place – The 2000s. (31 points)

2007: 2nd place, 32 points.
2006: Equal 4th place, 21 points.
2005: 4th place, 27 points.
2004: 5th place, 26 points.
2003: 4th place, 27 points.

10. A&E – Goldfrapp. 5 points, most popular.
9. I Thought It Was Over – The Feeling. 2 points.
8. Work – Kelly Rowland. 2 points.
7. What’s It Gonna Be – H “two” O featuring Platnum. 2 points, least popular.
6. Don’t Stop The Music – Rihanna. 4 points (tied position).
5. Chasing Pavements – Adele. 3 points.
4. Sun Goes Down – David Jordan. 3 points.
3. Now You’re Gone – Basshunter. 3 points.
2. Rockstar – Nickelback. 3 points.
1. Mercy – Duffy. 4 points.

wd2008Ah. And this, folks, is where my “dropping a generation” theory runs into choppy waters. For what do we have here, but precisely the sort of retro-flavoured, adult-friendly, “quality” tunes that are bound to find favour with my dominant voting demographic, hence this eminently respectable third placing?

For here are Adele – the anointed successor to Amy Winehouse – and her anointed successor (for doesn’t Adele-mania already seem like months ago?), “don’t call me Aimee” Duffy, both delivering solid, bankable (if precocious) evocations of classic songwriting styles. And here are The Feeling, still ploughing the Guilty Pleasures 1970s soft-rocking furrow (and at the time of writing, The Feeling are a few minutes away from appearing on a prime time ITV1 show of the same name, with their “ironic” cover of Buggles’ Video Killed The Radio Star).

And speaking of Trevor Horn: here’s the reliable old master back in action, producing a tune from David Jordan which could have existed at any time during the last 20 years or so. Oh, and there’s Nickelback, with their quite extraordinarily retrograde Mezozoic Era “rawk” (featuring a special guest appearance from one of the beardy blokes in ZZ Top), and there’s Kelly Rowland, working that tired old Bhangra Knight Rider sample from five years ago… you get the picture? (Yes, we see.)

Meanwhile, when Ver Kids do get a look-in, with the utterly splendid What’s It Gonna Be, you lot only go and give it the lowest average mark of anything in the 2008 Top Ten! What are we going to do with you, eh? Well, at least we all achieved some sort of cross-generational consensus with Rihanna, so let us be grateful for that.

So, I’m a little conflicted here. Delighted that the 2000s have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, especially after the humilations of Years One to Four – but a little saddened that they have done so by coming over all fuddy-duddy in the process. But mostly, I’m pleased that popular culture isn’t on an irreversible one-way journey to hell in a handcart after all….

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