The best pop singles of 2003

By REBECCA BARRY


Scribe, Stand Up/Not Many

Aggressive, charismatic and undeniably cool, it's the rallying cry to local hip-hop set against chunky rock guitars. On the flipside it's a self-touting challenge you know the words to. Hey presto, hip-hop is the new pop.

Carly Binding, We Kissed

Sweet and innocent tales of a couple's first peck don't always work but this does, thanks to a solid melody and a mature, folksy hook. Not bad for something TrueBliss used to sing.

Kylie Minogue, Slow

Just when you thought the 80s revival was on its last legs, Kylie gets hot and breathy over some hypnotic, electro beats. Not exactly a dancefloor smash but a helluva lot sexier than Spinning Around ... and a good excuse for her to revisit the fishnets.

Coldplay, Clocks

That dreamy piano arpeggio was the line everyone tried to learn this year, while howling pensively a la Chris Martin. An earnest but voluminous epic that sends a shiver down the spine and a rush of blood to the head.

T.a.T.u, All the Things She Said

Think Baby One More Time spliced with Dirrty and you have the biggest one-hit wonder of the year. When these obnoxious, school-uniformed Russian maybe-lesbians poured their squirrelly hearts out over a repetitive dance beat you can't deny it worked.

Justin Timberlake, Rock Your Body

In what could arguably be called the King of Pop's worst hour - that's Michael Jackson we mean - it's comforting to know there's a former Mickey Mouse Clubber nipping at his heels. And with the help of Timbaland and the Neptunes, he delivered one of this year's biggest club anthems.

Beyonce featuring Jay-Z, Crazy In Love

Rollicking R&B-funk and a Chi-Lites horn sample made this one of the most infectious hits of the year, with the Destiny's Child frontwoman proving she could drop both her band and her surname and still be a star. Best listened to with video.

Outkast, Hey Ya!

Like Little Richard over a dinky Abbey Road arrangement, this booty-poppin' production - and the line "Shake it like a Polaroid picture" - is perhaps the silliest but most memorable idea this year.

Pink, Trouble

Pink really got her punk on when she teamed up with Rancid's Tim Armstrong and came up with this rip-roaring, guitar-led and catchy hit. If there's anyone in line for Madonna's throne it ain't Britney.

Eminem, Lose Yourself

For someone who made a name for his controversial lyrics, the haunting lead single from Slim Shady's autobiographical film 8 Mile seems more motivational mantra than comic alter ego. But it was that spiky guitar lick and a whimsical piano counter-melody that made his line of defence clear: "Success is my only [expletive] option, failure's not." Here, here.


Herald Feature: 2003: Year in review

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