[14] Katy Perry, ‘Roar’


“Yeah!” Junior’s a big fan of Katy Perry’s hackles-up anthem of defiance, and she and Junior 2 agree the best bit is the “rrrrooooAAAAR” – they have a looming, claws-out dance move for it too. So it’s the cartoonish element that works for them, although it’s all rather lurid.

The song’s a little trite even if you plug it into the backstory, but never underestimate the power of a large chorus. Perry, like Pink, is a bombastic 80s soft-rock singer disguised as a 21st century popstar. A Pat Benatar de nos jours, if we’re going to be a pseud about it, which we are. There’s nothing cool about this, never was, but production so polished you could do your hair in it is enough to suggest there is. Anyway, who cares when that “fiii-yah” burns like St Elmo’s? John Parr would be proud of this one.

[13] Gwen Stefani, ‘Cool’

Gwen’s hit us with annoying yet catchy singles all year, but this is the sweetest, the most sedate. It’s that age-old tale- boy and girl split up, boy meets other girl, boy and girl don’t have a problem with each other as long as neither has too much to drink one night, maybe. All set to an arrangement that would slip seamlessly onto the soundtrack of St Elmo’s Fire or The Breakfast Club. There’s a wistful look in Junior’s eyes, but it only says that breakfast is overdue.