At 21 years of age, I wouldn’t consider myself old. But recently, as I’ve commenced the fourth year of my Arts degree, I’ve definitely begun to feel time catch up with me.
Being an Asian, I have a warped sense of age, because we comparatively look younger. As they say: “Asian don’t raisin”. So I’ll discover that someone at uni is only nineteen and have the shock of my life, because I assumed they were older than me. Likewise, I’ll have found an academic journal article on Google Scholar from 2006, think it’s a recent work, only to realise that it was written about twelve years ago.
And it’s the same with music too. I have a show on Radio Fodder, and we play the hits from our childhoods to relish in the nostalgia. Part of this song selection process is searching for the release dates of the music we want to play (we generally play songs that are at least ten years old). Seeing that some songs I vividly remember playing on the radio or the TV were dropped over a decade ago makes me realise that times does move quickly.
So buckle in for a wild tame (I’m old now) ride through my list of 8 Iconic Bops that are soon to be celebrating their ten year anniversaries in 2018.
- The Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name
Paying tribute to Toni Basil, The Ting Tings take inspiration from Mickey’s signature drum line and even emulate the white studio aesthetic of her 1981 music video.
The British duo’s highest charting single has an equally anthemic chorus, with lead vocalist Katie White’s vocal matching the staccato-y percussion in the song’s arrangement. Aside from the track’s title line “That’s not my name”, I don’t really have any clue what she’s singing, but that doesn’t mean That’s Not My Name isn’t damn fun to listen to.
While the song found middling success on the Billboard Hot 100, The Ting Ting’s third single reached the top spot on the UK Singles chart and peaked at 8 on the Australia.
- Natasha Bedingfield – Pocketful of Sunshine
Okay, sure. The music video for Pocketful of Sunshine hasn’t aged well, with odd parachute green screen moments and awful CGI butterflies. But this song is just one of those easy breezy, feel good tunes that instantly puts you in a better mood. It was just made to feature in every comedy movie and TV show from the late ‘00s.
On the track’s vocal, Bedingfield shows off her versatility, demonstrating dexterity on the song’s rapid fire hook, and balancing this by belting out some soaring high notes. Queen of vocals. The song fared well on the charts too, matching the success of her mega hit Unwritten by reaching the fifth spot on Billboard Hot 100.
- Kelly Rowland – Work
I’m not going to lie, I kind of forgot this song existed and only rediscovered it while researching for this post. Which is a shame, because it’s a certified bop. Perhaps the former Destiny’s Child member is destined to live in the shadow of ex-bandmate Beyoncé.
While Work may not have stood the test of time, when compared to her other hits like Dilemma and When Love Takes Over, I remember hearing it everywhere in 2008. The almost Bollywood feel to the funkylicious arrangement gives me flashbacks to dancing in my bedroom to this song on repeat.
The Freemasons radio edit of Work performed quite well in Australia and the U.K., reaching a peak of position of 6 and 4 on the ARIA and UK Singles charts, respectively.
- Beyoncé – Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
The second single from Queen Bey’s album I Am… Sasha Fierce cemented her position as a true music icon. Everything from the song’s relentless rhythm to the stupidly awesome choreography in the music video just works perfectly.
It also has a lot of cultural significance. Aside from being an anthem for all the single ladies out there (put your hands up!), the song’s failure to win the award for Best Female Video at the VMAs sparked the ongoing feud between Kanye West and Taylor Swift, who won the award for You Belong With Me.
Single Ladies earned Beyoncé the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and found its way to number 5 on the ARIA charts and 7 on the U.K. Singles charts. Rolling Stone also named Single Ladies the number 1 song of that year.
- Nicole Scherzinger & Her Backups The Pussycat Dolls – When I Grow Up
Hi, I’m Trent. I have an addiction to girl groups.
When PCD came onto the scene, dropping singles like Buttons, Beep and Don’t Cha, I knew I had found a new girl group to obsess over. Then when they came out with their second studio album Doll Domination and released When I Grow Up as the lead single, they gave me everything I needed as a young gay.
The track was a worldwide hit, entering the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the top 5 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the U.K.
- The Veronicas – Take Me on the Floor
The only Aussie entrant on this countdown, The Veronicas completed their hat trick of bops from their sophomore album following up bangers Hook Me Up and Untouched with the dance masterpiece that is Take Me on the Floor. Each time I listen to this song, I lose my mind when the beat kicks in on the first chorus, and my heart skips a beat when they fake us out at the end of the bridge.
While the song failed to make a huge impact overseas, Jess and Lisa managed to get the song in the Top 10 on the ARIA charts, with Take Me on the Floor reaching number 7 in Australia.
- Britney Spears – Circus
When creating this list, I struggled for the longest time to pick which Britney single from that year to include on my countdown. However, after much deliberation, I decided that Circus ever so slightly edges out Womanizer as my favourite 2008 Britbrit single.
Yes, this song is a timeless bop. Yes, I immensely enjoy getting down and dirty to this bop on the d floor. But what catapulted this song up my rankings is the music video. It is the definition of extra. I’m talking elephants, pyro, choreo, an extended Bulgari product placement, about five different costumes, and even a sneaky plug for her own perfume.
Although the song didn’t have the same chart success as Womanizer, which topped the Billboard Hot 100, Circus still managed to peak at number 3 in the U.S.
- Mariah Carey – Touch My Body
If there’s anyone else worthy of the award for Most Iconic Bop of 2008, I don’t know her.
I often joke that if I were to have an open casket at my funeral, I would like Touch My Body to be played. But, like, I’m only half joking… That’s how much this song means to me. A combination of the song’s overtly sexual lyrics, Mariah’s breathy vocal delivery and acrobatic runs and ad libs makes Touch My Body a staple on my karaoke set list.
It’s clear that Australians don’t know a pop masterpiece when they hear it, given that Touch My Body only reached 17 on the ARIA charts (robbed, I tell you! ROBBED!). However, Mariah ascended to her rightful spot at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, earning her an eighteenth chart topper and cementing her place as the female singer with the most number one singles in the U.S. of all time.