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Madelaine Williams profile image Madelaine Williams

Revisiting Recession Pop

Party Rockers are back in the house this year (not that some of us ever really left)

Revisiting Recession Pop

As we entered 2024 it was determined that the Clean Girl aesthetic was dead. Indie sleaze/grungey eyes/shower makeup (and various other terms scattered around the internet used to describe intentionally messy styles) are supposedly on the verge of their Big Comeback and I, for one, am absolutely ecstatic. Smudge your eyeliner, turn up your ‘#yolo’ playlist and buy some shutter glasses - party rocking is back in the house. Along with these trends making an aesthetic comeback, I am thrilled to speculate this may also see the return of Recession Pop.

‘Recession Pop’ is a term widely used to describe pop music from 2007 - 2011 that mostly covered themes of going out, partying, “feeling fly like a G6” etc. (Nothing screamed the Global Financial Crash more than a communal “wooohooo” after reassured you that “tonight’s gonna be a good night”.) This era also saw the emergence of several pop icons - from Lady Gaga to Nicki Minaj - and the release of Classic Recession Pop tracks that are now forever ingrained into pop culture, such as ‘Boom Boom Pow’. (This time period also introduced the world to the fever dream of uncle-nephew duo LMFAO, who are arguably deserving of their own article.)

So why is now the time for a Recession Pop Revival? Simply put; if we are going to collectively reclaim the party aesthetic, it’d be a shame not to give it a matching soundtrack. 

In my initial thoughts on this from January, I stated “It’d also be unfair not to acknowledge ‘Saltburn’ in this (the power of Sync strikes again!) as its soundtrack is jam-packed with late 00s bangers (reflective of the film being set in 2006) and has seen tracks from this time find new chart success because of it. Although the stand-out track from ‘Saltburn’ - ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ - pre-dates 2007, the overall sentiment of “you better not kill the groove” and the track’s danceability gives it a free pass to be involved in the Recession Pop Revival.”

Although the Saltburn hype has very much died down (and that whole paragraph screams January 2024), this year has already seen similar track ‘rebirths’, like Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Unwritten’, which charted again this year nearly 20 years after its release. 

Natasha Bedingfield talks Unwritten’s Anyone But You chart resurgence
You know how it goes. For nearly 20 years, Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten has been a British pop institution, one of those tracks that no matter when or where you were born, the song has been subsumed into your very bones.

I can’t quite predict if the rest of the year will see a new wave of Recession Pop, or just a resurgence in Classic Recession Bangers (a la ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ or ‘Unwritten’). Either way, as a self-proclaimed Recession Pop Enthusiast, I am here for it.

Timbaland, Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake reunited last year to release their brand new (albeit rather forgettable) track ‘Keep Going Up’ which, although was somewhat of a disappointment, is surely an indicator that the 00s Pop Gods are ready for a nostalgia-fuelled comeback? Since then I’ve spotted Lady Gaga has been in the studio, FloRida has released a remix of ‘Low’ and Cascada has just finished a tour. We mustn’t forget that Black Eyed Peas embarked on their (Fergie-less) Elevation tour in 2023, and have a string of live dates remaining for this year. Despite their last two ‘flop’ albums, I hold out hope that could whip out at least one more 00s-esque anthem before the Black Eyed Peas disappear into the musical void again. 

Black Eyed Peas

I’m not entirely sure why I feel such a strong affinity with late 00s dance pop (and fear this could be a separate article in itself). All I know is whether I’m getting ready to go out or go to work, I will be listening to my ‘Party Mix’ and you can guarantee there will be some form of 2000s “untz untz” or Black Eyed Peas in my ears. has become as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth. Despite personal preference, I do believe this has become a wider trend and can only see it growing this year. 

Having said all of this, who knows if Recession Pop will have its big comeback this year (if ever)? This is just my personal prediction, and I’m no Mystic Meg (RIP). Regardless, I’m sure there’s a handful of us who can be found shuffling everyday or deeming the world “2000 and late”. #RecessionPop4eva.

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Madelaine Williams profile image Madelaine Williams