[11] M.I.A., ‘Jimmy’

M.I.A., ‘Jimmy’

No.11 might be a bit high for this, but I also wanted to pay tribute to a sparkling album, Kala. It’s a flibbertigibbet of a record, magpie eyes on an array of styles, brimming with ideas, and ‘Jimmy’ is its catchy pop face.
Much has been made of M.I.A.’s careless politicising on this song – “Take me on a genocide tour, take me to Darfur” – which, while they lyrics are somewhat glib, is missing the point. Boney M are past masters at this, weaving outrageous tales of a priapic Russian monk into a disco storm, and by accident or not, ‘Jimmy’ does sound a lot like ‘Rasputin’. It also recalls ABBA’s ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ and hence Madonna’s ‘Hung Up’, with Bollywood strings (it’s a semi-cover of a Bollywood soundtrack tune about Jimmy Aaja, Disco Dancer!) creating an endless swirl around the dancing beats. Annoyingly contagious and infectiously vexing.
These strings have Junior twirling around too, with and without Dad. She holds a hand in the air, turning it around and around in apt style. The picture disc was a hit too, and she insisted on putting it on the turntable herself, superfly young DJ.
20-11 always feels a touch random, as if it doesn’t matter where each song is placed. 10-1 is more rigorous. Readers, it’s been a bit hectic, so take time to digest and ruminate. We’ll resume on Monday, December 17. Cheerio.

[9] Madonna, ‘Hung Up’

Her mum has played this many times, so Junior knows what to expect and she’s not precious about her ABBA samples. It has that gimmick where they fade out the treble and bring it back again, as if you’re leaving the party and coming back, and I can’t remember what the effect’s called. Daft Punk like it, and Kylie did it too because Daft Punk like it. It also has a ticking clock, like Gwen Stefani’s “tick tock”s and Kylie’s tick-tocking to ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’. Madonna is a magpie. No revelation there. 

Still, it’s a satisfying melting pot. 

Father and daughter exchange grimaces as we recall the contortionist leotard poses thrown in the video. Yes, yes, she looks good for 47 but, well, no. Considering her advanced years, though, the music’s more vital than much of the limp fare put out by pop stars half, maybe a third of her age. Mentioning no names. At this rate, they’ll get an advert at the head of the page. 

So, ‘Hung Up’. It’s an object lesson in turn-of-the-millennium disco pop house chicanery, that’ll do for Junior until Daft Punk is playing at her house.