[17] Jamelia, ‘Thank You’


“I didn’t like it,” was Junior’s considered response, “But I do like this.” “This” was the new Bat For Lashes album.

Poor Jamelia. Junior wasn’t interested because she was enjoying the rare treat of a bowl of Honey Nut Loops, but Jamelia’s used to the cold shoulder. A weary example of the British music industry’s failure to support black female artists – unless, like Estelle, they’ve had a snazzy US makeover – she’s currently nose to the grindstone on her fourth album without the luxury of a record contract. Our Jam jumped ship from Parlophone (or was she pushed?) when the splendid Walk With Me puzzlingly failed to shift the units it deserved. Hey, maybe the public just doesn’t like her enough.

‘Thank You’ is the title track of her second album, back when she looked like a Superstar in the making. It’s a battered but defiant roar of self-assurance, set to a typically ambitious setting of bleeps and shimmers, and was a strong enough tune to stride to No.2. The thing is, it doesn’t always work like that.

Made me strong:

Band Aid/Band Aid 20, ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’

As a globally conscious 12-year-old, I spent my hard-won cash on the single like millions of others. I was struck by how much one of the Ethiopian children on the cover looked like Bob Geldof. Yesterday morning, Junior was subjected to the original and the recent remake – she was lucky that I couldn’t find the awful Stock Aitken Waterman version, or I would’ve carried out my threat to play one a day ‘til Christmas.

I’m one of the few who admits to liking the 1984 song. I’m one of the even fewer who can see value in 2004’s edition. I like Thom Yorke’s piano. The Darkness guitars are dreadful, though, and it goes on way too long. Also, don’t we get proper heavyweight pop stars any more? There’s hardly anyone on the later record to compete in terms of fame, glamour, ego and interest with the likes of Simon Le Bon, George Michael, Boy George, even Sting. I bet Status Quo weren’t plying Will Young and Jamelia with Class A drugs.

Junior can’t see what any of the fuss is about. She manages to laugh near the Dizzee Rascal bit, and I can see her wondering who Glenn Gregory is. Or was.