[11] Charli XCX, ‘Boom Clap’

charli-xcx-2014

Junior thinks this is Katy Perry, but all three of them know all the words.

And that’s Charli XCX in a nutshell. Thank you.

(Other than that, simple but hugely effective pop song – with an onomatopoeic but also self-fulfilling title/chorus that Junior appreciates (“It’s like, ‘BOOM! CLAP!'”) – sulked out by someone who doesn’t appear to play the game, hence relative lack of recognition, but who might end up at its top. Kind of startling that a blogstar’s breaking through. Come back in 2015 for a trio of No.1 singles from Jai Paul.)

Advertisements

[19] Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, ‘Fancy’

iggy-charli-2014

I’ve got a bit of a love/hate relationship with this one. Clearly it’s as irritating as a mohair codpiece but, more beneficially, it slams you up against the wall with the full force of its stark bullishness. Iggy crunks, jerks, drawls and brags while Charli XCX comes up with another undeniable nursery rhyme chorus, and we all go home a little shaken.

The girls over here are trying to place who it is. “Katy Perry,” says the four-year-old. “Is the rap will.i.am?” asks Junior. I’ve no idea what’s going on there. “Oh, she says Iggy in that other song,” she adds. Anyway, they all agree it’s “good” and perfectly fine for a dad to have it on his iPod. I mean, I wasn’t worried about that but you know how snobbish these kids get.

[14] Katy Perry, ‘Roar’

2013-katy-perry

“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.

[3] Junior Boys, ‘Banana Ripple’

Junior Boys

Now I love a nine-minute record that doesn’t waste a second as much as the next man, so no doubt we’re all delighted to see this has placed so high. My wife says it’s very me, by which I’m sure she means it’s funky, addictive and a joy to have around the house rather than over-polite, unsexy and called Jeremy.

Jeremy Greenspan isn’t a very rock’n’roll name, is it? Further evidence from Junior: “I don’t like the singing. It’s not rock’n’roll like ‘Firework’.” Well, nothing’s as rawk as Katy Perry. Not even P!nk. Junior’s in the mood to examine this record, dismissing a banana ripple for more foodstuff-based suggestions: “What about one potato, two potato? You rip the skin off them too.” There’s, um, food for thought for Junior Boys’ fifth album.

In the end I catch her doing a strutting hip dance – moving like Jagger once more – in secret. That’s Junior Boys really, dance music to be enjoyed in private.

[8] Polock, ‘Fireworks’

Polock

We pooled our knowledge for this one: “They’re from Spain.” “Spain is a very long time.” Getting a bit meta, Junior then sings Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ over the top and claims Polock’s “one, two, three, four, five” is from a song by a girl about “daydreaming”. So far we don’t think she means Kid Sister, Aretha or Massive Attack.

When she eventually gets to hear Phoenix, she’s going to think they’re Polock’s Gallic shrug, a Versailles knock-off of a Valencia original, because – in the most generous terms – they’re peas in a pod. ‘Fireworks’ is Phoenix distilled into one song, melody coursing through every guitar strum, synth wash and bass drop, the production swaddled in that warm, 70s, AOR blanket. If it wasn’t for Papu Sebastián’s Spanish accent, well, you know now. But the tune is so glorious, you can put it all down to shared musical loves.

In the end, ‘Fireworks” sunny rush has Juniors 1, 2 and 3 premiering an audacious mash-up of the Hokey-Cokey and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.