[9] Kings Of Leon, ‘The Bucket’

Kings Of Leon

How did these Southern varmints become the biggest band in the world (hell, near enough)? That was going to be rhetorical, but I’m saying – by taking their rough-edged, tighter-than-a-Liverpool-winning-margin, down-home rock and polishing away any abrasive corners, ditching the concise for the flabby and bunging in as many leadfooted power chords as a song can take without collapsing under a stadium-weight of tedium. And that’s an improvement, is it, record-buying public?

OK, ‘The Bucket’ is a sly step in that direction, but back in 2004 the good ol’ boys still had a few tricks: some speedy military drumming, a cheeky riff, a “woo” to announce their second-album return and some crazy guff about a “Japanese scream”. It’s just so much more interesting than ohhhhh-ohh-ohhh this sex is on fire. Nonsense shouldn’t be meaningful (man).

These are fine margins, of course, and Junior wasn’t having any of it. No matter how bang-on-the-beat her dad’s air-drumming was, she was in a big sulk and it was entrenched. I reckon girls prefer later Leon anyway. This is based on a straw poll of her mum.

I’ll swing my legs:

[15] De La Soul, ‘Eye Know’

De La Soul

3 Feet High & Rising, the soundtrack to a summer spent at Berkhamsted’s late, lamented outdoor swimming baths. A girl called Nova came over one afternoon and asked me what I was listening to – “De La Soul,” I said.  She was nonplussed and I didn’t pursue it.

Junior’s more hip to Mase, Pos and Trugoy – rocking with the best and putting in a brave effort to overbalance her highchair. We dotted around the album after this song, and ‘The Magic Number’ sent her loopy, but we’re here for ‘Eye Know’, where the magic number is two and Junior can wriggle with delight when she spots her favourite Steely Dan samples. She can only take them in small doses.

It’s a cutely formed little gem; the sweetest moment of De La Soul’s fresh take on hip hop. A fresh take fired, I suppose, by acid house and E and the Cold War thaw and Arsenal’s slaying of the Liverpool monster and the break-up of Microdisney and the first inklings of the demise of Thatcher – all fusing together to bring a new hippy era. Daisy this, daisy that.