[9] Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys, ‘Empire State Of Mind’

New York reminds me of Christmas anyway, possibly through seeing When Harry Met Sally a dozen too many times, so it feels right to eulogise this love letter right now. But is it a no-holds-barred tribute? Alicia Keys’ commanding, spine-tingling holler sounds like a throaty homage, but The Hov swings between wallowing in the neighbourhood and caution-poem acknowledgement of those who have fallen by the wayside. It adds bite – “Mommy took a bus trip/Now she got her bust out” – and intrigue – “Good girls gone bad/The city’s filled with them” – to a big, ballsy anthem.

As I cue ‘Empire…’ up, Junior asks, “Will it make my shoulders go funky?” Built around samples from The Moments and Isaac Hayes, I should say so. She bounds about, dangerously overexcited, and seems to know every word of Keys’ contribution – until she starts singing her Nativity song over the top, sampling anew. Anyway, this one couldn’t fail to move her; it’s a tune as massive as Alicia’s champion asset.

Don’t bite the apple, Eve:

[18] The Jesus And Mary Chain, ‘Some Candy Talking EP’

The Jesus And Mary Chain

We’ve been living with 21 Singles and Psychocandy for a few weeks now – the road to actually posting our No.18 is paved with good distractions – and strange things have been happening. It’s not that I keep playing ‘Some Candy Talking’ with the daily intention of writing about it; it’s that Junior keeps asking for it. Asking for The Jesus And Mary Chain in general. She can sing this and ‘Just Like Honey’ and ‘April Skies’. More tellingly, she claims never to have heard of Jesus, which suggests she’s going to be expecting huge chunks of surfcore feedback when her reception class goes all Nativity in a few weeks.

Like me, she’s into ‘Some Candy Talking’’s calm release, its gently thrashed guitars and easy to follow chorus – she doesn’t care that it’s not really about the natter of a packet of sweets, nor that it sticks to a formula. Listen to their 21 Singles and you marvel at the if-it-ain’t-broke bloodymindedness of JAMC’s career. Yes, it all gets a bit shinier but, despite the odd loping baggy beat in the shaky early 90s, the whole set thumbs its snub nose at fashion. They were capable of dishing out scuzzily bejewelled classics like this from the off, so there was no need to shilly-shally with the template.

I want stuff: