[3] The 1975, ‘Somebody Else’

1975-2016

I was there when the Popjustice judges shoved this into second place behind… Christ, I can’t remember what won. It wasn’t this. Some things are too beautiful to succeed.

If any fellow music journalists are reading, they’ll like this: I never bought or owned the first 1975 album in any way; I just used to dip into PlayMPE every now and then and listen to it. So, obviously I never heard the whole record. Trying to listen to I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It is even more of a challenge, because its playing length actually exceeds its title. Still, worth it in the end, whatever age you end up.

“I like the rhythm,” says Junior 2. “Yeah, the beat,” clarifies big sis. Junior 2’s thinking now: “Is it the man with the curly hair?” Yes, it is. They, like everyone else, were very taken with The 1975’s Glastonbury performance (on the telly; I’m not a madman), providing raw proof that this is a band breaking through everywhere to mass cross-generational, and cross-taste, effect. ‘Somebody Else’ is simply gorgeous, straddling some unconsidered line between FM Radio 70s pop and Balearic house, and doing it while addressing an impulse we all recognise but are never particularly proud of. If you get me. By Jove, they’re going to be so huge.

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Jukebox Junior Does The 2015 Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize Shortlist

popjustice

THE CHALLENGE

Get my daughters to review Popjustice‘s Twenty Quid Music Prize shortlist for the best British single of the last 12 months (actual judging this Friday, 20 November).

THE PANEL

Junior (aged 10, the original Jukebox Junior from back when she was 20 weeks old in November 2005. Jesus, this blog will be 10 years old soon)
Junior 2 (aged 7)
Junior 3 (aged 5)

THE SONGS

Little Mix, ‘Black Magic’
Cyndi Laupish

Junior 3: “It’s ‘Black Magic’.”
Junior 2 is hey-ing.
Junior 3: “We all like ‘Black Magic’.”
Junior: “I like the video.”

Foxes, ‘Body Talk’
Fluid electro-pop from the Doctor Who chanteuse who isn’t Kylie

Junior 3: “I didn’t like it.”
Junior: “I like Little Mix more.”

Jess Glynne, ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’
If it’s 2015, Jess is statistically likely to be this week’s No.1

Junior: “Is this Jess Glynne?”
Junior 3 is more fascinated by the Dartford Tunnel.
Junior 2: “This is better than ‘Hold My Hand’.”

Marina & The Diamonds, ‘I’m A Ruin’
Neither Catherine Zeta Jones nor Shakira gets vulnerable

Junior 2: “It’s very calm, very soft. It’s smooth, with quite low notes.”
Junior: “I don’t like it as much as ‘Body Talk’.”
Junior 3: “I don’t really like it.”
Junior 2: “I think when she was singing she was quite lonely.”

Blonde featuring Melissa Steel, ‘I Loved You’
A livin’ joy from start to finish

They all know it. Their mum is singing along to it.
Junior: “It’s lively.”
Junior 3: “I kind of like it.”
Junior 2: “It’s very jumpy.”
Their mum: “It’ll be on the next Charlotte Crosby fitness DVD.”

Years & Years, ‘King’
Panpipes are the Sound of 2015

Junior 3: “I really really like it.”
Junior 2: “It’s very fast and it has a nice tune.”
Junior: “Some bits I like, some are a bit annoying and repetitive.”

Becky Hill, ‘Losing’
Team Jessie

Junior 2: “It’s a good song.”
Junior 3 is giving it a wavy hand.
Junior: “It sounds a bit droopy.”

Ellie Goulding, ‘Love Me Like You Do’
Filth soundtrack

It’s Ellie Goulding.
All: “Yay!”
Junior 3: “Is it ‘Love Me Like You Do’?”
Junior is doing an exaggerated power-ballad sway.
Junior 2 is closing her eyes and singing along.
Junior 3: “Daddy, I like it.”
Junior 2: “It’s a very happy song, very enjoyable.” She sounds sarcastic.
Junior: “I really like it.”
Their mum: “For me, it’s got that movie all over it. It’s a really crappy sequence.”

Olly Murs, ‘Seasons’
Thinly disguised cod reggae from the scourge of Monica Michael

Junior: “He’s the one that presents X Factor.”
Junior 2 looks puzzled.
Junior 3 gives it two thumbs up.
Junior: “It’s very jolly.”
Where’s Caroline Flack though?
Junior: “She’s a TV presenter.”

Nero, ‘The Thrill’
Rave-horn stadium dubstep from surprisingly durable Roman Emperor

Junior 2: “This is very jumpy.”
Junior: “It sounds very rockish.”
Double thumbs up from Junior 3.
Junior 3: “Actually, I think it’s rubbish.”
Junior: “There’s too much effort and noise. It’s horrible and full.”

KDA featuring Tinie Tempah & Katy B, ‘Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)’
Irresistible old skool-ish house delays Tinie’s third album even further

Junior: “Oh, I like this one.”
Junior 3 is giving wavy thumbs.
Junior 2: “It’s fun and happy.”

Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, ‘Uptown Funk’
Oops upside your he-llo how’s everybody doing?

There is general cheering.
Junior 2 is rapping.
Everyone is too hot.
Junior: “Uptown Funk you up as cool as possible.”
Junior 2: “Amazing, fantastic.”
Junior: “Yeah.”

THE VERDICT

Favourites:

A unanimous shout for ‘Uptown Funk’.

Flops:

An equally unanimous diss for “that rocky one”. They mean Nero. Sorry, Nero.

The 2013 Popjustice Twenty Quid Prize

jbj_popjustice13_2

THE CHALLENGE

Get my daughters to review Popjustice’s Twenty Quid Prize shortlist for the best British single of the last 12 months (actual judging this Wednesday, 30 October).

THE PANEL

Junior (aged 8, the original Jukebox Junior from back when she was 20 weeks old in November 2005, reviewing Antipop Consortium and songs from The Sound Of Music)
Junior 2 (aged 5)
Junior 3 (aged 3)

THE SONGS

Chvrches, ‘The Mother We Share’
One Dove reform with Clare Grogan on vocals

Junior: “I like the start. The music gathers up.”
Junior 2 appears to know all the words.
Junior is now oh-ohing and says it’s “all right”.

Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge, ‘White Noise’
Deep house meets proto-UK garage. Alex Party, basically

Junior is excited and grooving along, as we hip dads say.
Junior 2 appears to know all the words.
Junior 3: “They say ‘yesterday rup'”.
Junior likes the keyboard sound. “It’s like when you touch an iPhone.”

Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E, ‘Need U (100%)’
More like Duke Derek Saunderson, right?

Junior: “It does repeat sometimes. ‘White Noise’ is better.”
Junior 2 appears to know all the words.
Junior 3: “I want ‘The Grand Old Duke Of York’.”

Girls Aloud, ‘Something New’
Xenomaniacal J.Lo

Junior: “I like that they’re singing about girls. Who is it?”
Junior 2 appears to know all the words.

Little Mix, ‘DNA’
The Munchkins fight back

Junior: “What does “DNA” mean?” [She is told]. “Oh, I’ve seen that at the doctors’.”
Junior 2 does not know the words.
Junior 3 is reading the National Heritage handbook.

Mutya Keisha Siobhan, ‘Flatline’
Sugababes Mk I with that Dev Hynes first-side-of-True-Blue magic

Junior is distracted. “I don’t like it much.”
Junior 2 is hand-jiving. “I like it.”

Olly Murs, ‘Dear Darlin”
The hat’s off along with the bets as the Murs gets serious

All three are word-perfect.
Junior: “I liked that, Daddy.”

One Direction, ‘Kiss You’
Robot (pop-) rock with that slightly cheesy teenage boy’s bedroom whiff

Junior: “I’ve got this on my mp3 player. Is it One Direction? It’s on my DS too.” However, she is not a big fan.
Junior 3 has a dance routine for this one. It involves wiggling in her seat and pumping her arms.

Petula Clark, ‘Cut Copy Me’
Octagenarian Balearic

Petula Clark is 80. “Woah,” says Junior. Granny has got some of her records. Junior does pop-eyed surprise, then says, “It’s a bit boring.”
Junior 2: “It’s like a sleepy song to me.”
Junior 3: “I think it’s a bit boring too.”

Robbie Williams, ‘Candy’
Speedball suit-filling nursery rhyme

Junior: “Yay! ‘Candy’!”
Junior 3: “This isn’t boring!”
They all sing along to the chorus.

The Saturdays, ‘Gentleman’
So 1995

Junior: “Is it the ‘Single Ladies’ singer?”
Junior 2: “Is it Jessie J?”
Junior: “Is it the ones who do ‘Black Heart’?”

VV Brown, ‘The Apple’
Grace Jones is back, and she’s hiding the lost La Roux album up her top. Along with ‘Macarena’

Junior: “I didn’t really like it.”

THE VERDICT

Favourites:

Junior: ‘Dear Darlin” or ‘Candy’. Murs takes it because “I only like the ‘Candy’ chorus.”
Junior 2: ‘Kiss You’.
Junior 3: ‘Candy’.

‘Candy’ takes it on proportional representation.

Flops:

Junior: ‘The Apple’.
Junior 2: ‘The Apple’.
Junior 3: ‘The Mother We Share’.

[13] Example, ‘Kickstarts’

Example

I was complicit when this won Popjustice’s Twenty Quid Prize for the best British single of the year. In fact, I spoke up for it. In FACT, I wrote down for it too, as seen in the picture at the bottom of that link. I don’t even regret it.

Must admit there was some pressure from home. Junior knows every single word, and this time accompanied it with an unexpected cossack-style dance. Pretty soon everyone was dancing, and at the end Junior asked, “Please can you do ‘Starts Again’ again?” We were locked in an endless starts again again cycle.

Which is fine up to a point. Cheap ravey synths have a shelf-life, but the hooks stay welcome. There’s something appealingly gauche about Example’s delivery too, which at times reminds me of MC Buzz B, at others Gary Clail. If that’s not a recipe for sustained success, what is?