[5] Jamie T, ‘Sticks ‘N’ Stones’

Jamie Treays is a national treasure, only no one realises it yet. He’s smart, wily and witty, and is all the best bits of The Clash rolled into one rat-faced, half-cut Wimbledon marauder. ‘Sticks ‘N’ Stones’ was going to be the record that did it; the first fruits of a difficult second album (so difficult he made it twice) and a boisterous tune blessed with at least two different choruses along with a serious treatise on the ideal circumstances for a “crap”. Forgive the unlikely compliment, but it’s Mike Skinner gone plastic punk.

And did the record do it? Was it T’s big break? Barely. Just another No.15 hit. You should take a long, hard look at yourselves. When she’d finished pogoing (a natural response, even to the plastic variety), Junior took a long, hard look at the sleeve and declared Jamie “green”. And that’s not all: he even “sounds green, like a tree.”

Let’s go out and find some trouble:

[12] M.I.A., ‘Paper Planes’

M.I.A.

It’s a little bit 2007, yeah – off last year’s splendid Kala album – but hit big in the States this year before getting an actual single release here. It’s a little bit 1982 as well, what with that whacking great Clash sample pinning the whole caper down while M.I.A. goes nuts with gunshot and cash till samples. Still, she at least managed to make a song out of ‘Straight To Hell’; something The Clash couldn’t do, for a start.

Quiet at the back.

The big noise on ‘Paper Planes’ is M.I.A.’s much-touted personality – and those jarring shots, obviously. It’s a cheeky way to punctuate a chorus, and God help it if it ever popped up on the Daily Mail office stereo. The ringing till is either saying something profound about the economics of war (or war of economics) or Maya is chucking everything she can find (words, sounds, beliefs) at the zeitgeist and seeing what sticks; which is, in essence, a template for her career. While she’s this colourful, we’ll let it slide.

Junior ponders it all over breakfast before pushing her chair back and pronouncing the record “funny”.