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.

Advertisements

[1] Tinie Tempah, ‘Pass Out’

Tinie Tempah

British rappers. They’re such nice young men, aren’t they? No bitches, hoes and bullet holes for them, no sir. No, they want to spit rhymes about beans on toast, making sure you get a decent feed even when you’re raving in Ibiza, and solving their personal clothes mountain by stashing some at their aunt’s house. I just wonder how often Tinie Tempah visits his aunt – you know, to pick up an outfit he’s just remembered – or whether his threads just gather dust. He’d be as well off handing them over to charity. Maybe that’s a problem for the notorious Difficult Wardrobe Decisions Second Album.

“This is my favourite one,” lies Junior, dashing yesterday’s New Pop Order. Still, she flips out to every on-/off-beat, gamely attempting to pin down Labrinth’s riddims, bumping into the problem we all face: just what is ‘Pass Out’? It’s hip hop, sure, but punctuated by dancehall flavours, smeared with grime and – eventually – exploding into drum’n’bass. That leap into hyperdrive for the final chorus always makes me laugh. It’s the only sane reaction to that kind of balls-out self-assurance. But long before the two-step fallout, ‘Pass Out”s swagger has pulled you in with a hopscotch synth line, a flow peppered with bons mots, and a shameless R&B chorus that kidnaps any lingering waverers.

Bang bang bang, idea after scheme after brainwave, ‘Pass Out’ pushes it all together like Play-Doh, stuffs it in a press and squeezes it out again through a best-single-of-the-year-shaped hole. “It sounds like Batman,” is Junior’s final revelation and while I’ve no clue what she means, I know she’s right.