Juke Box Jury – 21/05/18

The Royal Wedding is out of the way, the football season is virtually over, which means that summer is almost here! After two of last weeks tracks found their way into the Top 100, it’s time to sit back and relax while I take you through 5 of this weeks efforts.

First up we have ‘Solo’ by Clean Bandit featuring Demi Lovato. Let’s not beat about the bush here, this is seriously awful. I mean if you put an infinite number of monkeys in a room with a computer program, the room would be full of monkey shit, and that shit would still sound better than this. And in spite of this, I have a sneaking suspicion this could be a HIT.


On to the second track, which is ‘All The Time’ by The Kooks. Remember them? They were probably lauded as ‘the next big thing’ at some point, but never really lived up to the hype. Well, they’re back. They were on the One Show last week plugging this new single, and I couldn’t help but feel apathetic. It’s a distinctly average song. I don’t think there’s going to be much of a following for this, so it has to be a MISS.


Track number three is ‘God Break Down The Door’, the new single from Nine Inch Nails. Now, I’ve never really been a huge fan of this lot, but judging this by it’s own merit, it’s not bad. There’s a hint of late David Bowie about it with the drumbeat and the vocal delivery hinting at experimental sound that I didn’t associate with Nine Inch Nails, or NIN as the lovers of acronyms might call them. There is a chance that this could be a hit, but I will hedge my bets and settle for a MAYBE.


The fourth of this week’s new releases is ‘Sangria Wine’ from Pharrell Williams and Camila Cabello. Clearly trying to tap into the summer vibe, it’s a bit repetitive musically and lyrically. Perfect for sticking on the stereo at your summer barbeque and then getting a desire to drink sangria. Which may or may not be a bad thing. Will it trouble the charts? I think it certainly has the ingredients to be a HIT. Whether I like it or not.


Which brings me to the last of the five tracks this week. ‘Win’ is from Jay Rock. I think he wants to win… Do I like this? I do not like this. It’s average. It’s annoying. Jay Rock? Jay Cock, more like. Big fat MISS, makes him a ‘loss’. See what I did there?!


And that brings me to the classic chart tune. On this day in 2011, Adele was at Number 16, on her way down the charts with ‘Someone Like You’ having peaked at Number One. This was when she basically ruled the world. I have to say that this is a pretty good song, although I can’t say the subject matter is something I can relate to. Anyway, enjoy, and see you all next week!


Juke Box Jury – 14/05/18

Yes, it’s Monday night once more!! Here I am with another 5 of the weeks single releases to cast my ear upon. But before I do, I just have to say that somehow, ‘Lyca’, that garbage tune by Swarmz that I reviewed two weeks ago, managed to break into the Top 100, debuting at 67, and rising (??!) to 64 this week. Mental.

Anyway, on with this week’s releases, the first of which is ‘Quarter Past Midnight’ by Bastille. It’s up-beat, it’s got sing-along qualities, but it’s not doing anything for me. It’s unremarkable. But, as they seem to be quite popular, so I’ll give it a tentative MAYBE.


The second track of the week is ‘Twice’ by Christina Aguilera. You know when musicians get to a certain point of their career when they want to try something with a bit more substance than the usual ‘pop’ shite? Well, with this, I’m guessing dear Christina has reached that point. If you ignore the vocal acrobatic nonsense, musically it’s not actually that bad. It’s the sort of song you can imagine her performing on a darkened stage with just a spotlight. A piano player too, of course. This might be a HIT.


The third track of the week is ‘Girls’ by Rita Ora featuring Cardi B, Bebe Rexha & Charli XCX. You’d think with all those people, they’d exercise some quality control. Alas, in this case, too many chefs have spoiled the broth. In other words this is a pile of steaming elephant dung. Which, in the current chart climate, means this will be a HIT. But I’m not going to listen to the whole song, for fear I might want to rip my ears off.


Track four is ‘Remember Me’ by Ina Wroldsen. She’s Norwegian, apparently. Will I remember her? On the basis of this song, no. There’s not much else I can say… I’m thinking her fanbase is a bit too small to push this into the charts, so it’s a MISS.


So, the last track of the week is ‘Pure Water’ by Skepta. Joseph, as his mother probably calls him, is a Grime artist. How do they write this stuff?? It’s just words strung together and spoken really quickly to a backing track. And the lyrics are just plain silly. Take the first verse, for example: “I wake up, brush my teeth, choose an outfit. Big racks in my account, I get paid. Everyday I smoke the loudest…” and it goes on. Seriously, what the fuck is all that about?!! Sadly, that will count for nothing, and this is going to be a HIT.


Which brings me to the classic track of the week. On this very day in 1990, Adamski was on top of the charts with ‘Killer’ featuring the vocals of Seal (when he had hair – unless it’s a wig. It could be a wig, I suppose).

Juke Box Jury – 07/05/18

Happy Bank Holiday folks! It’s been a scorcher here, and I’ve spent most of the day hiding from Mr Sunshine. Now, I’ve got the snooker on, and it’s time for your weekly run through some of the week’s new single releases. Not surprisingly, none of last week’s featured tracks made the Top 100, being as they were all terrible. Now, let’s see what this week has in store…

First up is ‘Our Country’ from Kinks front-man, Ray Davies. It’s a very hopeful, positive song, bigging up our country, basically. It’s alright. If you’re hoping for something along the lines of ‘Waterloo Sunset’ or ‘Lola’, you’ll be disappointed. But, nevertheless, it’s a cheery song in it’s own way. I’d like it to be a hit, but I think it’s just about a MAYBE.


The second track of this week is ‘Break-Thru’ by Dirty Projectors. There is something about this song that could get into your psyche and become an earworm. Know what I mean? If you’re afraid of birds, then best you don’t watch the video. For me, this could be a MAYBE.


The third track is ‘Move To Miami’ by Enrique Iglesias with Pitbull. One word sums this up: Tripe. Actually, two words: Fucking tripe. Has Pitbull ever done anything good? Really. I seem to remember him performing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and the one thing I can remember was that he’s a prick. He’s no doubt hoping to cash in on the Iglesias name, but I think this is going to be a MISS.


The fourth track of the week is ‘Motion’ by Emotional Oranges. Not the first time I’ve chosen a song based on the artist’s name, and probably not the last time either. Do I regret choosing this one? A little bit, actually. It’s got a bit of a groove going on, but apart from that, I’m quite bored by it already. After a while, I started trying to name the films from the various clips featured in this cobbled together ‘lyric video’, but even then, I got bored. No matter how emotional these oranges might get, this is going to be a MISS for me.


Which brings me to the last new release of this week’s JBJ. ‘She’s Kerosene’ by the Interrupters, is certainly the most upbeat, bouncy track of the week. The Interrupters are, apparently a ska-punk band from LA. An intriguing sentence, isn’t it? ‘Ska’ and ‘LA’ together… Is this what Madness would have sounded like if they’d been American??!! In a strange way, I actually like this one. Yes. Will it be a hit? Most likely a MISS.


So, to the classic chart hit. Well, with Eurovision coming up next weekend, what better way to prepare than with this Number One hit from this very week in 1974??!! Abba, baby!

Juke Box Jury – 30/04/18

I’m beginning to get a good feeling for these hits. After a Number One hit the week before, Ariana Grande entered the charts at Number Two (cue toilet humour joke here). Let’s see how I get on with this week’s new releases…

The first of this week’s songs is ‘Have It All’ by Jason Mraz. Apparently that’s not a typo – it’s actually his name. Poor bastard. How many times must he have been questioned about that? So, the song. Clearly a chart-hit-by-numbers effort that doesn’t really stand out in any way. It’s a MAYBE.


The second track of the week is ‘El Anillo’ by Jennifer Lopez. Sung in Spanish, and El Anillo is Spanish for the Ring, guys and gals, it’s really difficult to listen to. The video is typical J-Lo formula – her in her underwear, and loads of topless fellas. Yawn. It might do alright, but in this Brexit Britain where people want their country back and will question why she’s talking all foreign, I expect it to be a MISS.


The third track is ‘Lyca’ by Swarmz. If you like this garbage, then you must have absolutely no musical taste whatsoever. Fucking awful. This should be a massive MISS.


The fourth track is ‘Melody’ by Lost Frequencies featuring James Blunt. Lost Frequencies is Belgian DJ whose real name is Felix De Laet. I have to say, this features Mr Blunt rather heavily, and so if he’s your cup of tea, then you will like this. For me, he isn’t my cup of tea. I actually can’t stand tea. Will it be a hit? MAYBE.


The last of this weeks rather shitty batch of tracks is ‘Piece Of Me’ by Bullet For My Valentine. Oh my God. Seriously shit. This actually makes James Blunt bearable. Not only is it Heavy Metal, but it’s Welsh Heavy Metal. If this was the last genre of music on Earth, I’d rather go deaf, much like most fans of this tripe will end up. A total MISS. And now I must apologise for subjecting you to such an atrocity.


Thankfully, we come to the classic chart hit section. On this day in 1963, Gerry And The Pacemakers were top of pops with ‘How Do You Do It?’ A song offered to, and declined by, The Beatles, it was passed on to their fellow Epstein-managed Liverpudlians and hit the top of the charts!!


Thanks, folks!! See you next week!




Juke Box Jury – 23/04/18

Well, I think last week was a Juke Box Jury first – two of the five tracks debuted in the Top 100! Florence & The Machine came in at No 81, and Zayn entered at No 20. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa track from the week before hit the top of the pops. OMG right?! That makes two of my tips to hit the top. Holy Crap!

On with the show, though. And the first of this week’s tracks is from Ariana Grande, and it’s called ‘No Tears Left To Cry’. The only artist I know named after a size of coffee, she was thrown into the wider consciousness in the worst possible way after the Manchester Arena bombing. I imagine this will be played in the bedrooms of 12 to 18 year olds non-stop, and maybe even in bedrooms of people old enough to drink. It’s not the worst song I’ve subjected myself to for Juke Box Jury, which is saying a lot. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s not shit. And, therefore, I hereby declare this a HIT.


The second track of the week is ‘Just Dumb Enough To Try’ by Father John Misty. One of two tracks released from his forthcoming album ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ (which I have already pre-ordered, naturellement), I couldn’t resist featuring my favourite artist, could I? Musically, there are similarities with the material from his previous album, ‘Pure Comedy’, but lyrically he has returned to the familiar ground of emotions with a left-field approach. You will probably call me biased, but it’s fucking excellent. Chart-wise, it probably won’t do much, but who sodding cares, for me it’s a monster HIT.


Onto the third track of the week, ‘Quiet, The Winter Harbour’ is from Mazzy Star, who have, according to Google been going since 1989. I have heard the name somewhere before, I can’t think where though, which is annoying me somewhat. However, there is something about this track… It’s very melancholic, and slightly haunting. It’s actually quite good. Not in a break-the-charts way, but that probably isn’t the aim. So, it will be a MISS, but one I’ll enjoy listening to.


The fourth of this week’s tracks is ‘Submarine’ by Island Club. I don’t know what to say about this. I don’t know why the hell it’s called ‘Submarine’. It’s quite catchy, in it’s own way. It won’t trouble the charts, I don’t think, so that makes it a MISS.


And that brings me to the final track of the week. ‘It’s Not Just Me’ is by Let’s Eat Grandma. Perhaps I shouldn’t pick tracks to review based on the artist name in the future. Let’s Eat Grandma is the name chosen by two girls with no discernible connection to the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. It’s a bit ‘clubby’ which puts it at a disadvantage from the off. If there’s enough of a following, it could have the legs to trouble the chart, but I’m going to hedge my bets and say MAYBE.


And so, that brings me to the classic chart hit of the week. On this day in 1981, Welsh Elvis tribute act, Shakin Steven’s was at Number Three, and on the way down the charts having peaked at Number One. Good ol’ Shaky!! Some wag on Youtube set the song to clips from the Tom Hanks movie ‘The Money Pit’!

Juke Box Jury – 16/04/18

Happy Monday, folks. I was as surprised as anything to find out that Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa entered the charts at Number 3 with their dirge ‘One Kiss’. So, fresh from my success, I’m back again with another five tracks.

The first of which is ‘Sky Full Of Song’ by Florence & The Machine. It wasn’t long ago that Florence could do no wrong. I’ve never quite understood the appeal myself, I can’t see what’s so special. On the basis of this track, I’m still struggling to work it out. I do think it will probably do quite well in the charts though, so I’m going with a HIT.


On to the second track of the week, which is ‘Crazy’ by 50 Cent featuring PNB Rock. The bits with 50 Cent are alright, but whoever this PNB Rock fella is, he’s just ruined this. In a major way. I don’t know if there’s enough of a following out there for Mr Cent, so I’m saying this is a MAYBE.


The third track of the week is ‘Tender’ by Jones. Now, artists who choose to use just one name usually go with something memorable, or unique – Madonna, Cher, Beyonce. The overwhelming majority going with their first name. Very few artists choose to go by just their surname. And if you were going to, doing it with a name like Jones is just plain silly. In fact I’m not even sure I’ve found the right person – Cherie Jones-Mattis. This song is very average. Nothing particularly stands out about it. Let’s just say this is going to be a MISS.


The fourth of this week’s tracks is ‘When You’re Wrong’ by Twin Shadow. Well, what can I say about this? No, really. I’ve got to say something. I suppose someone out there will like it. So, anyway. Oh, fuck it. This is awful. Really bad. Someone should really have exercised some quality control with this. I want it to be a MISS so much.


And finally, the last track of this rather lame week of new releases. ‘Let Me’ is from Zayn, who according to Google, is the member of One Direction who decided he was better than the others. There’s always one who thinks they are better – Robbie Williams of Take That, the one out of Westlife that knocked up Kerry Katona, Ronan Keating from Boyzone, Justin Trousersnake from his group… Anyway, this is boring as hell to listen to. But because of who he is, it will no doubt be a bit of a HIT.


Ah, the reward for all the suffering. The Classic Chart Hit. Back in 1994, the teenage me, in the throes of puberty, had a bit of a crush on Mariah Carey. Yeah, I know. Unlikely. Anyway, when you put that together with a very good Harry Nilsson song – ‘Without You’, well, you can imagine how happy I would have been. So here it is, for my teenage self…


See you next week, hopefully…

Juke Box Jury – 09/04/18

So, last week was a bit of a let down, chart-wise, but I’m not too downhearted – they were mostly shite anyway. I’m back again this week with another five tracks of varying quality, so sit down, prime your ears, and let’s begin…

The first track is ‘One Kiss’ from Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa. I’m going to shock you all by saying I’ve heard of both of these two. I happened to watch the start of the Brit Award ceremony this year, and Dua Lipa was all over the place. I can’t remember why I know who Calvin Harris is. But I’m sure that this sort of collaboration is like a chart wet dream. For me, though, it’s a nightmare. There is nothing about this song that stands out. It’s just a dirge. And that means only one thing – HIT.


The second track before the jury is ‘Into My Arms’ by Band of Horses. From the opening chords, you know it’s a cover of the Nick Cave song, and that’s as good as it gets. The vocals just don’t have the same effect as Mr Cave’s. Apart from that rather massive issue, it’s pretty true to the original. For me, it’s not a patch on the original, so I’m plumping for a MAYBE. I wonder what my Nick Cave loving wife will make of this…


The third track of the week is ‘Love Like Waves’ by Friendly Fires. Hmmm. I’m immediately regretting this choice. It’s poor, even by today’s standards. Big fat MISS. I can’t even find anything to write about this. I want it to be over. Where’s the stop button…


The fourth track is ‘Better Than That’ by James. Now I’ll admit that apart from ‘Sit Down’ I’m not familiar with their back catalogue, but this sounds alright, really. It has Tim Booth’s recognisable vocals, and to be honest, after what I’ve had to listen to so far this week, it’s a marked improvement. I could listen again, and enjoy it too. The sad thing is it won’t trouble the charts, but I get the feeling that James fans wouldn’t give a flying fuck about the charts. So while it may be a MISS, that will be seen as a triumph over quality over, well, shiteness!


And that brings me to the week’s final new release. ‘Get Along’ by Kenny Chesney is so fucking Country. Not Dolly Parton ‘Country’, or Billy Ray Cyrus ‘Country’. It’s probably what you’d call ’21st Century Country’.  Which, if you like that sort of thing, is all well and good. Sadly all I can think of is checked shirts, tassles and cowboy boots. This will not be a HIT, folks.


It’s been a tough week, new release-wise, but now this is the bit where we all take a trip down memory lane. On this day in 1987, at a lowly number 25, The Beastie Boys were tearing up the charts with an absolute belter – ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)’. Scaring the bejesus out of parents everywhere, this was the track that announced them on the world stage. Plus the music video is pretty damned good too!