Juke Box Jury – 19/02/18

Back again! Sadly none of the featured tracks from last week made it into the top 100, so instead of being disappointed, I’m going to get on with putting the no-chart hex for another five lucky artists!!

First up is ‘Thought Contagion’ by Muse. This is the first single from their forthcoming album. Now I will state for the record that I really don’t see what the fuss is with Muse. Seriously don’t. I’m trying to be open-minded here, but listening to this song merely serves to consolidate my opinion that they are nothing special. I’ve always considered them a second-rate Radiohead wannabe band, and with this song, they’ve sunk even below that standard. Sorry folks, but it’s a MISS.


The second track for consideration is ‘Baby I Love You’ by Ryan Adams. Mrs Moore is a fan of Mr Adams. His last album, ‘Prisoner’ was on her playlist for ages. I remember listening to a few of the tracks and finding them alright, but nothing really stood out. In fact, the most memorable Ryan Adams track I have heard was a cover of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’. So with that in mind, listening to this track was a nice surprise. I’m now listening to it for a second time, and it stands up. I don’t know if his following would be sufficient to trouble the charts, but if it is, then this would be a monster HIT.


The third track on the block is ‘Been A While’ by Wiley, adding a bit of grime to the mix. Apparently, Wiley is the Godfather of Grime, but I don’t think I would necessarily trust him with the spiritual guidance of my children. For a start, he talks so fast, it’s hard to understand a bloody word he says. I suppose this is alright, if you like that sort of thing, and I’m led to believe that the kids are down with this sort of thing, and with Mr Wiley being the leader of the pack, I’m sure the kids will cough up and send this one into the charts. It’s a HIT.


The penultimate track up for discussion is ‘Moon River’ by Frank Ocean. When I started playing this, I thought it was a joke. I really did. If Billy’s boy (he has no relation to Billy Ocean whatsoever) thinks that he has earned enough kudos to fuck around with a classic, then he’s very much mistaken. With all the icons that have recorded this song before, this has to be the worst version I’ve ever heard. Having said that, the feckless youth of today will probably like it and lap it up in their droves, making this a hit. But me, I’m hoping it’s a big fat MISS.


So, on to the final entry in this weeks jury. ‘Icarus’ is by someone called Dan Owen. Now, I picked this because I was intrigued by the title. But it turns out there is some local interest here as Mr Owen is a Shrewsbury native! What are the odds of that?! According to Google, he falls under the ‘folk’ genre, but I wouldn’t say this is necessarily folk. There is something about this song that has the ability to embed itself into your brain and cause you weeks of distress trying to work out what it is and where it came from. Ear worms do that to you. I don’t know much about Dan Owen, and I have a feeling his following may be niche, too niche to trouble the charts sadly for him. So while it may be a MISS, that doesn’t mean it should be seen as a failure.


And now for this week’s classic chart entry. From 1960, ‘La Mer (Beyond The Sea)’ by Bobby Darin was at number 9 between February 19th and 26th. Now this is a beauty of a song. If you’ve never seen the film ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ with Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz, it’s worth it just for their rendition of this song! For now, here’s the original.


A Very Short Valentines Day Story

It was love at first sight. For him. For her, not so much. It took months of perseverance, badgering and borderline stalking before Jeanie finally agreed to a date with him. He tried to make it a first date to remember, taking her to a nice restaurant for a romantic candle-lit dinner, with wine and good food. Then, afterwards, a romantic walk down by the river on the way back to her place. He tried to get a good-night kiss out of her, but she wouldn’t. He settled for a peck on the cheek and the hope of a second date.

He gave it a couple of days before calling her again. He tried, but the number was not obtainable. He went round to her home, but the place was empty. Almost as if she’d never been there. Confused and feeling lonely, he wandered down by the river. He looked at the fast flowing water, and felt it beckoning him in. Without another thought, he felt himself enveloped by a cold wetness. As he was carried away by the torrent, he thought he heard his name. Just before he sank below the surface, he thought he saw Jeanie standing on the river bank.

Juke Box Jury – 12/02/18

After a couple of weeks, one of my verdicts has actually come to fruition. That Rudimental thing has reached the heady heights of Number Two in the charts, on the back of an appearance on The One Show last week. Shock! Horror!! I’ve received some feedback on this feature, and as a result, this is the first five track edition, and as a bonus feature, I will go back in time to look at a historical release, because I’m nice like that.

So, first up is a new single from one of those Girls Aloud lot. Yes, I had to google that before typing the sentence! She’s the Irish one, for those who care. ‘Girls On Fire’ is an upbeat number, probably one folks can sing along to, if they’re that way inclined. I am not. It’s not the worst song I’ve ever heard, I will be honest. But it’s not the best either. She’ll probably get some support on the back of her Girls Aloud history, but I’m only saying MAYBE.


Next up, ‘Good Man’ by Ne-Yo. He’s one of those R’n’B types. How did the acronym for Rhythm & Blues get hi-jacked by naff shite like this? It’s like when British Telecom was shortened to BT, and now you can’t call them British Telecom anymore, because that doesn’t support their global image. Ditto BP. Anyway, I digress. ‘Good Man’ is not very good, man. I’m sorry, it isn’t. But this Ne-Yo fella seems to have been quite successful with his brand of boring, so I shall take a punt and call this a HIT.


This is track number three. Last week, this would have been the end. Now it’s the mid-way point. ‘I Catch You’ by Lokki is a piano-led song that caught my attention just because of her name. There is also a lot of string embellishment going on. It’s not too bad. Lyrics are a bit of a puzzle though. But, as much as I find it bearable to listen to, it may not catch on with the masses, so I will go with a MISS.


The fourth single to face the jury (yes, I know, technically not a jury), is from Toni Braxton. ‘Long As I Live’ has fallen into that nasty trap of sounding like anybody. There is absolutely nothing about this song that stands out and makes you think “ah, this is that bird who wanted someone to unbreak her heart!” So, for that reason, I have to say that this is going to be another MISS. The song hasn’t even finished yet, and I’ve finished giving my harsh verdict.


So, on to the final single of the week. ‘The Man’ is by Goat Girl. An intriguing band name, isn’t it? Now, I’m not going to do all that patronising ‘girls with a guitar are quite good’ stuff, because there are a few girl guitar bands I can think of that were good. Kenickie. The Bangles. The Go-Go’s. And you can add Goat Girl to the list. Of all the tracks featured this week, this is by far my favourite. And the nod to the Beatles in the video also means they win me over visually as well as audibly. I want it to be a big, bastard hit, but I fear it will only get a cult following sufficient to make it a MAYBE.


And for this week’ classic tune, ‘Because You’re Mine’ by Mario Lanza. This was at Number Four this time in 1953, and this was the sort of music that was monopolising the embryonic early days of the charts.

Juke Box Jury – 05/02/18

I’m back for more punishment! After none of last week’s tracks made it into the Top 100, let’s hope for some luck with the tracks under the spotlight this week.

First up is a new track from eighties pop stalwarts, Eurasure. ‘Still It’s Not Over’ is not what I would call standard Eurasure, they’ve obviously matured over the intervening years, and I’ll be honest and say it’s bearable. Really. But, unfortunately, in the current market, it’s not chart fodder, and so, I am going to say it’s a MISS. Now, remind me to scour YouTube for old Eurasure videos…


Next in line for my suffering ears, it’s ‘Get It’ a big-name collaboration by the trio of Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott and Kelly Rowland. If you like this sort of thing, then I’ll recommend it. For me, it sounds like something the producer really should have canned and asked them to try harder. Much harder. It’s just repetitive dirge. I actually think it’s complete shite and, by my calculations, will be a HIT!


The final entry in this week’s edition is ‘Wasted’ by Peking Duk. Now, I’ll admit I was drawn by the name – Peking Duk – and the cheeky dropping of the letter ‘C’. It’s just a disco-themed paean to getting drunk and naked with ‘you’. And drunk and naked. And drunk and naked. Ad nauseum. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s tongue in cheek, and intended to be a parody of something. As for having an impact on the charts? Not a fucking hope. MISS.


Which brings this week’s proceedings to an end. It has been suggested that I expand this format, and add some more meat to the bones. Head over to my facebook page here and have your say!!

Juke Box Jury – 29/01/18

After two of last weeks tracks hit the Top 100 (Kylie and the Rudimental thing), I’m back yet again to run my ear over some more potential dross.

First up is an unexpected collaboration between Sting and, well, Shaggy. I know! The mind boggles how these two came together, but ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ is quite a disappointment. Really. Which probably means it could well be a hit, but I will go with a MAYBE.


Next in line for a critical grilling is U2’s ‘Get Out Of Your Own Way (Afrojack Remix)’. I’ll be honest up front here. I don’t get why people love U2. They had a few good songs back in the eighties, but really, since The Joshua Tree, what have they really done? Sweet fuck all. I haven’t listened to the non-remixed version, and quite frankly have no intention to. Now I know the kids love a remix, but this one will fall on deaf ears. MISS. As I type this sentence, the crap is still going on…


Last up is ‘Nightclub’ by The Vaccines. I’ve heard of the Vaccines, but I’ve never heard them, if you know what I mean. If you were to reel off a list of their other songs, I’d look at you blankly and shrug my shoulders. They might be alright, if you like that sort of thing. I’m led to believe that some people do like ‘that sort of thing’, but I have to say this is a bit on the boring side. I’ll hedge my bets and go for a MAYBE.


That’s the end of this week’s jury. I hope you don’t put yourself through the aural hell that I did in the name of musical journalism. And I mean journalism in the loosest sense, of course…


That’s the end of this week’s thoughts

Juke Box Jury – 22/01/18

Not surprisingly, last weeks featured songs did absolutely sod all chart-wise, which actually makes me like them even more! Justin Timberlake is still in there from the week before, and there is another of his tracks in the new release list for this week. That’s the digital age for you, I suppose…

Anyway, on to this weeks featured tracks picked for your delectation. First up it’s good old Kylie Minogue and her song ‘Dancing’. Having listened to it, all I can say is that it could be anyone singing this song. There’s nothing about it that makes you immediately think ‘ah, that’s definitely Kylie.’ Which is a bit sad, but indicative of the way the music biz is nowadays. Will it be a hit? MAYBE.


Next up is ‘In My View’ by Young Fathers. This is a band that came to my attention thanks to the Trainspotting sequel. I’ve not really listened to them, because I didn’t really rate them. After this, nothing’s changed. For me, it’s a huge MISS. And this is after only getting through two minutes of a three and a half minute song.


Last up is one of those multiple collaboration pieces that everyone seems to love these days. ‘These Days’ is by someone called Rudimental, and featuring Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen. Fuck knows who any of them are, or why they would want to team up and produce this drivel. Seriously. Where is the quality control these days?! See what I did there? Absolute dross. Which means that this is probably going to be a HIT.


Tune in next week to see if my ears have stopped bleeding…


Juke Box Jury – 15/01/18

Hello once again! Despite only one of the three tracks from last week making the top 100 – take a bow Mr Timberlake, who entered at number 15 – I’m back again to judge another three songs from the list of singles released this week.

First up is ‘Street Livin’ by the Black Eyed Peas. Methinks Mr I.Am and his mates have been listening to Public Enemy and N.W.A. for inspiration. It’s highly political and probably controversial, and likely to upset a lot of privileged white Americans. So for that reason, it should be a massive hit. But somehow I feel it might not find favour with the mindless drivel we seem to listen to these days, so I’ll go with a MAYBE.


Okay, the next song is ‘Deep Pockets’ from former Supergrass frontman, Gaz Coombes. His distinctive voice layers over a pulsating beat and slightly techno sound and is an absolute joy to behold. It’s a catchy nod-your-head-tap-your-foot tune that should do really well, and I want it to do really well, but I fear in the current climate of throwaway shite that is instantly forgettable, it could well be a MISS. I, however, will be making sure I get this song.


The final song of the week is from another proper group. Remember Franz Ferdinand? The band, not the ill-fated Austrian duke. Well, it seems they’re still going strong-ish, and still sounding the same. ‘Feel The Love Go’ could be ‘Take Me Out’ or ‘The Dark of the Matinee’. I don’t know if it’s just because of Alex Kapranos’ distinctive vocal sound, or the similar guitar sounds, but they really haven’t developed much musically. That’s not to say I don’t like it, on the contrary, I happened to like ‘Take Me Out’, and there is a little bit of something extra with the recording that hints at experimentation. It’s worth a listen if you liked Franz Ferdinand back in the day, but I am going to say it’s one for existing fans of the band and the era only so, with regards to the charts, it’s unfortunately another MISS.


And that’s that. It has truly pained me to give such gloomy chart predictions for three songs I’ve actually enjoyed listening to, but I’m sure I’ll get over it eventually. Who knows, I might be proved wrong…