Juke Box Jury – 16/07/18

Hello! Today has been an almighty comedown for sports fans with the World Cup and Wimbledon both coming to an end last night. To fill the gap, for now, here’s the latest Juke Box Jury. After only one track from last week made it into the Top 100 (the NHS Voices cover of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’), here are another five new releases…

The first track of the week is ‘Summertime Magic’ from Childish Gambino aka actor Donald Glover. Clearly concocted with the season in mind, this will no doubt be blasted from all the speakers of young adults and older adults who try to kid themselves that they’re ‘down with the kids’ as the sun shines late into the evening, and many summery alcoholic beverages will be consumed. It’s a bit boring really. But it will, no doubt, be a HIT.


Track number two is ‘Sesame Syrup’ by the rather oddly named Cigarettes After Sex. This is a melancholic, slightly dreary tune from the American band. With the jangly dampened guitar sound, this is what the Byrds might have sounded like on valium. It’s five minutes long, and if you’re tired and need to sleep, this is the song for you!! It will be a MISS.


The third of this week’s tracks is ‘Don’t Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You’ by Suede. This is textbook Suede – guitar bursts, Brett Anderson’s wailing vocals, and lyrics about being on the edge of society. That said, it’s still comparable with their earlier stuff, albeit reeking of middle-age spread. It won’t trouble the charts, making it a MISS, but this is probably exactly what they would want!


The penultimate track is ‘Desperate Man’ by American Country singer Eric Church. As American country songs go, this is, well, not terrible. This is what I would call proper country music – none of this modernised bullshit. I’ve heard worse – much worse – than this. Yet this will certainly not be making an appearance in the British Top 100, making this a MISS.


Last up this week is ‘First Aid’ from Eliza And The Bear. I’m sorry, but this manages to make the Eric Church track sound like a fucking musical masterpiece. It’s dull, dreary, monotonous dross. This is the opinion I formed within the first ten seconds of the song, and I haven’t got to the end and it isn’t getting any better. I can sum this up in one word – MISS. I need say no more.


Right, on to the classic chart track. On this day back in 1976, Thin Lizzy were sitting at number 15 with ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’. Absolute bloody brilliance! Enjoy.


Right, time for Juke Box Jury to take a little holiday, but fear not, I’ll back in the Autumn to brighten up your Monday evenings!!


Juke Box Jury – 09/07/18

Good Evening all! It’s Monday night, and that means it’s Juke Box Jury time. None of last week’s tracks made it in to the Top 100 again, which means my powers are waning. Instead of dwelling on that sad fact, I’m back to run the rule over another five new releases…

First up is ‘Hello Hi 2’ from Big Narstie featuring the ginger whiner, Ed Sheeran. What the actual fuck?! I’ve seen this Big Narstie fella has a chat show on Channel 4. I didn’t watch it – why would I? Especially with Sheeran as a guest. This will probably be a HIT down to the Sheeran factor. Because for some reason, he can do no wrong.


Track number two is ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ by the NHS Voices. Now, as you know, I’m a massive Beatles fan, so any attempt to cover a Beatles song is risky business in my view. Yes, it’s for a good cause etc etc yada yada, but fuck me it’s atrocious. Whatever happened to quality control in the music business? The original was good, the Joe Cocker version an absolute beauty, and even the Wet Wet Wet version was passable, but this? No. Having said that, being a ‘charidee’ single, it’ll probably be a HIT.


The third of this week’s tracks is ‘Love Lights’ from Sunset Sons. The Sunset Sons are a three piece band originating from the UK and Australia, and, according to Wikipedia, based in France, the Landes region known (and correct me if Wikipedia is wrong) as the “European Surfing Capital”. Is it any good, I hear you say. Well, compared to what has come before this week, it’s a marked improvement. But that doesn’t mean it’s very good. It will still be a MISS.


The fourth track is ‘Barcelona’ from Max George. I must warn you, this is not a cover of the Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe duet. I was curious. But then as soon as he tried to rhyme Barcelona with California, I was lost, and this was just another piece of musical garbage. Apparently Max used to be in The Wanted. Big fucking whoop. If music was a dog, then this is the stuff that dogs try to scrape off their arse by dragging it along the floor. I really hope it’s not a hit, but MAYBE it will be.


Last up this week is ‘Is This Still Love’ by ex-McFly chap Danny Jones. He’s obviously tried to grow up musically, which is brave. But that doesn’t mean it’s good. Oh no, sir-ee. Maybe the best of a really shit bunch this week, but nothing more. I can’t see it making an impact on the chart, so that makes this a MISS.


Right, that just leaves the matter of the classic chart hit, which this week, comes from 1988. This week, at number two, were the Fat Boys with Chubby Checker and their version of ‘The Twist (Yo Twist)’. Takes me back…

Juke Box Jury 02/07/18

Summer is in full swing, the heat is making people melt, and all the water is running out. Apparently. After none of last week’s featured tracks made it into the Top 100, I’m back to see what this week has in store for me…

First up is the new single from Embrace, ‘Adrenalin’. I remember when they were fairly big in the late nineties, and how they were okay, but not really great. In a topsy turvy world, it’s good to know that Embrace are still okay but not really great. Nothing changes. This isn’t going to trouble the charts, but I don’t think that’s what bands like Embrace are making music for any more. So, this will be a MISS, but no one will be bothered by that.


Track two is ‘Cry On My Guitar’ by Miles Kane, of Last Shadow Puppets fame. This has a definite T-Rex vibe going on, and that’s good enough for me. This is seriously good, folks. I don’t know what else to say, other than go and buy the mofo. The million dollar question remains, will it be a hit? MAYBE.


The third track this week is ‘Jealous Sea’ by Meg Myers. Meg is from Tennessee, and Wikipedia pigeonholes her as Indie/Alternative Rock. Is it any good, you’re probably wondering? Well, let me tell you. It is average. I’m listening to it, and I don’t necessarily want to turn it off half way through, but by the same token, I don’t want to listen to it again. I’m going call this one early – it’s a MISS.


Track four this week is ‘Connection’ from OneRepublic. I don’t know why they felt the need to dispense with the space, but I digress. This is typical American pop rock rubbish. End of. Another MISS.


This brings me to the last of this week’s new releases. ‘Under The Sun’ is by Roosevelt, a German singer-songwriter. It’s not my cup of tea, really. And that’s not just because he’s German and my wife’s Austrian, and there’s a whole historical hatred thing going on. I can imagine this being used to advertise something like a soft drink or something summery. I could probably cope with only hearing a twenty second snippet, because after that, it’s just repetitive. And not in a good way. This, I’m afraid, is another MISS.


And now to the classic hit for this week. On this day in 2012, for some unknown reason, House of Pain were at number 93 with their 1992 hit ‘Jump Around’. Obviously benefiting from music streaming having a bearing on the charts, this was probably the best song in the Top 100 that week, apart from Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ which was sitting at number 92!!

Now That’s What Specs ‘n’ Rugs Calls Music!

After six months of reviewing new single releases, I’ve decided to put together a compilation playlist of recommended tracks that I’ve enjoyed listening to. Fifteen tracks of pure listening pleasure awaits you…

  1. Mr Tillman – Father John Misty
  2. Over And Over And Over – Jack White
  3. Quiet, The Winter Harbour – Mazzy Star
  4. Aspects – Paul Weller
  5. Humility – Gorillaz
  6. I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain – Chemical Brothers & Beth Orton
  7. Gold Rush – Death Cab For Cutie
  8. I’m Your Man – Spiritualized
  9. Deep Pockets – Gaz Coombes
  10. Premonition – Eels
  11. Baby I Love You – Ryan Adams
  12. Higher – Lily Allen
  13. No Regrets – Louis York ft The Shindellas
  14. She’s Kerosene – The Interrupters
  15. I Catch You – Lokki

I hope you give these another listen, and see why I’ve picked them.

Juke Box Jury – 25/06/18

Six months of Juke Box Jury has passed us by! I’ve reviewed a lot of music. Some of it glorious, some just good, and some absolutely atrocious. After none of last week’s tracks made it in to the Top 100, let’s see what this week has in store…

First up is ‘No Regrets’ from Louis York featuring the Shindellas. This has got a bit of funk going on. There’s a hint of Michael Jackson about this song, I must say. Louis York is a duo from the USA, not someone I’ve heard of before, but, dare I say it, on the basis of this track, I might be curious enough to investigate further… This could be a HIT. And I’m not having any regrets in choosing this to review.


The second track of the week is ‘I Don’t Know’ by Paul McCartney. You remember him? He was quite big in the Sixties, the Seventies, the Eighties, the Nineties, The Noughties, and again now. This is part of a two track release along with ‘Come On To Me’. This is a pleasant song to listen to, reminding me of his more recent output rather than harking back to his Beatles or Wings efforts. Can it be a hit? Potentially. Will it be a hit? MAYBE.


The third offering is ‘Boom Goes The Cannon’ from Mobb Deep. This is apparently inspired by the Musical ‘Hamilton’ which apparently is a musical featuring rap and hip-hop that tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of founding fathers of the USA. Now, I’ve featured other tracks from this genre over the last 6 months, and I have to admit, this is probably one of the better ones I’ve listened to. Mobb Deep consisted of two fellas, one of which has since died, but that’s beside the point. I don’t think this will be a hit, more a MISS.


Track four of this week is ‘Talk Is Cheap’ by JMSN. This is another one with a bit of a groove going on. JMSN is one dude – Christian Berishaj, who, according to his Wikipedia entry, is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer and mixer. So, a jack of all trades. Is he a master of any? If he wants to sound like Justin Timberlake, then he’s hit the nail on the head. It will be a MISS, mostly because I don’t think there’s a following.


And so, to the last of this week’s new tracks. ‘Festival Music’ is by We The Kings. Apparently, We The Kings have been going for over ten years. I’ve never heard of them. They must be shit then, right? Bingo! I’m not sure what they’re trying to sound like with this song, but they sound bad. Really bad. If this makes it into the charts, I will buy the album. I’m so confident that this will be a MISS.


Right. Now for the classic chart tune. On this very day in 1956, The King, or Elvis Presley as he was still known as back then was at Number Two with this iconic track – ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. Enjoy.

Juke Box Jury 18/06/18

Another week has passed us by. For the football fans, the World Cup is taking up most of the time, and for the non-football fans, well, Poldark is on a Sunday night… None of last week’s featured tracks made it into the Top 100 chart, which is not surprising as they were all pretty bad.

The first of this week’s tracks is ‘I Can Dream’ by Boyzone. The Irish boyband, who are now all way too old to be a boyband, have got a new album coming, and this is the end. Again. As a parting gift to their fans, they have clearly gone back in time to the 90’s with this song. Dronin’ Ronan leads the way in this piece of pop, and with the announcement of the split, I expect the wave of nostalgia to make this a HIT.


Track two is ‘Darth Vader’ by Chip. I chose this based purely on the title. To be honest, that’s about as good as it gets. This is absolute fucking garbage. Actually, garbage is better than this. Why is this music popular? Let me say this: Chip is shit. But, to be on the safe side, I’ll say it’s a MAYBE.


The next track is ‘Gold Rush’ from Death Cab For Cutie. The only example of their previous work I know of is ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’, which is a bleak song to say the least. Good, but bleak. This, however, is different. It’s got a groove. It’s enjoyable in a different way. It will bear up to repeat listening. It may end up being a MISS, but I don’t care, and neither should they.


The penultimate track is ‘I’m Your Man’ by Spiritualized. Hailing from Rugby, Spiritualized may be remembered by their 1997 album ‘Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’, and that’s how I remembered them. This has elements of that sound, and then a good chorus to boot. And it all goes together pretty well, if you ask me. While it will probably be a chart MISS, it might well be something I add to my own collection.


And on to the last track. ‘If You Wanna Love Somebody’ is the new single from Tom Odell. I know the name, somehow, but I’ve never has the misfortune to listen to his work. In the name of blogging I sought him out, and I’m so glad I did. Not. I must be a true artist, because I’m fucking suffering here. You can too, but first, this is a MAYBE. Now, suffer as I did…


Which just leaves the matter of the classic chart hit. Going back to this day in 1998, ex-Housemartin Norman Cook had released ‘Rockafeller Skank’ under his latest guise, Fatboy Slim, and it was a new entry at Number 6. Enjoy…

Juke Box Jury – 11/06/18

Evening All! How lovely is this weather we’re having in Shropshire?!! Two of last week’s tracks entered the Top 100 – The 1975 and Gorillaz – which is a nice surprise. By featuring the Beth Orton/Chemical Brothers track set my wife off on a voyage of Tim Buckley discovery, which got me thinking: has anyone been influenced by this feature to listen to something new? Whether it’s the track featured, or the artist, or an original artist if it’s been a cover version? I’d be interested to know, so please leave a comment here, or on my Facebook page. On to the business of this week’s releases…

The first one is ‘Deep End’ by Daughtry. Daughtry are an American band formed by some dude who was an American Idol finalist. If he was singing stuff like this, then it’s no wonder he didn’t win because it’s boring, beige nonsense. My twelve year-old had produced better, and he really doesn’t comprehend music properly (he likes Ed Sheeran ffs). This will be a massive MISS.


Track two is ‘Beautiful Life’ by Rick Astley. Remember when he was never gonna give you up? Or let you down? Or run around? Or desert you? Based on this, he should have given up the music. I can’t think of anything good to say, other than it’s short – running time is 2 minutes 53 seconds. I guess the Astley fans from the 80’s who have now grown up will like it, but are there enough of those to propel this into the charts? I highly doubt it, which makes this another MISS.


The third track is ‘Hair Too Long’ by The Vamps. Who are the Vamps? Do you know? Apparently they are some British band. What can I say about this? Not much really, because it’s spectacularly shite. But, having said that, it’s a MAYBE.


The fourth of this week’s tracks is ‘From The Outside’ by Real Friends. Real Friends are classed by Wikipedia as ‘American pop punk’, which immediately makes me think it’s not going to be great. Only the American’s could put punk and pop together. It’s the sort of thing that would feature in an American Pie movie, if they were still being made. Is it capable of making the charts? No fucking chance. That’s a MISS.


Which leads me to the last of the five tracks. ‘Summer Fever’ is from Little Big Town, who are a country pop band from the US of A. It sounds like they have Googled “how do I write a summer hit?” and thrown everything into a mixer – slight funk/disco rhythm, lyrics including the word summer, repetitive chorus, and a music video featuring the group doing summery things. If only the song that resulted wasn’t dogshit, which this is. Sadly, for them at least, this is going to be a MISS.


So, I’d like to apologise for the absolute rubbish you’ve had to listen to this week, and hope that the classic chart hit can make up for it, even just a little bit. Coming back up the charts on this day in 1977 were the Sex Pistols with their version of our national anthem – showing their respect for our reigning monarch. Ah, no wait, that’s not right…