Juke Box Jury – 19/03/18

Monday night is Juke Box Jury night. Of last week’s tracks, only the Years & Years one made it into the Top 100, entering at the dizzy heights of 25!

The first of this week’s tracks to be put to the test of my discerning ear is ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’. This is a cover version of the Elton John and Kiki Dee hit by the rather unlikely duo of Q-Tip and Demi Lovato. Q-Tip I know from my youth (being brought up with my brother’s music blasting from the room next door does that – A Tribe Called Quest featured a lot), but this Demi bird, I do not know. I probably should judge this on it’s own merits, but the truth is, it doesn’t have any. I don’t think this will trouble the charts either, so it’s a MISS.


The next track is ‘Can’t Deny Me’ by stalwart American rock band, Pearl Jam. I have to admit I’ve never really bothered with Pearl Jam. Never felt the need. Based on this song, I’m not going to spend the next three hours trawling Youtube for all their videos, but if it came on the radio, I certainly wouldn’t turn it off either. It’s bearable. Which is a good sign, ask my wife! Could it make it into the charts? Probably not. Which makes it a MISS.


The third track of the week is ‘Saviour’ by George Ezra featuring First Aid Kit. I’ve heard many people talk about Mr Ezra, raving about him. Which immediately makes me determined to avoid him like the plague. A decision that it vindicated on listening to this. Also, who the fuck are ‘First Aid Kit’, and what part do they play in this charade of music?! I have to say, it’s absolute crap, and that leads me to declare it a HIT.


The fourth track of the week is ‘Premonition’ by the Eels. A welcome respite after the previous tripe, this a melancholic number (it’s the Eels, right?) and it’s the sort of thing you can stick on late at night and just relax in the darkness. My sort of music. I like this, quite a bit. But I don’t think it will make it into the charts, which is something I’m quite pleased about. It may be a MISS, but it’s a hit with me.


And so, on to the final track of the week. ‘Desire’ by Matt Cardle is one of the so-called highlights of the week’s new releases (according to the Official Chart Company website). This fell won the X-Factor didn’t he? Then sank without a trace. After listening to this, methinks he ought to have remained untraceable. I’m trying to find a redeeming feature in this song. Ummm… I like the way it fades to nothing at the end. There. Call it a MAYBE.


Which brings me to the joyous task of selecting a ‘classic’ chart hit from the annals of history. Who doesn’t like a bit of Tom Jones?! Well, here he is belting out that good old sing-a-long ‘Delilah’, which sat at Number 6 on this day in 1968. All together now, “My my my, Delilah..”



Juke Box Jury – 12/03/18

Monday night means Juke Box Jury time. Of the five tracks featured last week, only the Meghan Trainor song made it into the Top 100. Which is a travesty. I continue this week, unperturbed, with another five new releases.

First up is the official song of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It’s called ‘Colors’ and it’s by Jason Derulo, who might be big in Russia. Possibly. Sadly, it’s a thinly veiled advertisement for Coca Cola, which is not surprising as it’s billed as the Coca Cola song for the World Cup. Expect to hear it endlessly over the next couple of months in all those adverts on telly and so on. No number of repeat listens will make me change my mind. It’s a bag of shite. I honestly don’t know if it’ll trouble the charts in the short term, possibly nearer the World Cup in June. I’ll hedge my bets with a MAYBE.


The second track is one of two new releases by Lily Allen. ‘Higher’ is textbook Lily Allen lyrically. Musically, it’s a bit different from what I expected. If you like her stuff, then you’ll probably like this. Personally, I liked ‘Smile’ and ‘LDN’, but kind of got bored after that. I’m not won over with this. Are there enough fans to get it into the Top 100? I’m not so sure, so it’s going to be a MISS.


The third track up is ‘Dylan & Caitlin’ by Welsh rock stalwarts the Manic Street Preachers. Are they ‘Rock’ or ‘Indie’? I don’t know anymore. But you’ve got James Dean Bradfield’s recognisable voice, melodic guitar sound and the potential sing-a-long chorus. The version linked below is an acoustic version, but I think I could get used to listening to it a bit more. As to whether it will make it into the charts, well that’s not what it’s all about for the Manics, really. It will be a MISS, but that’s no bad thing…


The fourth track of this week is ‘Sanctify’ by Years And Years. I have to ask, who are Years And Years? Should I have heard of them? First of all, it’s a bloody stupid video. Secondly, it’s a shit song. Which probably means it’ll be a HIT.


Which leads me to the final track of the week. ‘Greatest Comedian’ by the rather strangely named Matt Maltese. Is it a real name? Or is he Maltese, and decided to differentiate himself from another non-Maltese Matt? Either way, this is an assault on my ears. Thankfully it’s less than three minutes long, and kudos to you if you actually make it to the end… MISS.


Which brings me to the pleasant task of sharing a classic chart hit with you. On this day in 1972, the charts were awash with some fucking amazing songs. So many, I struggled to actually pick one to feature here. In the end, in the pursuit of something a bit different, I’ve gone for ‘Morning Has Broken’ by Cat Stevens. It was down at number 42, but had been as high as number nine.


And that’s that. See you next week, dear readers!


Juke Box Jury – 05/03/18

After two of last week’s tracks made it into the Top 100, I’m back to run the rule over the latest contenders.

First up, ‘Over And Over And Over’ from Jack White. That’s one half of the White Stripes, in case you were wondering. It’s got a driving beat reminiscent of the best White Stripes tracks, and is instantly recognisable. You can turn this up loud and rock out to your hearts content. This is the first single from his forthcoming album ‘Boarding House Reach’ and if this is anything to go by, it’s going to be great. Will it trouble the charts though? As much as it should, I’m going to sit on the fence and say MAYBE.


The next track is ‘Shrinking Man’ by Ry Cooder. I knew the name, but I had to Google him to be sure, and he’s a real musical legend. This is a cool little bluesy number you can nod your head and tap your feet to. My kind of music. Sadly, not the kind of music that will trouble today’s short-attention-span-lack-of-substance charts. More’s the pity. Reluctantly, it’s a MISS.


The third track of the week is ‘Put It On A T-Shirt’ by The Vaccines. This is another of those bands I’m aware of, but my usual dismissal of new music has meant I’ve failed to look into them. This isn’t bad. It kind of reassures me that decent guitar music isn’t dead just yet. The big question though, is it good enough to impact the charts? MAYBE.


Onto the fourth track of the week. ‘Dancer’ by Flo Rida. The only artist I know that took his stage name by adding a random space to a US state. I’d like to know if this was the first attempt, or if there is a list somewhere with Tex As, Oreg On or Connect Icut on it! If only he put as much effort into his music. It says a lot that I’ve spent more time thinking about unused state names than actually actively listening to this tripe. But, as history reminds us, tripe tends to do well… Meaning this could well be a mega HIT.


Which leads us to the last offering of the week. ‘No Excuses’ is the new single from Meghan Trainor. According to the Official Chart company website, this is a ‘highlight’ of the new releases. According to Specs, Rugs And Sausage Rolls, this is absolute fucking garbage. So, that means it’ll be a HIT.


Finally, that brings us to the classic chart track for the week. Sitting at the top of the charts on 5th March 1966 was Frank’s daughter, Nancy Sinatra with ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’. A fabulous antidote to the last two tracks I’ve had to listen to this week!!

Juke Box Jury – 26/02/18

Another Monday, another Juke Box Jury. After only one of the five tracks troubled the charts – Muse came in at number 76, here are five more tracks for me to pull apart and leave the bones for the vultures circling above.

First up is the best artist currently active in the world. ‘Mr Tillman’ is the new track from Father John Misty. Clearly inspired by too many hotel receptions and moaning customers, this is a jaunty number that bears a little resemblance to his most recent album, being mostly piano-led, but without the philosophical and sociological lyrics. Personally, it’s a big, monster HIT.


The second track is a potential Eurovision entry for Finland. I kid you not. ‘Queens’ is by the heavily-vowelled Saara Aalto. She’s got more ‘A’s’ than a surly teenager. It screams out Eurovision. And there’s no guarantee it will even make it to the competition. If it doesn’t, then blame the Finns. Will it make an impression on the British charts? Probably not, but I think I’ll sit on the fence and say MAYBE.


The next track is ‘Like I Do’ by David Guetta, Martin Garrix and Brooks. It’s one of those unnecessary ‘collaborations’ and, to be frank, it’s fucking awful. It’s one of those that you have to be completely out of your tree in a club, trying to cop off with some bird you’ve been giving the eye all night. You step on to the dance floor and hope you have the moves to tempt her away from her mates. You catch a glimpse of yourself dancing and gurning like a prick and then, in a flash the song finishes. Then you try and listen to the song when sober and ask yourself what in God’s name compelled you?! Having said that, it’ll probably be a HIT. More’s the pity.


The penultimate track up before my discerning ears is ‘Lullaby’ by Sigala and Paloma Faith. Now, the Official Chart website considered this a ‘highlight’ of the week’s releases. It’s so music-by-numbers it’s not true. Thumping beat? Check. Synthesised melody? Check. Repetitive lyrics? Check. Tagged on a fairly well-known artist with a minimal contribution? Check. I was ecstatic when the damned thing was over. I fear the masses will lap this dross up, so, reluctantly, it’s going to be a HIT.


And finally, ‘Nothing To Regret’ by Robinson. We’ll see about that, shall we? Ok, so it’s not the worst track of the week. That’s all I can really say in it’s favour. I’m already regretting listening to it, and there’s another 40 seconds left of the damned song. I know what she’s trying to do, she’s trying to use the repetitive chorus to try and get into people’s heads. I sincerely hope it fails. MISS.


And that’s the end of this week’s new releases. Now for some classic chart entry fun. A new entry in February 1963, Cliff Richard and the Shadows were clearly in an optimistic mood with ‘Summer Holiday’!

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.

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!!