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 – 26/03/18

Well, after last week’s tracks failed to trouble the Top 100, I’m going to try again with another five.

The first track could have a family connection, but it’s just a coincidence. Yes, ’17’ is by Lily Moore (not my niece). Whoever she is, she’s clearly trying to channel the ghost of Amy Winehouse. If you like Amy Winehouse, you’ll probably like this. I never really liked her, so for me, this sucks. It’s the sort of thing that might get a cult following, so I’m going to go with a MAYBE.


Next up is ‘Don’t Give In’ by those insipid, dreary musical dullards Snow Patrol. Apparently they’ve been away for a while and now they’re back. Pity. I was enjoying the Snow Patrol-less world. This reeks of stadium rock with a few naughty words thrown in like a kid who drops the F-bomb in a conversation with his parents when he has his mates round. On a separate point: they’re ugly fuckers aren’t they? Absolute awful tripe, but likely to be a HIT.


The third track of the week is ‘Follow Your Fire’ by Kodaline. I’ve heard of this lot. Never actually listened to them though. If this is what I’ve been missing, then I’ve not missed anything. It’s poor. Really, really poor. I’m hoping there’s going to be a redeeming feature. Alas, no. Big fat MISS.


The fourth track is’Walk The Walk’ by Gaz Coombes. I’ve tried to feature different artists, but this week is so poor, and so when I saw Gaz Coombes in the list of new releases, I couldn’t resist. There’s an element of funk about this. It doesn’t sound like anything else he’s produced before now, which is good – he’s not churning out the same old stuff. Maybe I’m just biased, but this is streets ahead of what has featured so far this week. I’m sure it won’t make it into the charts, so on that basis, it’s a MISS. But it’s a hit in my heart.


Which brings me to the last new release of the week. ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night) is from Panic! At the Disco. The most remarkable thing about this is the music video, which makes Home Alone look like My Little Pony. The song itself is average. Could be a HIT though. On a slight tangent, are there any other bands with punctuation within the name rather than at the end?!


And so we come to the classic chart section of the week. Back in March 1961, Elvis Presley was in the midst of his movie career. This little gem, ‘Wooden Heart’ featured in his G.I. Blues film and is a million miles from his rock and roll roots, which is why many feel he sold out. All I can say is it’s better than fucking Snow Patrol!!

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 11

Another Saturday means another shuffle extravaganza is upon us. Thanks to the magic of technology, I’m actually busy doing something else right now, but here are the five tracks my phone shuffle threw up this week (not literally, of course)…

  1. Grown Ocean – The Fleet Foxes. Another of my favourite bands, the Fleet Foxes are just brilliant. This is the last track from their second album, ‘Helplessness Blues’, and it’s a treat.
  2. The World Tonight – Paul McCartney. Remember when it was the cool thing to mock Mr McCartney for ‘selling out’? Well, the Beatles Anthology thing came along and the next year, we got his ‘Flaming Pie’ album full of groovy tracks like this.
  3. Simple – Nick Harper. More of the magnificent Mr Harper. This is a simple song about simple stuff. It’s a little over-produced (I’m a sucker for his live act), but still a great song.
  4. Across The Universe – The Beatles. Carrying on with yet another brilliant song, this is one of John Lennon’s spiritual tracks written during the Rishikesh stay when they were all seeking a meaning to everything. There is a sub-standard cover version currently doing the rounds on a Samsung advert.
  5. Return To Sender – Elvis Presley. Remember the days when you had to write a letter to people in order to tell them things? Well, this is a song about writing to that special someone, only for the damned letters to come back to you, unopened. Call it unrequited love, or maybe just a crap postman…

And that is the end of that. With the start of the football season now upon us, this is the last shuffle for the time being – my Saturday afternoons will be filled with avoiding football…

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 8

As if by magic (bad magic at that), we are at the end of another week. Half way through the month already, which means two things – firstly it’ll soon be the kids’ summer holidays, and secondly it’s my birthday. Whoop! Whoop! Right, on with the business of shuffling…

  1. Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson. Remember when it was uncool to like Jacko because of the court cases and rumours? I admit I stopped listening to him, but only after ‘Earth Song’ – he went a bit shit. This is a cool song, from the ‘Bad’ album, of that there is no doubt.
  2. Always On My Mind – Elvis Presley. Ah, the King. A song with such random cover versions as The Pet Shop Boys and Mike Reid (yes, he of Frank Butcher fame), this is by far the best. A tidy love song.
  3. Where Ya Going? – Gomez. A band I lost touch with, but recently re-connected with and discovered a treasure trove of awesomeness. This features Ben Ottewell’s distinctive gravelly voice (he’s had the same voice for, like, nearly twenty years) and a dirty guitar sound.
  4. Thriller – Michael Jackson. The song that defined his career. It’s got funk, it’s got soul, and it’s got horror icon Vincent Price’s macabre spoken ending. And that video!! *insert evil laugh*
  5. Message In A Bottle – The Police. We finish off with a sting in the tail. See what I did there?! Yeah, okay, it’s a bit of a ‘dad joke’. I once got a message in a bottle – it was a beer bottle, and the message said “drink responsibly”…

And that’s the end for today. Until next week!

Song Title Short Story #12

Just Pretend – Elvis Presley

Something was wrong. I had walked away too soon. We were both heartbroken at the time, and we’d kept out of each others way for over a month, trying to let the emotional scars heal. This was easy enough considering the geographical distance between the two of us. I often wondered if you were doing okay, or if you were suffering just as I was.

Then, one day, I stopped and thought to myself – ‘what was I doing?’ It was blatantly clear to me that I needed you, and I hoped you still needed me. I took a huge leap of faith and I keyed your number into my phone and pressed the ‘call’ icon. The phone rang out, and just as I was about to give up, I heard the click and your familiar voice. We talked, awkwardly at first, but then the familiar old ways came back and soon we were laughing like we used to.

As the conversation tailed off, neither of us wanting to address the elephant in the room, for fear that the feelings might not be mutual, I wondered if this was it, which scared me more than anything, so I took a deep breath, and went for it.

“I made a huge mistake, leaving you like that,” I admitted. “You said that if I needed you, I’d know what to do. Does that still stand?” There was a momentary silence, then a quiet sound that could have been a sigh, or a sob.

“What do you think?” She replied.

“Okay then,” I sighed. “I’ll pack some stuff, and I’ll be with you very soon.”

“I can’t wait,” she said, a happy tone in her voice now. “Until then, I’ll just pretend you’re already here.”

“This is going to be brilliant,” I shouted, both of us laughing now, the sadness completely forgotten. “I can’t wait to hold you in my arms again,” I told her.

“Well, we’ll just have to pretend you never left,” she suggested.

That was the longest three hour journey of my life! The weather was truly awful, rain lashing down on my windscreen, requiring the wiper blades to be on full speed, and me, peering through the darkness, trying to see the road ahead. But all along the way, I kept telling myself this was totally worth it. As I got closer to your house, the stress of driving was replaced by that familiar feeling of butterflies and nervousness. But when I did finally arrive at your doorstep and rang the doorbell, you opened the door and I knew it had been completely worth it. We embraced there and then, and I promised you as we stood in the rain, that I was where I belonged, and I would not be leaving your side ever again.

Once I was dried off, we cuddled up on the sofa and watched some dodgy television show and that was where we fell asleep – in each others arms.