Lost For Words
JONJO FEATHER- I suppose
Dripping with nonchalance, slurring and croaking into the microphone like some kind of seasoned sex-god, I cannot believe I am listening to a 19-year-old Yorkshireman. It makes me very sad to be almost ten years older. But my old-lady lust aside (and damn this for invoking it) here is a young man who you're going to hear a lot more of, if you haven't already. Actually, he's not croaking into a microphone, instead preferring to solder microphones into telephone receivers and croak into that instead. Some bloke from the NME said this is "other other pop". Apparently this is because Jonjo is here to make noise how it's meant to be made. Which is a bit pretentious. However, this single sounds a bit like Buckley Jnr circa his "Sketches" from beyond the grave, whilst the B-side is a bit more circa "Grace" and the cover is strung-out and skinny. So it's been done but that's not saying you won't like it. At least to count how many times he says "I suppose". He also likes Rihanna so I can't wait for the sequel
This was released 14th April, 2008. Still, it doesn't matter that this review is obscenely late what with downloads and all that.
STAN- Lost for words
I too am lost for words. This album doesn't really start looking promising until about track 5 and then a renewed hope only lasts a song or two. And I wouldn't have got that far if my new schitzophrenic cat hadn't held me at knife-point (she's a bit of a masochist too; gone are the days where I would play Frisbee with such a CD). It also helped that I still had some gin in my system from the night before.
Apparently this duo-with-guest-musicians combo have cult status on the internet. I'm not sure what kind of cult because I couldn't find a thing about them, but, apart from the odd bit of rapping which just about saved a few painful seconds and the use of "doo be da doo" during the sweet "Lullaby from the drive", this is pretty dreadful overall. The singing is poor both from the guys themselves and the "award-winning" guest vocalists, the music underneath more often than not follows the same dreary melodies and it's all topped off with a droning organ. Their attempt at wit is perhaps a track called "Stan dup" which features the rapping guy imploring us to get up on our feet and give our bones a treat. They have been likened to slightly wonky folk. I'm not sure wonky is the word. And internet café jazz. What is that? Music to hurl computers at people's heads to? You're getting the point, I hope.
As time went on, it became more and more apparent that this is a complete mess. I began hallucinating and the only thing that was real was my cat rocking backwards and forwards in time. I could go so far as to say I would have pretty much hated it if I hadn't been so giddy and desperate. OK. I hated it. I tried not to be mean. I know what it's like to have my work criticised. I spent six weeks agonising over an essay last winter. I got my mark back and had been given brownie points for the sympathy that I am a non-native English speaker. I'm not. I thought that was harsh but I really think I've been beaten this time. Cue another band claiming I do not support independent music. FYI: BAD independent music. So shut it.
Does anyone remember Honeycrack? So you remember Willie Dowling? Who composed music for Lenny Henry? Or perhaps a better-known fact is that he used to be in The Wildhearts? Anyway, you should be pleased to hear that he's in another band who have just released their second album, an album which opens with the line "And the sun shines out of my arse/ It's incredible" sung over the top of an infectious tune that keeps sporadically popping in and out of my head since hearing it for the first time. It's clear that the wry English humour remains then, as does the harmonic bliss of his former pursuits, but with less of the rock and definitely more than a generous helping of pop. By which I mean simply wonderful well-crafted songs; what pop sounded like before Timbaland and Justin Timberlake were invented (Madonna, it's been done to death, love).
Unashamedly pinching the best bits of Electric Light Orchestra's ambitious and varied arrangements and Beach Boy catchiness (and why not? These artists have been around for decades for a reason), this is what The Beatles might have sounded like if Paul McCartney didn't have such an annoying mouth. Take the title track; it starts with a Bohemian Rhapsody parody, stomps into a kind of pseudo-funk disco that sounds like Head Automatica for a minute but retains the ambience that babies would dance to it with their fathers before they're too old to get embarrassed about it. Though it might not be the coolest thing in the world by the standards of the youth of today, that generally means that it is worth owning. So have a shufty.