Here at popfools HQ, we are realists. We realise that all pop acts reach a shelf life. Precious few pop acts make it past their second album. There is a very good reason for this; it seems an appropriate length of time for the majority of pop acts. After all, there’s only so much material we can handle from the likes of Liberty X, S Club 7, Holly Valance and even The Spice Girls. Therefore, there are actually very few ‘disbanded’ pop acts which we personally crave new music from. Indeed, off the top of our head, we can think of only 3, although we are sure we could name more if you pointed a gun to our head, or if we looked through out iTunes.
1. Mini Viva. Cruelly dropped before releasing their debut album, which has never leaked and therefore may or may not have been any good. Their single run was literally flawless and hinted at many potentially great pop moments to come, although ‘Emotions of Love’ hinted that some of the album may not have been as good.
2. Girls Aloud. An odd choice, given their recent reunion, and the fact that they have never officially ‘disbanded’. However, it seems highly likely they are not releasing any new material within the next few years. As we write this article, they are preparing to go on stage for the last date of their tour, and consequently most likely the last time for a few years.
3. Junior Senior.
‘Why do you hold such love for Junior Senior?’ we hear you asking. Be patient and keep reading, as we are about to explain why.
Anybody who had their ear near a UK-based radio station in 2003 will remember the band for their ubiquitous megahit ‘Move Your Feet’, a UK #3. As with Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe, the song became bigger than the band, and thus far superior follow-up ‘Rhythm Bandits’ missed the UK top 20 and largely avoided anyone’s attention, except for a few gamers when it was bizzarely included on FIFA 2004. Thus the band never really caught on in the UK in the way they should have done. Their music being used in adverts for pop-related TV shows or on movies didn’t really help the situation much (although probably got them some serious syndication money, so well done to the management).
Ayway, that was all just an unnecessarily long-winded way of saying that their second album, ‘Hey Hey My My Yo Yo’, wasn’t released in the UK. No biggie, we hear you saying. YOU ARE WRONG MY FRIEND. The album is all kinds of amazing, and then some. It significantly trumps their debut effort by a long shot. Sonically it is inspired by New Wave music, specifically 80s synthpop. It’s hard to know at some points whether it is a homage or a pastiche of such music, but it is carried out so well that we are going with the former.
The album isn’t without it’s fault; the version we have is bloated (thanks to the addition of tracks from stand alone EP ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’), and indeed it is these tracks from the EP which are our least favourite. The album can be a bit too much. It sounds like an unsupervised kid’s party, where the kids have all taken too many skittles, and are running around breaking vases, screaming at the top of their voices, and raiding Mum’s make-up box and wardrobe for ‘dressing up’. But it’s high points are truly so sweet to the ears that, despite its faults, we find ourselves wanting more.
We feel, like fellow Danes Alphabeat’s ‘The Beat Is’, Junior Senior could have done an amazing 90s house-inspired album. And then a late 90s europop (think Vengaboys) inspired album. And then a 60s inspired album. And they would have all been amazing.
This is why we want Junior Senior to come back. We’ve been good this year (so far…) and we owe it to our ears to treat them with something as poptastic, as popfoolish, as popdelicious, as the sounds of Junior Senior at their best.
We also feel that it is Junior Senior’s destiny to forever create music together; like yin and yang, vodka and cranberry, or yorkshire puddings and gravy, one must always go with the other. So if you’re reading this, Junior, or Senior, or maybe even both of you, care to kiss and make up? Please…?
Junior Senior’s Best Tracks
This is the best ‘intro’ track we have ever heard. And we’ve heard a lot.
‘Hip Hop A Lula’
Delicious synths and great lyrics. ‘We’ve been too tired of the booty shake / So please do something new, because you’re keeping us awake’ and ‘Take me down to the parallel city / Where the music’s loud and the boys are pretty’ being our favourites.
‘We R The Handclaps’
Instant happiness in song form. Great moments: 2:15 when ‘I am the bass’ is sung really low and the last ten seconds of the song.
‘I Like Music (Working On Something Better)’
We especially like all the background ‘wooos’ and ‘do it, do it’s. Also the line ‘Cos music’s not just sound’ is amazing.
‘Itch U Can’t Skratch’
At this point we feel it necessary to point out we’re forgiving, not overlooking, Junior Senior’s penchant for misspelling things.
‘No No No’s’
This song has a female vocalist featuring prominently on it, and sounds so 60’s, hence why we want a 60’s inspired album from the band. The main hook ‘I won’t fall in love’ is so immensely catchy.
‘Dance Chance Romance’
Lyrical genius in this song includes the following lines. ‘And we once made a song called Move Your Feet’, ‘Still making up the words as we go along / But if we just stick together we can’t go wrong’ (WHY DID YOU SPLIT UP THEN YOU TOOLS?!?!) and ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it / and if you can’t fix it, don’t break it’
Make sure you’re listening to the ‘right’ version of this song; it was sped up for the UK single release. The original album version is worse. Far, far worse. Makes mention of ‘boomerang’ in the lyrics, thus beating Scherzinger to the dubious honour of ‘Pop’s Finest Usage of Boomerang in A Song’. We love the repetition of the ‘rock’s and the ‘beat’s throughout the song. Cleverly done.
‘Move Your Feet’
You all know this one.
‘Chicks and Dicks’
We like the random inclusion of strings at 1:53 for no apparent reason. We also like the ‘do do’ and also the way Senior is basically saying ‘yeah give me loads of cock’
Pre-empting Kesha’s inferior song of the same name by a good 9 years, the best line in this song is ‘let’s go to the beach in the batmobile’. Actually, everything about this song is genius.
‘Shake Me Baby’
This song is also quite 60’s.
‘White Trash’ (aka the Popworld advert song)
This song is so ridiculously about sex, ‘shake your coconuts (cocoboys) until the milk comes out (cocogirls)’, that the fact it was featured in a kid’s movie is a little bit outrageous. This song contains glorious use of vocoder and many ‘oooh-ooh’s and ‘aaah-aah’s.
In retrospect it probably would have been simpler to outline which Junior Senior songs we don’t rate highly. Oh well.