Monday, July 22, 2013

JEDWARD-Planet Jedward (2010)


Like the SHAMPOO girls that were in 'trouble' back in 1994, I had to book me a ticket on the next space shuttle, and this particular spacecraft departed from the awesome 80's and warped about twenty years into the future! Equipped with temporal displacement technology, your pilot simply wished to go on a short trek to rendezvous with a couple of familiar, friendly humanoids. That would be the Irish duo John and Edward Grimes (their elongated four-part middle names have been truncated for this transmission), who are better known to the pop universe as JEDWARD. When a distress call for "Planet Jedward" was sent to me via my personal data stream, I responded immediately, though it was not without me having to land on the surface myself last night and becoming entrapped inside the duo's wacky but deliciously fun bubblegum world of rap music yet again! I've met many of these planet's inhabitants many times before in the past, as they were originally the creations of other humanoids before JEDWARD abducted them and assimilated them into their own collective. The first abductee is actually two abductees fused into one—a clever mash-up of QUEEN's "Under Pressure" and Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby". The QUEEN classic is quite unexplored by me, but I remember the Vanilla Ice tune as if it were still the 90's. A mixture of old and a mixture of new, as it was for me my first time, but it was all the way solid! Of course, I got to know "Everybody" when those BACKSTREET BOYS performed the original on their "Backstreet's Back" album; the JEDWARD remake fully captures every infectious boyband component. Although hearing the identical twins sing 'Jedward's back' seemed a bit awkward at first, considering they were remaking it for their debut album. Jedward's back? Back from what? That's when I quickly remembered that they once competed on "The X-Factor", so one could say that Jedward's back from that televised music competition. And everybody who was listening to music in the 80's can't forget the Ray Parker, Jr. classic that continues to be an annual Halloween anthem: "Ghostbusters". Nearly the exact same beat and arrangement used for the original is heard on JEDWARD's remake, though with the guys supplying their own antics and twists of the old lyrics to change things up. Covering "I Want Candy" was an excellent idea on the guys' part; the sound totally suits their personality and style, and just the fact that the title has the word 'candy' in it fits the album's bubblegum pop/rap theme. 'Oh my God! I remember this one, too!', was, in so many words, my immediate thought the moment I heard the familiar arrangement from the unforgettable KRIS KROSS hit, "Jump"; the second was something like, 'Cool! Are they really singing this?!'. Takes some getting used to their voices on this one, but it actually comes out sounding very well. Every time I hear somebody singing "I Like To Move It", I always think about the animated movie "Madagascar" and the animals that are dancing to it.....not to mention my Mom, who does a silly dance whenever she hears it herself. Seems to me like the two brothers just wanted to rear back and have some fun dancing to this one themselves! Their remake that I love the most is without a doubt "Pop Muzik". Took me a minute to remember the new wave act that originally recorded it, going back an forth from TALKING HEADS to TALK TALK to Taco to THE ROMANTICS before finally settling on the band known as M. This song is A-W-E-S-O-M-E! I've always loved that song's bouncy electronic beat, the quirky lyrics (I like when the lead singer goes 'fee-fi-fo-fum', 'knick knack patty whack' and 'eenie meenie mynie moe') and the backup singers going 'shoo-bee doo-bee doo-bop, bop bop bop' in those monotonic, touch-tone dialed telephone voices. Though somehow, listening to JEDWARD voicing the lyrics just makes it all sound even better! The guys became at least the second group of humanoids to redo the AEROSMITH classic when they rapped and rocked it out on "Walk This Way", the first of two bonus tracks not found on some versions of their debut album. The second would be one of the unfamiliar inhabitants I met on "Planet Jedward": the Japanese edition bonus track called "Everyday Superstar", which is a real treat for the pop lovers. Any song that can get away with mentioning Lady Gaga, Shakira, Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie, Madonna and Beyoncé in the lyrics—all put to a great club dance beat—deserves to achieve superstar status:

1. Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)
2. All The Small Things
3. Everybody
4. Ghostbusters
5. Fight For Your Right To Party
6. I Want Candy
7. Jump
8. I Like To Move It
9. Rock DJ
10. Teenage Kicks
11. Pop Muzik

*****BONUS TRACKS*****

12. Walk This Way
13. Everyday Superstar


Lemonade and Lamingtons said...

Fantastic review Rich! Be sure to check out Jedward's 2nd and 3rd albums, Victory (2011) and Young Love (2012). Both are available on iTunes. They're currently working on their fourth album, which features songs they've written themselves, so it's bound to be amazing!

Julietb said...

I love this review, Planet Jedward is a real feel good album, and it was their first. It's worth check out their subsequent Albums, Victory and Young Love. both very distinctive and amazing albums.