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Too fun to hate.
Celina Murphy, 25 Aug 2011
Something terrible happens when I trail my eyes down the track list of Victory, the second album in as many years by tone-deaf poptrocity Jedward. Their truly diabolical debut Planet Jedward was a baffling collection of gimmicky covers, so naturally, when I see song titles like ‘Saturday Night’, ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Miss America’ on the sleeve, I immediately expect hyperactive versions of tunes by Whigfield, N*Sync and, gulp… Blur.
Thankfully, I’ve grossly underestimated the scissor-kicking twosome. After all, a lot’s happened since their first release – they’ve met Barack Obama (“like, the biggest world leader in the world, okay?”), persuaded Perez Hilton to star in their music video and given Ireland its best Eurovision Song Contest result in over a decade. More importantly, and possibly in tandem with that last point, the Irish public has finally learned to appreciate the boys from Lucan for what they are – i.e. the closest thing we have to real-life cartoon characters.
The body-popping hijinks on singles ‘Bad Behaviour’ and ‘Lipstick’ set the tone for the new record perfectly, marrying the best elements of turn-of-the-century Mickey Mouse Club pop and present-day chart-topping Eurotrash. In fact, the head-spinning, fist-thumping fare on Victory is so sugary, the 12-tracker could easily be a lost N*Sync album, not least because John and Edward re-enact Justin Timberlake’s white ‘fro years with remarkable accuracy.
‘POP Rocket’ is a hugely enjoyable stadium stomper and the JLS-penned ‘WOW OH WOW’ is more danceable than anything Justin Bieber has come up with. Even Jedward’s attempt at a ballad, the techno-tinged ‘Hold The World’, is hopelessly catchy.
Sure, it’s infuriating that Jedward insist on capitalising arbitrary words, and that thanks to incessant Auto-Tuning, the album is essentially a 39-minute stutter, but Victory is a masterclass in the phenomenon of ‘so bad, it’s good’, as perfected by Ke$ha’s use of a dollar sign to punctuate her name. Scratch that. This whole album is the dollar sign in Ke$ha’s name – obnoxious, vain and ridiculous, but deliciously so.