I’m not a fan of novelty acts; it’s no secret. But since both Jedward’s single have forced me to give polarised responses so far, I thought I dig deeper for a more reliable answer to the question: Are Jedward for real?
It appears they are, they honestly think their good at what they do. Like they’re a serious act. But then again, why wouldn’t they be? They have a strong fanbase, a signature image… why wouldn’t we respect them as real artists, because everyone knows – a voice doesn’t get a record deal. What gets you a record deal is a personality, the ability to perform songs, and to create public interest, even if it is by splitting opinion. So when I caught wind Jedward were actually being granted an album – when I finally managed to return my jaw to it’s original position – I read Louis Walsh claimed it’ll be “unexpected and original”. Well, call me old-fashioned but an album of covers is neither unexpected nor original.
So I sit here, finding myself giving a track-by-track review of the début album from the two people I would most love to erase from my memory. This could be catty.
01. ‘Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)’ (featuring Vanilla Ice) (1.0 STAR)
(Originally performed by David Bowie, Queen & Vanilla Ice)
Their first single, which would be likeable enough considering the sing-along chorus but unfortunately, Jedward shouldn’t be rapping. They just shouldn’t. It’s like asking your Gran to help you train for a three-legged race. Imagine the outcome. Unfortunately for us, we have to live through it as John and Edward Grimes clumsily rap through the lyrics which are about as cringe-worthy as their quiffs – “I’m killing your brain like a poisonous mushroom”.
Even a cameo from Vanilla Ice fails to give this track any credibility. It comes off as a cheaply made, Eurovision reject. Somewhere in the distance you can hear Graham Norton say “What. On. Earth are they doing!?” in that voice he does. I didn’t expect much more, but if they rest of the album continues like this, Jedward can’t seriously expect them to hold onto their contract for much longer can they?
02. ‘All The Small Things’ (4.0 STARS)
(Originally performed by Blink-182)
Many people very against Jedward covering this song, claiming that they ruined it, in my opinion, this is one of the few Jedward triumphs. Sounding (just like the majority of the album) shockingly similar to the original, Jedward sprinkle some much needed summery charm over this track, meaning it doesn’t appear stuck out as the rest of the album’s frequent mis-haps.
Thankfully, Jedward have managed to perform this track to the point just before annoying, resulting in, regardless of whether you like them or not, a very enjoyable summer tune. And the video is quite genius.
03. ‘Everybody’ (0.5 STARS)
(Originally performed by Backstreet Boys)
Remember when Eoghan Quigg tried to have a career and his first single sounded like a watered-down McFly left-over? Watered down to the point where it sounded like someone needed to get some vitamin pills for the song? Yeah? Well this is Jedward equivalent.
The first point on the album where you can noticeably hear the auto-tune used to perfect their voices, this song sounds like a hollow version of the original. In fact, it sounds like the Backstreet Boys are singing it and Jedward have been given backing vocals; Jedward sound drowned out, like they’re trying to be heard amongst a crowd of their own fans. And who would be surprised to find that they arrogantly changed the lyrics to reference thenselves – “Jedward’s back/ALRIGHT!”. They THEN ask if they’re “sexual”… pass me a bucket.
Well, you won’t be if you release this song.
04. ‘Ghostbusters’ (1.5 STARS)
(Originally performed by Ray Parker Jnr.)
Showing the first piece of the rarity that has become originality on this album, this song open with an entirely new… four seconds, maybe? And Jedward seemed to have missed the concept of an album – you’re supposed to sing. No-one cares what you’ve got to say: You should do that in front of a crowd, on a tour, not on a recorded track because, behind the instantly recognisable refrain, John (or Edward) sounds like an asthmatic goat trying to be heard, and to be honest, they do sound a bit gay, so the whole song is very hard to take seriously.
I stll can’t get over the fact jedward feel the need to add ridiculous dialogue in every instrumental break – “John, SAVE ME!” and “Don’t be a baby, Edward”.
05. ‘Fight For You Right (To Party!)’ (0.0 STARS)
(Originally performed by The Beastie Boys)
At least at the intro of this song Jedward sound like they’re about to sing something manly. Heavy guitars lead into either of the twins shouting “KICK IT” which is actually pleasing to hear because they themselves sound manly up until they start to sing. A song like this must have some form of credibility from the artist. Hearing Jedward ‘sing’ this is just too much, it all sounds like a bad karaoke session when they attempt to speak/rap, it just come off as if on every syllable someone electrocuting their testicles because all they’re doing is shouting.
Add the fact that the original was tripe and about as enjoyable as having your tongue nailed to a horse, Jedward have picked an appalling song to do an appalling cover of.
06. ‘I Want Candy’ (1.0 STAR)
(Originally performed by The Strangelovers)
I honestly don’t know why they persist to TALK before every song. The intro to this song is bad enough, but thanks to the fact they’ve added rubbish dialogue, and sound camper than a picnic basket when talking they’ve killed the song already. And it’s a shame because this is another one of those slightly guilty pleasure-esque songs that doesn’t quite give you the pleasure you were hoping.
Jedward actually do a pretty good job on this… by their standards anyway, the chorus has a great feel good factor to it, but unfortunately, if fails to be that “unexpected and original” album track we were promised. Anyone who’s even looked at Jedward could’ve guessed they would cover such a song.
07. ‘Jump’ (0.5 STARS)
(Originally performed by Kris Kross)
Right now, everything sounds like you’ve heard it before, even on auto-tune Jedward inability to prove us they actually have any musical talent begins to rear it ugly head. The don’t harmonise – they both sing exactly the same melodic line; they don’t deviate from the original melody near the end to keep the listen engaged through the chorus repeats; they don’t even take it in turns to sing etc, etc. It’s just saddening that talentless droids like this (who actually think they are talented) are exposed like this for the benefit of a Record Company’s profits.
Jedward’s voices, even after editing sound horribly samey on every track, and on this one, they rap again. Some artist need to learn that when you venture into pop, there’s certain areas you’re good at, and certain areas you’re not – take Eminem. Could you imagine him trying to sing something like ‘I Want Candy’? No, because he realises he’s good at rap and that’s what he sticks to. Eminem is a world famous megastar. Jedward are a passing fad. Why they think Jedward can credibly succeed in all genres including rap is beyond me. By now, this is getting tiresome, and I never liked that riff anyway… sounded like a fart on auto-tune.
08. ‘I Like To Move It’ (3.0 STARS)
(Originally performed by Reel 2 Reel)
Interestingly, this is one of the album’s more listenable moments along with ‘All The Small Things’. Oh, sure it’s over-the-top, and if you haven’t got a broad musical taste or just don’t favour light-hearted pop music then this will do you no wonders. But despite it being the energetic, hyperactive, kids-overdosed-on-Haribo-type song, there’s something very satisfying about. Let me tell you now it does a hell of a lot better job a using Reel 2 Reel’s signature riff than Basshunter has.
Despite sounding like everything they’ve ever done, something jumps out, it could be the nature of the song, it could be the riff, I’m not sure, but this is definitely better to sit through than more than half of the rest of the album.
09. ‘Rock DJ’ (0.5 STARS)
(Originally performed by Robbie Williams)
Jedward appear to have employed Alvin and the Chipmunks to sings half of this song. In the original, dear old Robbie was occasional joined at the end of every line with a woman who would excitedly shout the same lyrics as him, but unfortunately for Jedward she was otherwise engaged, so now it sounds John Steinman on helium, trying a cover a song that’s too badass for the three of them.
Again, this song sound like when the recorded the track, the music sequencer was a good ten metres from the microphone because everything sounds very distant and watered down, like there’s no backbone to it. It has the satisfactory level of a slap in the face from a dead man’s groin.
I was so hoping they wouldn’t ruin this song, but during this whole song Jedward sound like they aren’t even taking themselves seriously anymore.
10. ‘Teenage Kicks’ (2.0 STARS)
(Originally performed by The Undertones)
An enjoyable, not completely overkilled track which is good to hear considering the recent bollocks they’ve put us through. ‘Teenage Kicks’ is a cover of The Undertones’ hit single, and whilst they don’t exactly do it just they manage to show us for only the third time out of ten, that they can sometimes be happy, fun and likeable at the same time.
Shockingly, I find myself warming to this song, it’s not as instantly likeable as ‘All The Small Things’ but at least they refrain from name-checking or using pointless dialogue and the instrumental breaks.. Unfortunately this song was also an obvious choice to cover, so I docked half a star for that, and because it never really gets going because it’s only 2:22 in length.
11. ‘Pop Muzik’ (1.0 STARS)
(Originally performed by M)
Covering this song was also an obvious choice, but for some reason, it’s bearable, even if it does sound stupidly like the original. it’s like the lifted the main vocal riff out of the original and Jedward sang over it. As an album track, being the last of ten on-and-off song that go are as subtle as dynamite, it comes as far too little, far too late and despite it’s cheeriness it fails to rescue the LP from falling into the category of “don’t buy me now, I’ll be in the bargain bin for two quid in six months’ time”.
As a song on it’s own, this is reasonable, but for being the last track and having to endure all the audio sewage that lies before it, I’ll dock it a whole star as to be perfectly honest, young adults are going to look upon this and think “what have they done to our memories!?”.
I think the worst thing to notice about this album brings me yet again, back to that Louis Walsh quote, which went on the say “you haven’t seen Jedward yet: this album will show you Jedward” but again he’s been contradicted – an album of covers is neither unexpected nor original and it hasn’t shown us anything new about the Irish twins, I’m afraid we have seen all of Jedward if this is all they’ve got to offer.
And if they’re not going to produce any original material, and prove to us they have an ounce of musical talent, the I’ll expect to see them at your nearest Butlins anytime soon.
What I find most funny about this, and it’s something that only Jedward could exude irreverence from: when they were on the Excrement Factor, they were just two boys, fighting for their right to perform for us every week, it was a gimmick, secretly we were all voting for them because it would annoy others, but then it got ridiculous: now it just seems like something’s gone wrong, the sacrilegiously bad offerings they provide on ‘Planet Jedward’ show us absolutely no innovation, and sounds like every track was just a cheesy pop song chosen from a handful of cheesy artists, with the word “Jedward” thrown in for good measure. Including some tracks from the Excrement Factor live shows, which might I stress worked well on the live shows because it was entertaining to watch, but on the record, with no entertaining performance make the tracks about as entertaining as Hitler. I just don’t see… Jedward, y’know? What are they? What could you consider them as? Because they certainly aren’t artists.
Everything about it is cheap: the production, the backing tracks as a whole, and on some tracks, Jedward’s auto-tune sounds cheap, it’s just a good that there really is only one stand-out track – a stand out by Jedward’s standards I’ll have you know – ‘All The Small Things’, but it cannot save this album from the tragic mess it really is.
Until Jedward can prove to us they can be as entertaining to listen to as they are to watch, then I’m afraid this album, and any other ‘musical’ offering from the two Irish twins, deserves to be burnt and never spoken of again.
ALBUM RATING: 1.5/10
Download These: ‘All The Small Things’