Junior Senior - D-D-D-Don't Stop The Beat
Sometimes, the cheese rolls along on like an express train and pulls you along with it, and in 2003 Junior Senior's D-D-D-Don't Stop The Beat is driving. If you've heard of the Danish band, it is probably purely because of their long-selling top five breakthrough hit Move Your Feet, which infected so many people with its catchy chorus that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was around in the eighties, assaulting the charts with Wham! and The Fat Boys.
In fact, Junior Senior throw in so many revisionist genres into their debut album mix that you could argue Move Your Feet has already branded them as camp disco pop queens. D-D-D-Don't Stop The Beat however, pays as much of a homage to countless other genres than disco pop, and if you loved Moved Your Feet you might be disappointed that the other songs on the album aren't just rehashes. What you get is a short, snappy, rainbow coloured timewarp of shallow styles ranging from lo-fi punk to psychedelic dance, in which traces of everything from KC & The Sunshine Band, Bob Dylan and The Cramps are soundchecked. It's the type of album that would play on repeat if you walked through a more western area of Tokyo at three in the morning; it typically relies on postmodern pop stylistics without penetrating the songs any deeper.
Junior Senior have designed themselves to belong in a thrashy, sweaty club complete with intensely bright neon lights and ultra-high campness. It would already win the 'guilty pleasure' award of 2003. There are some moments on the album that will invade your mind for days on end. Shake Your Coconuts has so much of an eighties vibe to it that it almost sounds like a distant cousin to Club Tropicana, whilst Shake Me Baby has a magic bus folk vibe that conjures up all the very best imagery of late-sixties' psychedelia. Second single Rhythm Bandits sounds like the perfect fusion of B-52's and The Strokes, whereas White Trash is a deliberately head-doing rocker in a similar style to Scandinavian cousins The Hives.
Despite the many homages, genre-visits and references, Junior Senior, in their complete lack of seriousness, will always find themselves to be an acquired taste. Indeed, for such a throwaway album it will be hard for any cultured music listener to admit that they even have a need for D-D-D-Don't Stop The Beat, and yet this doesn't matter. It may be the cheesiest album of the year, and it certainly is the most unnecessary, but Junior Senior provide half an hour of fun even when the heatwave is over.