The John and Edward Grimes Phenomenon is a curious beast. They are lively to the point of annoying during TV appearances; their image eye-catchingly bizarre and their larger-than-life personalities grating to anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a full-time resident of Planet Jedward. And yet their music is completely different.
Basically, they are a rare example of a pop act whose image and persona is completely mismatched to the musical styling – at least on this third (yes third) album. You look at the way Lana Del Rey is packaged and you can take a pretty accurate guess at what her music sounds like. Same for Rihanna, same for Conor Maynard, same for The Saturdays, same for JLS, same for Ed Sheeran… the list goes on.
But with Jedward, Young Love is almost boring when you weigh it up against what you would expect. I went into it predicting it to be lively, sporadically likeable but ultimately, over the course of 12 tracks, a bit on the irritating side. I was wrong. This album really took me by surprise – in some ways negatively, in some ways pleasantly.
Ultimately Young Love is a solid album of breezy pop music. Not a classic by any means, but pretty decent. The ballad-ish title track, the slow-building ‘Luminous’ and the superbly catchy ‘Happens In The Dark’ are the strongest tracks; whilst the more pop-rock focussed inclusions like ‘All I Want Is You’ fall pretty flat.
But even at its most pedestrian points, the album is so damn hard to dislike. There’s an innocence to it that’s missing from a lot of pop these days – you get so swept up in the cock-hungry horniness of the Rihannas and the forced sheen of the One Directions that it’s easy to forget how pop sounds at its most (for lack of a better word) ‘basic’. The obvious downside is that it does, at times, sound a little dated – but the huge upside is that it’s incredibly amiable. If only the boys had the budget for some slightly better writers and producers, they’d really be on to something big.