JEI&JEI Pussy(Cat)

It’s a new year! Happy “all that jazz” and lets dream a thousand tears that this year yields even greater pop for our aural and embodied delights! To start off 2008, I wanted something incredibly recherché, elegent and rare. Ladies and gentlemen, Jei & Jei are the Bond Street of pop princesses. Not wannabe’s like those Spice Girls or Girls Aloud, or as I have now re-titled, the “Hot-Pot-Poodles”. The girlband launched themselves in Japan but sadly nowhere else. As such, their album “Loves Theme” is like a rather exclusive truffle of the sort that sells for the GDP of Norway-i.e a lot! In other words, its rarity is part of its beauty while the other is the glorious music itself. Dusty’s Memphis album is often heralded as a definitive pop album for its context and time and I want to draw similar comparisons with Jei & Jei’s one and only album. The cd is one is for pop-disco connoisseurs. Not only does it contain original songs like “Pink Collar Crime”, “If I Had A Million” and “Pussy (Cat)” which shimmer through the wall of sound like fluorescent turtle-doves but also includes effortless covers of “Enough Is Enough”, “Smooth Operator”, “Love’s Theme”, “Push It” and “Boogie Oogie Oogie”.

On the jewel case, it describes its contents as “hard core disco psy-vogue !!!” and I refuse to differ. Recorded in 2001 with the assistance of Barry White, Bruce Roberts, Janice Marie Johnson, Aaron H. Schroeder, Therese Granwald, Nina Stenmark, Adam Alvermark, Yokiyo Yamada, Koji Kimura, Show-G and Yuichi Sugiyama it’s the type of album that could have followed after Dannii’s brilliant “Neon Nights”. In fact, listen to the track “Pussy (Cat)” and if you squint your ears hard enough you can actually hear Dannii Minogue perform it instead of her AATW nightmares (“sigh”). As the above list of writers and producers suggest, it is an album that brings together the lush J-pop lounge scene of the 00’s, the disco brilliance of the 1970’s and Europes flagship country for creating a good pop melodies-Sweden.

In Kylie’s documentary “White Diamond”, the singer eloquently remonstrated how pop was actually an artform and reflected how difficult this, rather political, opinion is treated by other musicians especially in the field of rock and classical music. It took Kylie over ten years to see herself as an artist. So whats the buttress? It’s the amazing capacity of pop producers scrape the barrel (see Dannii and her awfully ironic “Perfection”. Sure that younger Minogue certainly has a sense of humour!). My point is “pop people” can themselves let the side down. Did the world really need Bob The Builder, Robson & Jerome, Fast Food Rockers or The Shielas? Now my c.d collection has some wonderful “tragic+trashy” pop gems. This isn’t about the brilliant music genre I like to call smiley-tragi-magi-poppi (Steps, Pop!, Whigfield, Scooch, Lolly please come in!). The disco, nay the world, desperately requires poptrash. Without it I doubt the world would turn. I dread the day when the likes of Las Ketchup can’t get to number one (I’ve got their albums-they’re brilliant!).

However when you play “Loves Theme”, you know your popping a pop-pill thats drawn from the type of chemical that launched civilizations, put the philo in the works of Plato and Socrates and secured the climax in the word erotica. And, naturally inserted the “ole” in hyperbole! Definitely no barrels and certainly no scrapping involved here. Instead, Jei & Jei delicately provide the listener with beautifully woven pop songs, both old and new, which flow into the ambiance of ones life much like gliding the body into a freshly made bed and drifting into slumber with a huge sense of happiness. Dreamy.

Fact 1: Jei & Jei are Jenny and Joanna!

Fact 2: Jei & Jei were covered by Don’tStopthePop favourite Ann Winsborn. She used their song “Pink Collar Crime”, threw in a clubby Euro-beat and dumped the loungetastic Hed Kandi feeling of the original.

Fact 3: Released in 2001.

Fact 4: Jenny is currently a member of Cosmo4!


Mike said...

Happy new year, Rob!

You had me at "Neon Nights"! I'll definitely try to hunt these bitches down. It all sounds rather fabulous.

BTW - I think Dannii's "Perfection" is just that! :(

paul @ said...

You are back! Woo hoo! Here's to two thousand and great! Hope you well. Give me chance to immerse in my new Magic Melody excluding Befour obsession and I will give these dames a chance. If only cos i love it when the word pussy appears in a song...

Anders Nilsson said...

Hi there! I ran a Google search on "Jei & Jei" and found this nice blog! I'm a songwriter from Sweden and I actually wrote and produced the song "If I had a million", so I think it's kinda cool that you mention this rare album (it only sold like 3500 copies in Japan)!

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