Jedward

Victory

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Although Jedward were previously seen as the Devil incarnate, not only by those who dismiss The X Factor as manufactured nonsense but by those who watch it religiously, the public reaction toward Irish twin siblings John and Edward appears to be softening of late, perhaps because of their surprisingly competent Eurovision performance, or perhaps because of the realization that no matter how irritating you find them, they're never going to go away. Indeed, despite struggling to sing a note in tune or perform a dance step in time during their extraordinary seven-week talent show run, they've managed to extend their 15 minutes of fame far longer than most of their X Factor finalists, as evidenced by their second studio album, Victory. Largely written by ManneQuin's Daniel Priddy, its 12 original compositions are nowhere near as hideous as their maulings of the Undertones, Beastie Boys, and blink-182 classics or as childlike as the Ghostbusters theme and Vanilla Ice collaboration that featured on their debut album, Planet Jedward. In fact, there are even a few tracks that could be described as "not too bad," such as their eighth-place Eurovision entry "Lipstick," an infectious slice of chugging electro that could be a distant cousin of their idol Britney Spears' "Womanizer," the robotic disco of "Pop Rocket," or the synth-heavy "My Miss America," which isn't a million miles away from the bratty emo-pop of bands like Metro Station and Cobra Starship. But while it isn't the car-crash curiosity of their first offering, it's also a record that has smoothed out their admittedly divisive bubblegum persona, ensuring that the likes of the David Guetta-aping "Techno Girl," celebrity name-checking "Everyday Superstar" ("hips like Shakira, lips of Angelina, swagger of Beyoncé"), and trance-lite ode to the weekend "Saturday Night" all merge into one never-ending stream of clichéd and identikit party "anthems" that could have been recorded by JLS, Shayne Ward, or any other talent show contestant who has succumbed to the ubiquitous Auto-Tuned synth pop sound. Victory is a huge progression from their extremely public amateurish beginnings, but it's so utterly forgettable that they might be better sticking to the annoying but memorable novelty numbers if they want to remain in the public's consciousness, whether the public like it or not.

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