That title is no coincidence. Younger Younger 28’s might be stamped with the hallmark of the transitory and dizzy but they long to be weightier than mere squeaky-clean pop. Sure, they want to make you whistle, but equally they want to be Babybird in a boob tube, Jarvis in high heels and pillarbox lippy, but above all they wish to deal with Britain’s morass of social problems.
Substance, however, is not always a desirable quality. Dealing lyrically with all the concerns of the [I]EastEnders[/I] scriptwriter – bad relationships, drugs, sexual exploitation, gymslip pregnancies – is fine in principle but not so cool when the pitch-perfect harmonising of Andie and Liz is offset by Joe Northern delivering his lyrics like a weary working men’s club compere. It’s even worse when his constant search for an ill-advised pun displays such bored, patronising detachment it makes Neil Hannon, king of the arched eyebrow, sound sincere.
But while lyrically they can instantly make you grimace, musically a large percentage of the tunes here are gloriously daft, synth-reared things. True, you can easily imagine Steps doing the dodgy ham duet of ‘We Nearly Made It’, but in the cigs’n’alcopop exuberance of ‘We’re Going Out’ or ‘Next Big Thing’ they’ve taken The Human League‘s idea of suburban glamour and gone on a chrome-plated, futuristically kitsch raid on the archives of pop culture.
More the sound of pheromones and cheap scent than their self-professed desire to write “council block pop”, you almost certainly won’t be listening to this in six months, let alone six years. But, for now, a grin-inducing