Jockstrap
I Love You Jennifer B


2.0
poor

Review

by don't ask me, I don't know any hallways STAFF
September 22nd, 2022 | 69 replies


Release Date: 09/09/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jennifer B Careful What You Wish For

Jockstrap is the duo of Taylor Skye and Georgia Ellery (Black Country, New Road) and their debut I Love You Jennifer B is one of the most shambolically disjointed capital-X ‘perimental pop records on which I have wearied my ears this or any year. The duo deal in an arsenal of sounds comprising any and all of dour acoustic guitars, an armada of retro drum tones, glum e-piano, languorous strings, umpteen glitching synth-squeals and a steadfast refusal to engage with anything approaching structural focus, all backed with just enough reverb and too little resonance. Armed as such, they don’t so much challenge the definition of [art][pop] (delete one) as much as they squat outside its traditional borders, in territory where it could be reinvented as anything at all. Nine times out of ten, this simply translates into sheer weightless nothingness.

I Love You Jennifer B’s tediums are many and its flourishes are too overbearing to offer reasonable placation. Opener “Neon” is a Frankenstein’s monster of mismatched palettes, replete with a loud indie-tinged culmination that drops one of the album’s best hooks out of (literally) nowhere and packs up as soon as this has vacuumed up the preceding two minutes twenty-five seconds of faff from memory; “Greatest Hits” is an uncanny facsimile of running Tipp-Ex over a later day Stereolab vinyl and overscoring it with a champion round of horny hairbrush karaoke; “What’s It All About” recalls the deadest air of the baroque slog Spellling freshly repatented last year; “Lancaster Court” is the kind of anaemic ghost-folk that God surely blasts on the daily in tepid torment to purgatory-bound agnostics; “Glasgow” nods heavily to Joni Mitchell’s “California” with a queer twist, the intrigue of which is lost in an arrangement that might as well have been compiled from field recordings of Zelda mishaps; centrepiece “Concrete Over Water” spends six eye-glazing minutes in vaguely danceable orbit of a mangled synth motif comprised of whatever arbitrary notespam Skye and Ellery no doubt spent their golden years at Guildhall chipping away at. The developments of these tracks are bold and arresting by design - as Skye puts it, "I want people to not have to try incredibly hard to listen to music… it’s quite nice to not be too subtle when [the music is] not asking to be too subtle.” The outcome is very much the fleeting thunder of talented musicians devastatingly confident in the strength of their wilfully ~chaotic~ songwriting gimmicks.

Some parts of the record do crystallise into something a little more forceful. The section of manic acappella that closes “Angst” is at once the most satisfying and infuriating point here, in large due to its intertext: A lot’s gonna change…, fluster-croons Ellery, her inflection winking slyly at the eponymous opener of Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising, only for her following line to go the extra mile and interpolate that album title with a level of near-provocative unsubtlety for those unlucky enough to geddit. You can practically hear their sighs in realtime; it’s a refreshing moment of tangibility for a record so thanklessly amorphous. The following “Debra” goes one up and delivers an actual highlight, with an unexpectedly cogent and potentially original trifecta of heavy beats, microtonal synths, and probably-disconcerting e-Lolita roleplay (yes) in Ellery’s refrain. Wish I could tell you what I wished for - quite. It’s the first track that commands serious momentum, though the closer “50/50” isn’t too shabby either. This one wisely saves the record’s most wayward production flex for last in a bombardment of glitched-out techno that invokes the sickest possible union twixt Laurel Halo and Fuck Buttons (a playlist inspiration I fully intend on following up). Its novelty burns off by the halfway mark, but there’s a strong sense that here, at least, was a direction worth doubling down on. Kudos. The rest of the record is an over-calculated mess that inherits all of its Windmill cousins’ penchant for juggling ideas seemingly destined to remain forever airbound, suspended in ephemeral notions of formalism and needlessly isolated from notions of songwriting, presentation and development that have any real space outside of the most bubble-wrapped art school chambers (let alone the potential for worthwhile live performances). I Love You… is a case study in misrealised talent; don’t hold your breath for Jennifers C thru Z.




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user ratings (56)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Odal (4.5)
Jockstrap's debut LP would actually kill a small Victorian child....



Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2022


50500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

sorry not sorry Odal; the internet has straight-up lost its mind over this shite



good: Debra, final minute of Neon

kinda good: 50/50

almost good: Angst, Greatest Hits

[...]: everything else

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this ain't it but go off

tectactoe
September 22nd 2022


5951 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

some good songs, some absolute ass songs, mostly okay songs.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2022


50500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

thank u BCNR career apologist in chief musicperson ronwa

thank u song discerner tectacperson tec

tectactoe
September 22nd 2022


5951 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good: neon; concrete over water; angst; lancaster court

ass: greatest hits; 50/50

okay: everything else

Sinternet
September 22nd 2022


25253 Comments


might be the worst take ive ever seen

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2022


46884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

honestly feels like you engaged with this album in the worst possible faith at every point instead of meeting it halfway, comes off like a weirdly a n g e r e y review that doesn't engage with the text so much as yell at it a bit



if that's what you were goin for, i guess... cool? but you got hella insights usually johnnyboy and I'm missin em here :/

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2022


2200 Comments


I have heard at least a third of this album and Jennifer B made me want to strangle a cat. Kernels of truth at the least

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2022


50500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

honestly i had pretty positive expectations for this that came down to 1) a load of genre tags i generally rly enjoy 2) a load of high ratings and 3) literally nothing else tbh, had never heard of the project and had no idea of their background until after looking them up post-listen.

absolutely hated it on the first listens, warmed to some parts on repeats, but the text is a flakey pastiche of formalist jank that occasionally does (but largely v much does not) come together as something vaguely cogent and, uh, that is my insight and here are 20ish different images directed at why and how it sounds so insufferable to me

am sure there's a Strong Statement in there lyrically (defs get a hint of this on, say, Greatest Hits/Angst/Debra/Glasgow), but the way it's constructed is easily obnoxious enough that imma call bullshit and say it's pretty bad faith on your end (row) to assume someone was actively looking for the worst in foregrounding this with a strong negative skew. if the review is angry, then uh yes that is what happens when people write things about records they consider needlessly terrible? not every harsh take has to be a fresh assault on the Discourse bby

Slex
September 22nd 2022


14824 Comments


Cheeky sod with that summary

I heard one single off this and it was so so so bad but a Rowan 4 and a sassy Johnny review tells me this is at least worth giving a shot

tectactoe
September 22nd 2022


5951 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Rowan 4s everything tho, that's like his baseline

Slex
September 22nd 2022


14824 Comments


Mine is like 3.5 that's why I love him

Pikazilla
September 22nd 2022


24555 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

rowan, winesbullshit, plame, and blushfulhippofuckus



the four musketeers proudly carrying the sput pleb torch



also johnny why did you make me listen to this lol

AmericanFlagAsh
September 22nd 2022


11725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

might be the worst take ive ever seen [2]

Gyromania
September 22nd 2022


35157 Comments


only heard jennifer b and holy fuck was it bad

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2022


50500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"also johnny why did you make me listen to this lol"

you know exactly why babe

slex idk if this is an appropriate place to say it but um um um i LOVE ur new avi

and ronwa i have edited in and CITED a lil interview soundbyting, so the band's voices have been heard their vision has been engaged the work has been framed etcetc rejoice

AmericanFlagAsh
September 22nd 2022


11725 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Nine times out of ten, this simply translates into sheer weightless nothingness."

Wrong so very wrong my god



"I Love You Jennifer B’s tediums are many and its flourishes are too overbearing to offer reasonable placation."

Lol ok so you can't bear it?



"These are limp songs one and all, full of fluff and the fleeting thunder of talented musicians devastatingly confident in the significance of their practically bottomless trove of songwriting gimmicks."

What does this even mean lol you're just adding meaningless words to fluff up your review, of course an artist is going to be confident











Slex
September 22nd 2022


14824 Comments


Thank u Johnny it just felt right
So I had no idea Ellery is involved in this, hm factor increases


Sinternet
September 22nd 2022


25253 Comments


this is the future of glitch pop

Odal
September 22nd 2022


1265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hmmm, yeah I do not agree with this review at all lol



This is a weird and flamboyant album, but it never feels like it is weird for the sake of being weird. It explores every nook and cranny of its songs and shakes loose all their possibilities. Some points may seem random, but I'd be more charitable and say that the songs are simply more adventurous than most groups are willing to grow



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