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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Just Joans: Hey Boy... You're Oh So Sensitive (2008)

The Scottish kids are back with their second album on Wee Pop! Records, Hey Boy… You’re Oh So Sensitive. A bit more somber than Virgin Lips, The Just Joans still manage to mock and praise (quite beautifully) how we all become during the messy complications known as relationships (or lack thereof).

Hey Boy… kicks off with the title track where the sensitive boy in question tries as many possible ways under the sun (Woody Allen six-disc boxset, art school classes, glasses, etc.) to try and get a girlfriend, but is consistently rejected by the sweetly cruel refrain, “Hey boy, you’re oh so sensitive/But I’m afraid I’m just not interested.” Even in an age of ever growing “understanding men,” women still savor rejecting, or perhaps even since nerdy guys still want ass, women can see through the charade.

“What Do We Do Now?” is simply put, The Just Joans's masterpiece. Framed by two clips from what I assume is the same show, the song reflects on experiences of young twenty-somethings who return home after years of university, work, the road, or just time away. The act of reminiscing is placed under the microscope and The Just Joans capture perfectly the melancholy of growing up and growing apart. There is still humor but in the grip of a mortal sense of sadness when they sing, “What do we do now?/Now we’re ten years older/The bands we loved are dead/The bands we loved are dead/ I’ll always think of you/Whenever I smell cider/But it won’t be the same again.”

The rest of Hey Boy… vacillates between feelings of loathing, “Ma Baby (He’s Boring)” “The Telly’s Shite… Without You” and insecurity with and “The Kisses At The End Of His Texts” and “Grant Kelly.” Doesn’t give me much confidence in love, but I’m sure The Just Joans feel the same way.

Overall on Hey Boy… You’re Oh So Sensitive The Just Joans preoccupation with the utter failure of relationships leads to uncomplicated instrumentation and gripping narratives that play out like episodes on TV or short films (there is in fact a lot of sampled audio). It’s almost unbelievable, but then again, it happens everyday right in our own living rooms.

Video for Hey Boy... You're Oh So Sensitive:

The Just Joans-"What Do We Do Now?"

The Just Joans on Myspace!
Wee Pop! Records

1 comment:

Tim Hall said...

The clips framing What Do We Do Now are from Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?.