Monday, July 27th, 2009

Jessica Jarrell – Armageddon

Promising start for terrifyingly young American…


Jessica Popper: I hadn’t discovered a new favourite song thanks to The Singles Jukebox for a while, so I’m very pleased to say that has now been rectified! This balances between R&B and dance-pop, as all the best songs do at the moment, and has a bouncy, uplifting vibe about it. The chorus isn’t catchy enough to make it a classic, but I really like the overall sound of the song and will definitely be seeking out more from Jessica Jarrell now. At last, there is a poptastic Jessica on the music scene!

Martin Kavka: What a genrefuck! Happy hardcore beats, a piano riff that sounds suspiciously similar to “Clocks,” and some major vocal-processing madness in the chorus. It doesn’t quite work; I can’t imagine anyone loving this unless she or he has flushed all the Ritalin down the toilet. But it introduces numerous possibilities into the pop landscape; in five years, this will be seen as a seminal track.

Michaelangelo Matos: Quite like that great, gimmicky chorus. Enjoy the keyboard arpeggio in both “natural” and filter-rave modes. A bridge that takes the song somewhere. A trifle carried over by craft.

Hazel Robinson: Oh fuck off, autotune. The particularly heavy case during the post-chorus is abysmal, which is a shame given that it’s actually a reasonably catchy little thing and Jessica seems to have a genuinely quite nice voice.

Chuck Eddy: Maybe you could rationalize her skinny monotone the way Christgau (or Tom Carson or somebody?) did with the Ramones once — where the slightest change, when it finally comes, feels monumental. Except it doesn’t; it still just feels like a slight change. On the occasions when her voice turns robotic, though, it is quite pretty for a couple seconds, almost in an old Italodisco way — and as somebody who’s mildly annoyed by most AutoTune moves lately, I’m not an easy mark.

Ian Mathers: A weird collision between hyperactive trance synths and an actual song (verses and a chorus and everything, not just some refrains spouted by a singer that sounds like an overthought), “Armageddon” is a bit much. The rapid arpeggios are hectoring, not propulsive, and “we’re headed for Armageddon” is awfully dramatic when what you really mean is “I’m dumping your ass, sorry, it’s not you it’s me.” It works better than it should, partially because the sound and the sense reinforce each other, but it’s more proof of concept than anything you’d want to laud.

Alfred Soto: Stuttering sequences, Auto-Tune, power chords, “We Didn’t Start The Fire” delivery — this is Armageddon as conceived by a god that looks like Clive Davis.

Martin Skidmore: I could have done with even more heavy music for something with this title, but this jumps along with energy and a sense of fun. There are some annoyingly gimmicky autotune bits, but she has real power, and much of the tune is irresistibly ecstatic.

Iain Mew: The words pour out in an endless unnaturally spaced stream, out of control enough that destruction and armageddon doesn’t seem an unreasonable possibility. The dramatic strings and helium voices up the ante further; a brief moment of tranquil beauty is rapidly swept away in the rush. And tying it all together there’s a rather familiar piano loop threaded through – this is how you use “Clocks”.

John Seroff: Apocalyptic pod-people pop incompletely leavened for inevitable endless remix. I appreciate the lyrical waterfalls and chipmunk trills but there’s a constant high-pitched whine at the heart of the song that makes me a bit nauseous… like an inverted mosquito tone. It’s too shrill and I’m too old.

Additional Scores

Hillary Brown: [7]
Anthony Miccio: [6]
Alex Ostroff: [8]

5 Responses to “Jessica Jarrell – Armageddon”

  1. For the record: the proper way to listen to this song is to open three tabs of it on your browser and then start each of them at about a one second delay. In that format this is a seven or an eight and it sounds like the thunder of the gods.

  2. I hope they make the whole album out of this brand of pop.

  3. “For the record: the proper way to listen to this song is to open three tabs of it on your browser and then start each of them at about a one second delay. In that format this is a seven or an eight and it sounds like the thunder of the gods.”

    My god…this is really difficult to do but it’s truly insane.

  4. A friend of mine and I used to do a similar trick involving the original and MBV remix of “Mogwai Fear Satan” – you had to start them a few seconds off to get the synched up, thanks to the remix – and it was thunderously amazing. I might have to try it with this track.

  5. […] – Diamond Rings [7] Christina Milian ft. The-Dream – Chameleon [9] Gaggle – Crows [6] Jessica Jarrell – Armageddon [8] Armageddon is an ambitious mantle to take on in a pop song, and against all odds, Jessica […]