Fop.

I was faced with a choice, at a difficult age. Would I write a book, or should I take to the stage

Friday, February 25

THE JX SESSIONS (2)



1995: JX “You Belong To Me”



And here we go with the second JX single and our current sponsor song. It is, truth be told, nigh on impossible to do any kind of popjustice to this song, such is its approximation of perfection. Again, this tremendous piece of oddly distressing disco frippery came to our attention via the unlikely conduit of Triple J. We once got on the Request Fest when we rang Michael Tunn asking it to be played. He cooperated, helpfully. (Incidentally, can you imagine Triple J playing something like this now? We, obviously, can NOT.) We also have this on a mid-90s dance compilation (were we buying ANYTHING ELSE back then? It doesn’t appear that we were) which also featured other amazing things like Jinny’s “Keep Warm” and “Santa Maria” by Tatjana. Anyway, lyrically speaking we are in even darker, more tortured territory here than we ever were with “Son Of A Gun”. Shall we consider?

“You belong to me! You belong to me! You belong to me!” the firm-sounding female vocalist asserts meatily, early on in the piece. Once more, her “determinations” are countered by an elegantly simple, rapid-fire synth riff that is as much frenetic as it is melancholy. Adjectives that could describe the state of affairs reflected so far include “worrying”.

Then:

“You belong to me! You belong to me! You belong to me!”

Yes? Your point?

“A love you thought we’d never see!”

Ah.

“A love you thought we’d never see! A love you thought we’d never see! A love, a love a love a! You belong to me!”

The backing seems to stop at this point, which offers some emphasis to the high-grade obsession which is now obvious to all and sundry. What is being portrayed here is, as an uncomfortable aunt might describe an elderly relative with dementia, “very sad really”. This mad woman is wretchedly staking her claim to someone who is, at best, not very keen, and at worst, in possession of some form of apprehended violence order against the vocalist. How else can we read the decidedly fractured line “A love you thought we’d never see?” Our bonkers vocalist is deluded to the extent that she feels certain that the object of her mania will be pleased about her terrifying expression of devotion, despite he/she having clearly stated in the past that it seemed unlikely, or perhaps impossible, that he/she would “ever see” any kind of romantic relationship with our vocalist. While we ponder the potentially violent implications of all of this, the mid-90s dance beat and synths start up again, and the vocalist begins wailing soulfully:

“Yeah, yeah-eah. Ooh yeah, yeah-eah. Yeah-eah yeah.”

Then, even more unsettlingly:

“Uurgh, uurrgh, eearrh.”

As far as we are concerned, this is a dance-pop equivalent of smashing plates against a wall in a fit of rage. WHO KNOWS what this woman is capable of.

From here, the whole thing just seems to escalate, climaxing at the middle 8 when the keyboard motif seems to spiral inexorably, nightmarishly upward. And then it all seems to begin again. In summary, brilliant, disturbing pop. And an exellent, grainy video featuring Brighton beach, a fair, and the initials "JX" scrawled in the sand being washed over with a wave just as the opening strains give way to the song proper.

Lyrical sample: "You belong to me, you belong to me!"
Healthiness of "love relationship" expressed in song: Very low
Fat synth riffs: Yes
Vocalist "portrayed" in video: Black woman
Fop rating: 10/10

Coming next: Single 3: "There's Nothing I Won't Do".

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