Featuring eleven covers ranging from the just-about-acceptable ('Ice Ice Baby'), to the simply bizarre ('Jump', 'I Want Candy'), to the sacrilegious ('Teenage Kicks', 'Fight For Your Right To Party'), this album plays like a setlist from the world's worst wedding DJ. Planet Jedward has a production line methodology to it: pick a pop song, add in the word "Jedward" at some point, knock out a cheap backing track, you're done! What seemed humorous and irreverent in the context of The X Factor, where the brothers were portrayed as plucky kids battling against the haters and Simon Cowell's negativity, now just sounds plain odd. 'Ghostbusters' may have been a bit of a giggle on the show, but on record it's about as funny as trapping your fingers in a car door.
We're not quite sure what the most painful part of listening to Planet Jedward is. Top contenders include the irritating buzzes and whistles on 'I Like To Move It', the limpness of their Backstreet cover 'Everybody (Jedward's Back)', or the horrible sound effects, vocal echoes and robotic-sounding guitars trampling over millions of music fans' happy memories of 'Teenage Kicks'. Truth be told, it's impossible to choose just one, because this album contains more crimes against music than the combined discographies of the Cheeky Girls, Phil Collins and Lou Bega. The Blink 182 cover and 'Fight' are the best fit for the lads' spunky, hyperactive attitude, but if you don't find yourself cringing when the porno mag line is bleeped out of the latter, you're made of stronger stuff than us.
Jedward fanatics - of whom there are many - will no doubt deride this review as the ramblings of a bitter critic who can't appreciate a bit of "fun pop music". However, we're not impervious to the charms of the Grimes, who broke the predictable mould of balladeers and crooners on The X Factor last year. But with this record it's the fans of the quiff-tastic twins who are really being short-changed. The boys' personality has been squeezed out of them and they now sound as hollow as Louis Walsh's other boyband creations. With BB cameos, their own reality series and sponsorship deals in place, Jedward's showbiz careers seem in fine fettle. However, on the basis of Planet Jedward, a stint in the jungle looks a more likely option than a second record in 2011.