Jheri Curl June: El DeBarge’s “Real Love”

The last week of Jheri Curl June is always a story of decline, and this year’s is no exception: like yesterday’s song by After 7, today’s closing track is more New Jack Swing with a residual curl than it is JCM proper. Hell, El DeBarge even appeared on the cover of its parent album, Gemini, with a hairstyle more appropriate for the dawn of the 1990s–and when El DeBarge loses his jheri curl, you know it’s the end of an era.

But true jheri curls never die, they just deactivate; and so it is that, when you listen past the prominent swingbeat on DeBarge’s 1989 single “Real Love,” you can still hear the echoes of a wetter, silkier bygone era, with those Jimmy Jam-esque keyboard stabs sounding like they came straight out of Minneapolis circa 1985.

So there you have it, we’ve come to the end of another Jheri Curl June. But we’ll be back for more in 2018; and you’re also welcome to check out our usual, only slightly less trivial content starting next week. Thanks for joining us!

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Dystopian New Year’s Party Podcast: Our Favorite Songs of 2016

So we’re a few days late, but better late than never, right? Here, finally, is our annual New Year’s Party podcast, in which we summarize our favorite songs of the last year as we make way for the new one. It’s a little less self-indulgent than the first one from 2015–by which I mean that it’s only two and a half hours, instead of two hours and 45 minutes. But we actually used real microphones this time, so at least you can hear what we’re saying! Check it out for the good music and eggnog-and-Hennessy-fueled rants; and then check out our extended Spotify and TIDAL playlists for more songs we didn’t have time to talk about, including tracks by A$AP Ferg and Future, A$AP Mob featuring Juicy J, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, Trinidad James featuring Mystikal and Lil Dicky, Nite-Funk, JEFF the Brotherhood, Frank Ocean, Mac Miller and Anderson .Paak, D.R.A.M. with Erykah Badu, 6LACK, the Weeknd and Daft Punk, and the Rolling Stones. So here’s to the one thing that made 2016 tolerable–the music–and maybe, just maybe, a 2017 that won’t suck literal ass.

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