Sunday, March 22, 2009

begone dull care by junior boys

I'm going to go ahead and declare March the month of electronica. Looking back on our coverage to date it hasn't been as one-sided as I thought -- but every time I daydream, my mind instantly fills with bloops and bleeps. It's either been a really good month for beats, or my brain tumor is acting up again. For those of you craving guitars and the human touch, I apologize, I'll see what I can do next month.

In the meantime, we've got Junior Boys' newest album Begone Dull Care (out April 7th). Another entry in the "Canada, like America only cooler" file, Junior Boys continue to do what they do best: marry traditional pop structures (I'm risking life and limb for drawing the comparison, but think Bee Gees or Prince song structure without all the scary falsetto) to grove-worthy electro-beats. Yeah, as much as I've personally worn the phrase to the ground, it's electro "night music." You know, for those relatively mellow sort of nights, filled with house guests and punctuated with the occasional bout of slow motion dance. Charming, a bit sleepy at times, but darn it if they're not going out while doing their darnedest to entertain.

Sonically warmer (and still a completely inappropriate soundtrack for Southern California1) than 2006's auditory-icy So This Is Goodbye, I have to admit being initially thrown off by Begone Dull Care's direction and thaw to Junior Boys' signature sound. Although, the effect of the subtle transformation is difficult to argue with. Tweaks aside, what we're left with is a lively, more unexpected album filled with smooth sax solos (not to be confused with "smooth jazz," an evil that must be combated in all forms), gently plucked bass lines, and sparse samples, all framing singer Jeremy Greenspan's breathy whisper, a normally subdued instrument that approaches near bombast on album highlights "Hazel" and "Dull to Pause." Quiet bombast -- I can get behind that.

1. In spite of my now insatiable urge to go meditate in a sunbeam with the album on repeat

mp3: "Jackie Jackie Junior (Junior Boys remix)" by Sally Shapiro

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