Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Review: Röyksopp - Junior

Yes, yes and another yes! Röyksopp are back in the game and are better than ever before. Despite the name of the new album, "Junior" is mature and sensible release, which contains both their typical downtempo tracks mixed with dance beats and diverse electronica. The album is very distinguishably divided into two main parts: chill-out atmosphere and club anthems, existing independently and in the mean time being connected by a fine thin line.

"The Understanding" blew the top, but "Junior" might turn out to be the better sibling after all. Of course critics are pretty harsh defining it as too poppy and accessible, trying to sound anything but Röyksopp. They might be right to some extent, but music is supposed to evolve and offer new horizons and it was about time Brundtland and Berge take a step ahead and experiment. "Junior" is a balanced blend between their previous studio albums, without sounding pretentious or exhausted. It complies their previous music experience and draws the best out of it...or at least the next best thing.

We all remember the blood-freezing soul-shaking ballad "What Else Is There?", which was an amazing collaboration with Karin Dreijer Andersson from The Knife. This time Röyksopp have worked with her on two tracks "This Must Be It" and "Tricky Tricky", which to me are probably their best in the whole album. Of course my opinion is bias due to my affection to anything made by the Swed. If you long for more chilled songs you will be delighted to hear the soothing voice of Anneli Drecker, known from "Sparks" and as their live backup. Brundtland and Berge have worked with the famous Swedish singer Robyn and their collaboration is going to be the second single out. Talking about Swedish music you can add to the whole collaboration lineup Lykke Li as well "Happy Up Here" is a cheerful and enjoyable, although not the best choice for a leading single...before I heard the album I had doubts about its quality, not accepting the pilot single as very promising.

For the time being Röyksopp are probably the best Norwegian music export and after a few listens to "Junior" you can be sure that they still hold this title.

Songs to hear: "The Girl And The Robot", "This Must Be It", "Tricky Tricky", "Miss It So Much", "Vision One"
Personal rating: 8 out of 10

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