Review: Junior Boys – It’s All True

Junior Boys have been expert electro-pop revisionists since they started out in the mid-2000’s; adding extra smooth layers of gravitas and nocturnal atmospherics for good measure. ‘It’s All True’, if anything, drifts even further into mid-1980’s synth soul pop territory.

From start to finish, the fourth album sounds a little uneven; almost as if two EPs have been joined in to one in random order.’Playtime’ is an early standout and arguably the best song: the pace is languid, the electronica uncomplicated, the mood romantic (the line “Come A Little Closer” has rarely sounded so seductive) and the sense of intimacy at the centre of Junior Boys’ best work is duly restored. For ‘A Truly Happy Ending’, Jeremy Greenspan’s delicious tones provide as much melody as the machines whilst ‘ep’ features one of the best synthetic hooks on the album.

There are also signs where Greenspan and (instrumental wizard) Matthew Didemus’ telepathy begins to fail them. ‘Itchy Fingers’ could be better named as ‘Itchy Beats’ given its over-excitable synths and bleep-fest ‘Kick The Can’ comes across as an experiment in monotony. More intriguingly, ‘Banana Ripple’ is arguably the record’s clearest indication of club music and one which could alienate old fans but open them up to new ones. During its lengthy pscyhedelic meandering, however, the disco grooves prove to be infectious albeit in a rather disposable way.

It is very hard to be critical of Junior Boys but occasionally they drift in to being just another synth pop band, albeit a high class one. Once again though, their best is better than just about anyone performing in this genre at the moment and a record that is 75% great is still a pretty good return.

Web Sites:
Junior Boys Official Site
Junior Boys MySpace

Further Listening:
Parts Of Speech, Hot Chip, Greenhorse, Mantronix

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