Röyksopp’s much anticipated third outing, ‘Junior’ is out and the first reviews have begun to emerge.
Monday 23rd of March marked the release of Röyksopp’s third album, ‘Junior’ (EMI / Wall of Sound / Astralwerks). Domestic media has reviewed the album for some time now, and international reviews have now begun to tick in.
Writes Pitchforkmedia.com’s Mark Pytlik in the site’s 7.9 points review: “Junior is Röyksopp's third album in eight years and finds them synthesizing the highs and lows from their previous records to strike a knowing middle ground. While it might be oversimplifying matters to suggest that it splits the difference between the cute, poppy Röyksopp and the darker, techno-friendly Röyksopp, the most satisfying thing about Junior is how convincingly they've bridged that divide. In doing so, they've managed to solve the niggling problems inherent to Melody A.M. and The Understanding-- neither sickly sweet or unsuitably gloomy, Junior is arguably the pair's strongest album.”
The Washington Post’s Express Night Out section chimes in: “This lush collection of tracks deserves a higher profile than its predecessors, because if there's one album that sufficiently crosses pop with dance and deserves to be played in every club from Norway to L.A., this is it.”
Spin Magazine awards the album 4 ½ stars out of 5 and writes: “Despite their wintry chill-out origins, Nordic keyboard pair Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland create smooth, sunny sounds perfect for roller-skating on rainbows. With vocal help from fellow Scandinavians Robyn, Lykke Li, and the Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson, they push the tempos, pumping up previously latent synth-pop tendencies and heightening the details on their hallucinatory soundscapes: "My favorite record is playing again," they reflexively sing on "Happy Up Here," as a pert Parliament sample doubles as a hook and love object.”
Writes UK site digitalspy.co.uk: “Röyksopp have avoided the trap of relying on too much of too little here, a lesson they perhaps learned from their debut album. Credit is certainly due to their collaborators, who help to give this album its raison d'etre, but Brundtland and Berge should be applauded for straying out of their comfort zone without sacrificing their songwriting savvy. With a second new album, Senior, expected by the end of the year, here's hoping that they can maintain the momentum.”
The Guardian’s Dorian Lynskey awards the album four out of five and writes: “There's a gorgeously indulgent quality to Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland's third album. As if determined to shake off their simplistic yet lingering reputation as purveyors of pleasant musical wallpaper for clothes shops and TV soundbeds, the Norwegian duo have gone for broke this time around: plump, tactile synthesisers, viscid dance grooves and a crack squad of vocalists, all deployed with precision and verve. Joining regular confederate Anneli Drecker, a trio of Swedes raise the songwriting stakes: Lykke Li coos and sighs over the beatific arpeggios of Miss It So Much; the Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson, her voice like a Scandinavian winter, injects bewitching unease into the Orbital-like drama of Tricky Tricky; and Robyn bemoans the vicissitudes of human-android romance on the tremendous The Girl and the Robot. Free of the creeping pomposity that undermined 2005's The Understanding, Junior punches the pleasure centres time and again.”
Röyksopp’s Space Invaders-themed video for their killer track Happy Up Here: