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The Junior Boys have made a solid second album in "So This is Goodbye"... which hopefully isn't a bad omen. Because it would be a shame to quit when this electro-indie band is still making good music -- smooth dance beats and satiny vocals, with a heavy dose of chillout and downtempo.

It opens with a string of hiccupy blips, and soon a breathless voice murmurs, "You're two faced.../all sideways.../you're dry-eyed.../and night fly..." A funky rhythm kicks in, keeping the spare beats from sounding too dull, but it's still only an introduction.

The good stuff is with "The Equalizer," a solid beat that regularly softens those cold beats with stretches of shimmering downtempo. Then they change the same formula for "First Time," which is a pretty trip-hop sound that gets sprinkled with sharp computerized beats. Not catchy, just so you know.

That mix of sharp beats and downtempo continues as the album trips on. The melodies are fragile, the beats are robust -- they glide through the vaguely ominous "In the Morning," cascade through the bittersweet sound of "So This is Goodbye," and jerk through the robotic "Caught in a Wave." The ending song, "FM," is a surprisingly soft finale, with a very soft melody and those computer beats.

This particular version has a bonus disc, which includes their Itunes EP: four sparkling renditions of various, including the shimmery "FM," funky "Under the Sun," and haunting piano folk of "When No One Cares." They sound a bit different from the original songs, but it's so polished you wouldn't know that this was a live session.

And it's loaded down with some lovely remixes: "FM" gets a shimmy techno reworking, and a fuzzy airy one. Hot Chip reworks "In the Morning" into a delicate spin of soft beats, "Double Shadow" gets a skittering, slightly ominous mix, and "Equaliser" gets a weird yowly skittery one with lots of jagged beats. And there are more!

Perhaps "So This is Goodbye" has only one real flaw: the songs tend to blur together over the listening period, since the beat/chillout ratio is the same for most of them. So it might take a few listens before this one really pops in your head.

But that ratio is very good -- the chillout electronica lulls you, and the cold robot beats snap you out of the trance. And while the first song strives to be catchy, the later ones abandon that in favor of experimental sound and chilly soundscapes, flavoured with the occasional burst of static.

Jeremy Greenspan's voice is the opposite of full-bodied. He sounds drained, worn-out, as if he's wandering around in his own wintry music. This impression certainly isn't hurt by lyrics like, "stay awhile/we don't have long/we could talk for hours/till my strength is gone/though I get so tired/I still get wired/my pulse is still... I'm like a child."

A delicious mishmash of hard electronica and soft downtempo, this chilly little album is a solid second album for the Junior Boys. Not to mention a bad way to reminisce about winter.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The Junior Boys have made a solid second album in "So This is Goodbye"... which hopefully isn't a bad omen. Because it would be a shame to quit when this electro-indie band is still making good music -- smooth dance beats and satiny vocals, with a heavy dose of chillout and downtempo.

It opens with a string of hiccupy blips, and soon a breathless voice murmurs, "You're two faced.../all sideways.../you're dry-eyed.../and night fly..." A funky rhythm kicks in, keeping the spare beats from sounding too dull, but it's still only an introduction.

The good stuff is with "The Equalizer," a solid beat that regularly softens those cold beats with stretches of shimmering downtempo. Then they change the same formula for "First Time," which is a pretty trip-hop sound that gets sprinkled with sharp computerized beats. Not catchy, just so you know.

That mix of sharp beats and downtempo continues as the album trips on. The melodies are fragile, the beats are robust -- they glide through the vaguely ominous "In the Morning," cascade through the bittersweet sound of "So This is Goodbye," and jerk through the robotic "Caught in a Wave." The ending song, "FM," is a surprisingly soft finale, with a very soft melody and those computer beats.

This particular version has a bonus disc, which includes their Itunes EP: four sparkling renditions of various, including the shimmery "FM," funky "Under the Sun," and haunting piano folk of "When No One Cares." They sound a bit different from the original songs, but it's so polished you wouldn't know that this was a live session.

And it's loaded down with some lovely remixes: "FM" gets a shimmy techno reworking, and a fuzzy airy one. Hot Chip reworks "In the Morning" into a delicate spin of soft beats, "Double Shadow" gets a skittering, slightly ominous mix, and "Equaliser" gets a weird yowly skittery one with lots of jagged beats. And there are more!

Perhaps "So This is Goodbye" has only one real flaw: the songs tend to blur together over the listening period, since the beat/chillout ratio is the same for most of them. So it might take a few listens before this one really pops in your head.

But that ratio is very good -- the chillout electronica lulls you, and the cold robot beats snap you out of the trance. And while the first song strives to be catchy, the later ones abandon that in favor of experimental sound and chilly soundscapes, flavoured with the occasional burst of static.

Jeremy Greenspan's voice is the opposite of full-bodied. He sounds drained, worn-out, as if he's wandering around in his own wintry music. This impression certainly isn't hurt by lyrics like, "stay awhile/we don't have long/we could talk for hours/till my strength is gone/though I get so tired/I still get wired/my pulse is still... I'm like a child."

A delicious mishmash of hard electronica and soft downtempo, this chilly little album is a solid second album for the Junior Boys. Not to mention a bad way to reminisce about winter.
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on 25 April 2014
Breaking up is hard to do losing a lover and friend with whom you had an intuitive and intimate bond with is such a desperate experience.This album skilfully takes you through the gamut of emotions that you feel when a close relationship ends. It goes to all the places of heartbreak and darkness and sheer panic but somehow allows you to accept and acknowledge what you are going through in such a way that helps you heal. These songs help you come to terms with your fear as they let you touch the heartache at the centre of your sadness, it bites hard but somehow you have the strength to take it. I'm glad I bought this very truthfull and painfully honest album and I wholeheartedly recommend it. AS far as the bonus disc is concerned the item arrived with a small crack rendering both the Carl Craig and Hot Chip tracks virtually unplayable, the Tensnake one is good though and as I paid around £2 for it, I'm not complaining.
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on 22 March 2013
Junior Boys are in a league of their own, crafting gorgeous electronic music that is truly soulful. This CD was my perfect introduction to them, and it is almost criminal that they do not reach a wider audience.
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on 12 September 2011
Original album + bonus disc with remixes by Hot Chip, Carl Carig, Morgan Geist, Tensnake and others.
Amazingly fresh! Just can't get enough!
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