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Royksopp - Junior

Royksopp, Junior

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

NORWEGIAN duo Royksopp – aka Svein Berge and Torbjorn Brundtland – continue to impress with their third album, Junior, an energetic and enchanting collection of synth-led songs that ease you into a relaxed state of mind.

As always, the Bergen-based outfit have written, performed, arranged, mixed and produced the album, while this time drawing on guest vocals from the likes of Lykke Li, Robyn and Karin Dreijer-Andersson (of The Knife).

The highlights fly thick and fast. Album opener Happy Up Here is an effortlessly catchy slice of synth-pop that opens with a laugh, drops hand-clap beats and impossibly chirpy synth loops, and succeeds in keeping a smile on your face as you shuffle along to its romantic charm.

It’s followed by the Robyn collaboration, The Girl & The Robot, a seamless fusion of Robyn’s distinct, haunted vocals and an epic synth-background. It drives along at a cracking pace and is sure to become a future hit. Deservedly so.

Vision One, meanwhile, welcomes Anneli Drecker to the microphone, borrows the bassline from Stevie Wonder’s Too High and mixes it with a deliberately warped, yet strangely appealing electronic loop that unfolds into another appealing slice of mid-tempo electronica.

Thereafter, This Must Be It picks up the vibe and sounds like a Bjork dance record courtesy of Dreijer-Andersson’s distinct vocal, while Lykke Li lends her considerable charm to the upbeat slice of positivity that is Miss It So Much. It’s another single in the making – lush, kookily charming and really radio-friendly.

Sandwiched in between, meanwhile, is the album’s near-masterpiece, Royksopp Forever, an ambitious slice of chillout that mixes cinematic string arrangements with a sample of Skylark’s Suites For My Lady.

It’s haunting, elegaic, and beautifully moving and evidence of the scope of Junior‘s ambition.

Elsewhere, the album continues to wriggle its way into your heart, with You Don’t Have A Clue and the laidback Silver Cruiser among the other highlights.

True To Life, meanwhile, emerges as one of the more energetic dancefloor fillers, which works well in tandem against another haunted, almost whispered vocal from Anneli Decker.

With Junior, Royksopp have delivered another telling reminder of why they remain one of Norway’s most essential exports.

Download picks: Happy Up Here, The Girl & The Robot, Royksopp Forever, Miss It So Much, Silver Cruiser, True To Life

Track listing:

  1. Happy Up Here
  2. Girl And The Robot
  3. Vision One
  4. This Must Be It
  5. Royksopp Forever
  6. Miss It So Much
  7. Tricky Tricky
  8. You Don’t Have A Clue
  9. Silver Cruiser
  10. True To Life
  11. It’s What I Want