jj nº 3

Secretly Canadian

Mar 17, 2010 Issue #30 - Winter 2010 - Vampire Weekend Bookmark and Share

jj jumped onto everyone's radar last year with nº 2, yet somehow they remain elusive. What we do know: Joakim Benon and Elin Kastlander craft dreamy pop tunes with heavy doses of Balearic house music, cavernous reverb, and the great melodic sense that seems intrinsic to Swedes.

jj nº 2 had a lot going for it, and this follow-up is cut from the same cloth-intimate and effortless, a quick half-hour of beats gently pounding nostalgia, sly pop culture grabs, and Kastlander's syrupy, harmonically rich pipes at the helm.

Said vocals are right up front on opener "My Life," a cover of Lil Wayne's chorus from The Game's song of the same name. Later, "My Way" grabs a verse from Mr. Carter's performance on Trina's "Don't Trip." One of jj's talents lies in that deft repurposing of mainstream jams, with Kastlander evoking sentiment that maybe wasn't originally there, a thirst for something beyond "purple drank."

"And Now" starts back down a more familiar path, with its lilting melody, synth strings, and those ever-present Balearic beats. Tunes such as "Light" and "Golden Virginia" introduce a mournfulness that didn't show up so much on jj nº 2. "You Know" is masterful pop, a twee love song propelled by guitar and piano (with the requisite synth stabs and skittering rhythms).

"Let Go" is a quick hit, with a wistful harmonica intro, addictive verses, and a chorus that Orinoco-flows right into Enya territory. But somehow jj can get away with that, too-it's the explicit handcrafted quality, indie rock's loose regulations on sharp and flat, and a charming naïveté that jj continue to pull off, despite their winking appropriations.(www.secretlycanadian.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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March 17th 2010

Love tha album. Its even better then no 2 if you ask me.
“You know” is unbelivable!