Norway continues to charm us via their beat influenced tracks. Now it’s Bergen, Norway’s Röyksopp‘s turn, who on March 23rd are unleashing their 3rd full-length LP Junior. On their debut, Melody A.M., they turned the dials to create downtempo, laid-back celestial-like songs – when lyrics find their way in, they are whispers. Norway’s own Erlend Oye contributed to the duo’s lead single off that 2001 record, “Poor Leno”.

I was originally turned on to this duo because of the quick comparisons to Groove Armada and Erlend Oye.

Back in ’05, there was a great, Norwegian double bill: Annie and this beat driven pair. Röyksopp’s first half of the set was chill and melodic; the people were entranced in the grooves – but half-way in, they cranked the BPMs, broke out the funky percussion, and began to electrify the audience into an uncontrollable frenzy. One second we were somber and subdued, and then with a quick flip of the switch, these Norwegians came alive! This now three plus year old set seemed to have been a preview of their forthcoming LP:

“If Melody A.M. was a relaxed journey inwards on a Sunday afternoon and The Understanding was more uptempo, with more vocals and a hint of melodic catchiness, then the new album is a mix of the two.”

I like dynamics used in song. Also, female vocals behind driving beats can be nice, too. Variety isn’t bad either. Junior seems to have all these. Vocals are a central focus this time around: Lykke Li and Robyn contribute their vocal instruments. The Knife’s Karin lends her haunting tone to create an eerie, yet hard hitting dance number in “Tricky Tricky”.

Röyksopp :: Tricky Tricky

Appropriately, we are graced with a bouncy and squeeky lead single, “Happy Up Here”. It’s playful and uplifting, but before you know it, the goodness has subsided and you’re segueing into track two…


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