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Junior Boys: Begone Dull Care

 

B-

Junior Boys

Album: Begone Dull Care
Label: Domino

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Electronica can be a debilitating enterprise over time. The genre, at its best, sprinkles diverse, intricately detailed elements among urgent beats that demand body movement; however, as their careers progress, many electronic artists obsess with nuance, sacrificing the taut, compelling thrills that drive the form. The end result tends to be slick, emotion-devoid trance music. While still sporting moments of buoyancy and cheer, Junior Boys’ Begone Dull Care—named after a collaboration between animator Norman McLaren and jazz pianist Oscar Peterson—is hypnotically fascinated with subtlety, lacking the duo’s previous vigor. Generally hurting for variety, the record still has a few undeniably likeable numbers: A blithe, bouncy bump makes “Dull To Pause” a misnomer (and the best track), while the silly “Hazel” captures the best/worst synth of the ’80s. For the most part, however, the Boys don’t take any risks here. The atmospheric Begone Dull Care feels more appropriate for a slick urban lounge than the dance floor, meaning it sounds fine without feeling like it has to be listened to.