Here Comes the Sun
Junior Boys seem to approach each of their albums with a sense of unwinding finality. Their 2004 debut Last Exit, with its elusive beats and song titles like “High Come Down,” became a literal final bow for original member Johnny Dark. The follow-up, So This is Goodbye, saw fellow founder Jeremy Greenspan team with his engineer Matt Didemus for a beautifully resigned break-up album where each song sounded ready to leave the club and move on. Now we’ve arrived at Begone Dull Care, which while deceptively titled as another farewell kiss, plays like a morning-after recollection of dalliances past. It’s a sweet one too, if a little slight at times.True to the morning-after theme, the Boys have opened up the curtains and let a little light shine in on their songs. This sunnier, more varied production brings a beguiling sparkle to the graceful opener “Parallel Lines,” which practically glides through the ears like a breeze of fresh air, its lyrics second-guessing their author: “If you had the words, would you really say them?” The equally immaculate “Sneak a Picture” finds the same character reminiscing about capturing that perfect moment last night before it was spoiled over a similarly patient drum pattern and twinkling synths.
This sunny-side-up approach suits the pair surprisingly well, but only in small doses. Meandering closer “What Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s For” is little more than hushed, overlong percolations that just trickle out of earshot, and the bright production tricks merely magnify that. “Dull to Pause” is another curiously unsatisfying offering whose oscillating blips and beeps simply substitute subtlety for substance. Fortunately, Greenspan and Didemus throw in a few trademark nocturnal numbers to offset these disappointments. The minimalist Moroderisms of “Work” practically sweat claustrophobic cool, while the playfully erotic “Bits & Pieces” perfectly captures sexual awkwardness with its droll lyrics and burping keyboards.
At a mere eight songs in length, Begone Dull Care is Junior Boys’ shortest album to date. This also makes it their weakest simply because there aren’t as many killer tracks to divert attention from the filler, even if the killers are in fact stellar. They only pale in comparison to themselves. The light may suit them okay, but they wear the night better. As the chorus of “Bits & Pieces” goes, “I say it better when the lights are out.”