Röyksopp Junior

Röyksopp Junior
A two-part concept — the second of which, Senior (arriving later in the year), will provide more of a cohesive, atmospheric listening experience — Junior is the song-structured volume that finds Röyksopp's Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland lightening up a bit after 2005's The Understanding. But instead of simply revisiting the chillaxed playtronica of Melody A.M., the duo, well, find even ground between the two albums. Beginning with the buoyant, squelchy bounce of "Happy Up Here," the duo try and cajole the listener by singing, "My favourite record is playing again." From there on in, Röyksopp unveil their line-up of Scandinavian muses. Amongst swirling synths, Robyn gives "The Girl and the Robot" its narrative hook; Karin Dreijer Andersson returns for two tracks, most notably "Tricky Tricky," an aggressive piece of techno that sounds like her Knife; Lykke Li's "Miss You So Much" is light and airy, much like her album; and Anneli Drecker picks up where she left off on Melody A.M., pushing her Kate Bush-y pipes into orbit. There's an obvious lean towards sounding more commercial, but such an attempt doesn't hurt an act like Röyksopp. They've always flirted with mainstream success, and here they simply build on the pop aspect of their songwriting. So why not let Junior go for it? (Virgin)