Benni Hemm Hemm Kajak

Benni ho hum is more like it. It’s painful to admit, considering how this Icelandic band’s self-titled 2006 debut was such a breath of fresh oceanic air full of pastoral pop with tiny bursts of brass. The aesthetic hasn’t changed this time out but the songwriting has. By veering away from countrified pop songs, Benni Hemm Hemm have chosen instead to drone on with long chords sustained by the horn section and little melody to speak of, even if the rest of the band, especially driving drummer Helgi Svavar Helgason, think they’re still in a rock group. Apparently, like many second albums, this was written quickly and recorded soon afterwards — and it shows. Bandleader Benedikt H. Hermannsson wrote most of the first record while on vacation in Italy. He should book another flight. (Morr)