Sunday, 3 May 2009

Norwegian electro/retro-futuristic pop

Röyksopp (hailing down from Tromsø) are back with their album Junior released in March. I have had the luck of getting hold of it, and while stylistically they have changed a lot since Melody A.M. and their hit Poor Leno, they have not changed for worse. In fact, this has to be of the best electropop albums of the year. They manage to mix cute electropop with darker retro-futuristic sounds. This time they have got aid from some of Scandinavia's biggest vocal names: Robyn (!), Karin Dreijler Andersson from the Knife, Lykke Li and Fever Ray. The general theme that is so well known of retro-futuristic music is alienation. In The Girl and The Robot, for instance, it is the alienation of man in the face of a world run partially by robots whose work ethic is unparalleled and whose emotions are non-existent. 

Highlights: The album is packed with uniquely sounding tracks. Let's look at the best:

  • The Girl and The Robot: Starring the amazing Robyn in a duet with Fever Ray concerning a dystopian relationship between a girl and her cyborg boyfriend. Robyn's vocals are perfect for the role and this must be the song of the album. 
Baby I can't stand it when you go to work
You never seem to know when to stop
I never know when you'll return
I'm in love with a robot

  • Röyksopp Forever: Despite an awkward, self-praising title, this is the track that proves Röyksopp's worth as an electronic band. While The Girl and the Robot is the poster boy of the album, this track is far more sophisticated when it comes to musical prowess. There is a subtle mixture of electronic with contemporary classical music which is rather well pulled off. 
  • Tricky Tricky: Featuring the head vocalist of the Swedish band the Knife, this is the other track worth listening to. The electropop beats are more apparent in Tricky Tricky and the upbeat sentiment is cool. If you're a fan of the Knife this is worth looking for. 

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