Album Review: JJ n° 3. Electro folk, sophomore slump and anonimity

Last year this band called JJ came out of nowhere to release one of the surprise albums of the year. Seems like Sweden is good for one ‘it’ band every two to three years. For a while no one even knew who or what JJ was. Is all anyone knew was that he/she/it/they had an ear for clever samples. Felt like their anonymity added to the hype of the album: “I’m so cool that I listen to bands that I can’t even visualize”. Inevitably however they had to go on tour and their identities were given away. Apparently JJ is a two person group made up of a stereotypically Nordic looking bro and girl.

JJ = Swedish Stoner couple. Kind of hoped it was something more exciting.

Seems like the duo lost some of their appeal once they could be identified/described as a ‘duo’ rather than just a ‘project’. Seemed like after the success of their first album ‘JJ n°2’ that JJ churned out another album overly quickly. Feel like a sense of anticipation and a waiting period can help a releases success, no matter how good/bad the music is. It’s really possible they rushed this one.

After listening to the JJ N°3, I feel like it’s not that bad. Not as bad as some made it seem. The good songs on the album like “You Know” and “Let Go” have a lot of the same things going for them that JJ N°2 had, like pretty, soulful, delicate vocals, an interesting mix of acoustic and electronic sounds and an easily found beat.

Let Go MP3

JJ – You Know MP3

Kind of hard to determine what I would classify JJ as style wise. This could be another thing they have going for them. Being ‘unclassifiable’ is often intriguing. Usually leads to ridiculous comparisons to combinations of of bands/artists that have no business being combined: “Oh you have to listen to these guys they are like ‘The Strokes’ meets, ‘Grizzly Bear’ meets, ‘Peter Gabriel’ in a disco night club in Kiev”. If I had to describe JJ I would call them electric folk music, because of their fusion of acoustic samples with more standard electronic synthy noises. Not sure if there are any other qualifications for being ‘electro folk’. Seems like it might also have to be the type of stuff you can smoke to. Either way, I think this album is worth checking out but not nearly as good as their 09 effort.

Were you disappointed when you found out who JJ was?
What makes something ‘electro folk’?
What is the most ridiculous band comparison you have ever heard?
Was it on this blog?

JJ n° 3 – 3 out of 5 stars.


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