The more of these promotional copies I get the more I realize that a year is a long time, and I think how foolish I have been to have thought that so many of the year's best albums have already been released. Have some of those "Best Of 2006ers" come out yet?...Yep. Will there be more albums released this year that will also join, and maybe top such a list?...Yep.
So This Is Goodbye, the upcoming release from The Junior Boys, is just such an album. There are few electronic acts out there that can impress me, but these guys are right up there with Thievery Corporation, Boards of Canada, Four Tet, et al. Not that they sound anything like those other acts: In fact, they sound more like a perfected vision of 80s British synth-pop, but they have done nothing short of astounding me with their next album. Their arrangements are so tight you could set your metronome to them. And what hooks! If like me, you find Thom Yorke's The Eraser somewhere short of amazing, then maybe this is the electronic album you've been waiting for. There's no excess activity on their tracks, but they're nowhere near "barren" or empty sounding. The Junior Boys have infused the perfect number of elements into each of the album's tracks to provide a wonderful variety stretching from dance-floor superbeats to rainy day window-watching soundscapes.
If you're the type of person with an aversion to "squeaky-clean" production, don't be afraid. So This Is Goodbye has enough charm, honesty and vulnerability to help even the "indiest" kid get past the amazing technical quality the album has. It's really a lyric-listener, as well. While you can dance to it, you wont find any clichéd or trite phrases on this one. So what do you call an album that has incredibly catchy songs, visceral technical qualities and wears its heart on its sleave?...Perfect. That's what! And it almost would be perfect were it not for the two songs that this reviewer found somewhat lackluster. No, I wont tell you which ones I feel that way about. I'll let you decide for youself, and hopefully you'll like all 10 tracks on the album. So, it's near perfect. Very near indeed. For me, the "quanitifiable" rating I give So This Is Goodbye would have to be a 9.6/10. I know I shouldn't be giving out ratings like that this early in the year, but I'm totally confident that this album will remain in the upper ranks by year's end.
Be sure and pick up your copy of So This Is Goodbye when it hits stores in August. Domino Records must be pleased as punch to have signed these boys back in May, cause this is one heck of an album.
Junior Boys - In The Morning.mp3
Junior Boys - Double Shadow.mp3
Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (Junior Boys Remix).mp3