Ipod Worthy Albums

Artist: Patrick Watson Album: Wooden Arms

Artist: Patrick Watson Album: Wooden Arms

Artist: Patrick Watson
Album: Wooden Arms
Date Released: May 5, 2009
Genre: indie pop, contemporary singer-songwriter, chamber pop
Initial rating: 8.0

Review: Canadian singer and pianist Patrick Watson weaves together post-rock experimentalism with a vocal style that intersects between Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley. The tracks are strong and command attention. One of the year’s most unique musical achievements.

Artist: Röyksopp  Album: Junior

Artist: Röyksopp Album: Junior

Artist: Röyksopp
Album: Junior
Date Released: March 24, 2009
Genre: downbeat, euro-dance, alternative Dance, club/dance
Initial rating: 7.5


Junior is the third album by Norwegian duo Royksopp, which follows 2005’s The Understanding. It features collaborations with Swedish singer Robyn, as well as the talented Lykke Li, who released her fantastic debut album Youth Novels last year.

The record sets its intentions out early with the first track “Happy Up Here”, a glossy, strolling pop song, which consists mainly of a simple yet catchy keyboard tone and lyrics such as “you know I’ll always be here” and “I feel like I’m part of the book of love”, with its theme being of unwavering love despite time and actions trying to interfere.

Second track “The Girl And The Robot” featuring Robyn opens strong, but the introduction of the singer immediately anchors the track, as the melody from the beginning recedes and her vocals and lyrics become the meat of the song; dry and unoriginal the track quickly becomes boring, as the kicking beat at the start fails to come back into play.

“This Must Be It” relieves the feeling of anticipation for Junior, as it breathes charisma and personality with the excellent chorus and supporting lyrics, and although the tempo of the song evolves little as in previous tracks, the melody and catchy vocals enhance the record greatly.

“Miss It So Much” sees Lykke Li take up the vocal duties. Within the first ten seconds her subtle, luscious voice layers your eardrums with warm textured honey, and with this you really listen to lyrics such as “my mechanical heart, how it keeps us apart”, and with the beauty of the sound, the meaning becomes inscribed within the listener.

The gentle and melodic “You Don’t Have A Clue” stands out as one of the highlights, with the instruments and vocals melting into each other much more effectively than at any other point in the album. “Silver Cruiser” is a sailing, dreamy track, which succeeds in seducing with a tasty bass and flowing instrumentation.

Junior contains moments of joyous pop, however these are all too sparse. Although entirely listenable and enjoyable, this record presents few original instances and mostly fails to create anything in which to expand on previous ideas. When compared with new releases in synth pop, such as the new Yeah Yeah Yeah’s record, Junior simply can’t match the grade.

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