Best Albums of 2009: #30, Röyksopp's Junior

Rank: #30
Album: Junior
Artist: Röyksopp
Label: Astralwerks

Röyksopp's Junior doesn't break any new ground for pop. On the contrary, it treads much of the same land as most of the current European electropop scene already does. However, it still comes off as a fresh, original and downright enjoyable listen. From the opening laughs of "Happy Up Here," to the furious wall of sound on finale "It's What I Want," the album bursts with energy and youthfulness at every turn. Each inch of Junior is littered with the type of raw power every pop act wishes they could possess, but rarely succeed in harnessing.

Even with all of the acclaim the Norwegian duo has received since its formation in 1998, no accolades seem to do it the proper justice. Rather than embrace the more ambient soundscapes which Röyksopp has gained a fair amount of notoriety from, Junior is an open assault on the senses. The music is so vivid and vibrant that you can both feel and see it, with the right amount of imagination. From song to song, the possibilities seem to be endless, and realistically, they are. The group has gotten to the point in their careers where anything will work, and in this case, the results are anything but reserved. It's a bold statement from one of Europe's finest-- a bright, and positively adventurous album worth every second of its run time.

Best Track: "The Girl and the Robot"

[Previously on Animal Noises: Best Songs of 2009: #31-40]

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