Junior Boys, Begone Dull Care (Domino)

We're convinced Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan can sing about reading The Wall Street Journal, and it'd still turn us on. Mmmhmmm.

Glimmering electronic jams
Begone Dull Care, a midcentury animated short by Canadian Norman McLaren, is a masterful, colorful piece of synesthesia. Line drawings, stains and swatches of color dance across the frame in sync with a lively Oscar Peterson jazz score. The steely electronic music of Junior Boys isn''t normally as bright, but it can be just as colorful and artful. On the duo''s third album, named after McLaren''s work, Jeremy Greenspan and Matthew Didemus espouse a warmer, more cosmic sound, softening the edges of their sleek productions. “Parallel Lines” burns slowly as Greenspan croons pained, romantic vocals. The song''s incessant pulse, a metallic half-time Giorgio Moroder beat, is occasionally enveloped by swirling backgrounds and processed horn samples. The well-constructed, cinematic “Work” strings along tense, muscular rhythms and drops massive, fat tones. Music-box synths and ethereal, childlike sounds “Dull to Pause.” “Bits and Pieces” opens with a sleek disco kick—all bright synths, faint claps and crisp guitar—panning between different elements before bringing them together for an energetic exit. Not quite as gripping as in the past, the Boys still showcase their knack for gorgeous, economical compositions. [4 out of 5 stars]