Röyksopp

Senior

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Just as autumn must follow summer, Senior must follow Junior. Röyksopp's poppy, peppy record from 2009, Junior included guest-star vocalists, bright effects, and catchy melodies; Röyksopp's dreamy, downtempo record from 2010, Senior includes neither vocals nor much in the way of four-four beats. For those who jumped on the Junior bandwagon -- and there were a lot of jumpers, since it surpassed all of their earlier records on the charts -- the music here will be seen as formless mood music, for better or worse. For those who enjoyed Röyksopp's earlier downbeat material, this might seem more like home, although it has less character and warmth than Melody A.M. or even The Understanding. Much of it is simply a sedate version of Junior; for instance, "The Alcoholic" could have easily been slotted on Junior if vocals were added and its tempo was increased slightly. Elsewhere, Röyksopp have created music of beauty, as on "The Fear" and "The Drug," two pieces whose slowly shifting effects and warm atmosphere conjure a pastoral paradise as only Röyksopp can. While some of the tracks sound like rough sketches that were simply given a bit more shading, most of Senior captivates as a full-length experience.

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