Makers of sophisticated dance-pop with more than enough production finesse to intrigue electronica listeners, Röyksopp complete their transition from trip-hop maestros to electronic popsters on their third album, Junior. As on 2005's The Understanding, the melodies here are unmissable, whether there's a star vocal feature or not -- and, to signal their rising status, there are several here. Karin Dreijer of the Knife returns for two songs (including the dizzyingly Moroder-like "This Must Be It"), while Robyn makes her Röyksopp debut on "The Girl and the Robot" (which may or may not be an inter-life form torch song), and Lykke Li also makes a first appearance with "Miss It So Much" (also curiously robotic, with the lyric "My mechanical heart, how it tears me apart"). Besides the stars, Anneli Drecker of Bel Canto does the heavy lifting, lending her heavenly voice to four songs. Overall, the Röyksopp duo remain stellar producers, with a good handle on the three things most important to dance-pop: bewitching melodies, intriguing effects, and enough character to find a fanbase among the non-chart-buying public. (Their old standby, back in force here, is a squelchy synth bassline that creaks and shudders as it cycles through arpeggio after arpeggio). As in the past too, many of the usual stylistic signposts are passed -- Giorgio Moroder, Daft Punk, Air. In the end, Röyksopp remain among the best at middlebrow dance-pop, crafting music that can and will rule the supermarket aisles while still having a shelf-life longer than the canned ham you'll find there.
AllMusic Review by John Bush