Junip

Junip

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Junip's debut album Fields was a sleeper hit, partly because of its intriguing mix of folk, pop, electronic, and globe-trotting sounds, and partly because it was full of strong, simple songs that slowly but surely grabbed listeners' ears and refused to let go. The band's self-titled follow-up is even more of a grower, in more ways than one: Jose Gonzalez and company opt for bigger arrangements and productions this time around, so much so that it can take a few listens for some of these songs to truly unfold. As on their debut album, there are moments that are more about the sound than the songwriting; "Villain"'s distorted drums and crystalline keyboards are especially tantalizing, and a little frustrating, because the song they're attached to is so brief. However, Junip's best moments make the most of the band's ability to somehow be low-key and intense at the same time. There's a little more urgency on songs like "Line of Fire" and "Your Life Your Call," which holds its energy at a remove but is still the band's hardest-edged song yet. Fields' best songs had a hypnotic drive to them and that's true of Junip as well, particularly on the album's second half. The sweet "Walking Lightly" is as expansive as it is poppy; "Head First" makes the most of the band's way with a subtly trippy groove, and "Beginnings"' whistled hook sounds remarkably cool. A fuller, more focused version of the sound they introduced on Fields, this set of songs is worthy of being Junip's namesake album.

blue highlight denotes track pick