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Junior Senior

Friday, October 24

Danes Jesper Mortensen ("Junior") and Jeppe Laursen ("Senior") came together in 1998 to challenge traditional pop conventions, to fuse a variety of influences and come up with an innovative pop music alloy. Finally, their goal has come to fruition, and their new album, D-D-Don't Don't Stop The Beat, is arguably the most flavorful creation to come out of Denmark since Babette's Feast.

Their breakthrough hit, "Move Your Feet," stayed at the top of the UK charts for nine weeks, coinciding with a captivating performance at this summer's Glastonbury festival. The simple hook, "Everybody move your feet and feel united," complements samples of electronica and some scatting performed in true Scandinavian fashion by front man Senior. It may be the most radio-friendly song on the album, yet it lacks the edgy lyrics and guitar riffs that prevail in the rest of the songs.

In a musical homage to 1950s rock, "Chicks and Dicks," Junior Senior tackles the woes of sexuality and sexual tension. Junior says, "Hey, gay, get out of my way," to which the openly homosexual Senior replies, "Hey, straight, you're always too late." In the end, they come together to ask everyone, "What are you gonna do after dark? Who are you gonna do after dark?"

Lions and tigers and chicks and dicks and straights 
and gays — oh, my!
Lions and tigers and chicks and dicks and straights and gays — oh, my!

Though humor and energy are strong forces throughout the album, Junior Senior also shows its gentle side. In a departure from its usual throaty, raucous delivery, "Just Shake It Brother" is this millennium's ode to the quintessential hand job. As befits the Laurel Canyon, 1970s singer-songwriter movement, the tune is delivered in a sweet tenor that belies these lyrics: "I'll be your tambourine man / Oh, shake me in the palm of your hand."

Even if you can imagine an over-the-top collaboration of Kraftwerk, Blur and the B-52's, you still won't have captured the essence of Junior Senior. With their youthful exuberance and originality, they have put a definitive beat back in pop music.

 
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