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Boomkat Product Review:
A re-release of their acclaimed debut album, jj No.2 by Swedish duo jj was one of 2009's pop highlights, and now it's back in circulation thanks to Secretly Canadian. Having emerged from the same wave of Balearic-loving Scandinavians that gave the world Air France, jj delivered a nine-song, twenty-seven minute album that seems to perfectly capture a particular set of emotions, poised somewhere between summery dancefloor-oriented optimism and indie introspection. The gauzy string samples and misty reverb of 'Things Will Never Be The Same Again' nicely sets up the brilliant percussion-layering pop of 'From Africa To Malaga' whose thin and blurry production somehow distills the album's tone perfectly. It's this scrappily realised blend of euphoric beats, detached vocals and cheap/cheerful instrumentation that makes jj No.2 such an entertaining record, and there's a certain haphazard, unvarnished honesty behind its execution that lends the album a good deal more authenticity than so many of the nth generation chillwave latecomers who try to nail a similar sound. One of the most potentially hazardous tracks here is a weird and wispy cover of Lil Wayne's 'Lollipop', retitled as 'Ecstasy', but even that manages to work, successfully avoiding sounding like the irritatingly ironic, twee-pop reworking it could so easily have been. For all its rough edges and scrappy assembly jj No. 2 still sounds weirdly perfect a year on from its initial release.