The Austin Chronicle

Phases and Stages

Record Review

Reviewed by Greg Beets, August 22, 2003, Music

Junior Senior

D-D-Don't Stop the Beat (Atlantic/Crunchy Frog) It takes smarts to be this mindless. Denmark's Junior Senior mine a high-fructose vein of cut-and-paste pop that conjures up all-inclusive fantasies of a bubble-gum punk rock hip-hop rave taking place at a gay bar hosting a cheerleading camp. The duo's succinct debut is a party album that doesn't let faux-ironic witticisms undermine its silly goodness. "Move Your Feet" rightfully burned up the European charts this summer with its early Eighties don't-call-it-disco patina. You can imagine Beck trying to do something like this for Midnite Vultures, though there's no way he'd sing, "Everybody move your feet and feel united!" without worrying what his neighbors think. Jesper Mortensen and Jeppe Laursen's neighbors probably don't even speak English, so who cares if they're telling you to shake your coconut until the nut comes out? Junior Senior's nursery rhyme exhortations roll off the tongue like an errant cube of Jell-O, while their jerk-happy grooves cram 40 years of dance-floor culture into a series of three-minute bursts. They know enough history to realize that "C'mon" is a linchpin rock phrase, and their song of the same name invokes the legacies of Eddie Cochran, Tommy James, Iggy Pop, and the B-52s in one fell swoop. "White Trash" finally reveals the duo as bored garage punks at heart, pledging simultaneous fealty to Lee Hazelwood and Joey Ramone. By not being "smart" enough to subdivide their appreciation of pop into a series of echo chambers, Junior Senior comes close to recapturing the preteen joy of responding to music unhindered by stigma.


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