Review Summary: I was thinking the same thing you are. “What a fucking weird band name... and why is there a blood- splattered cannabis leaf on the cover?”
Well, subsequent listens to jj n° 2 prove your suspicions right- they ARE a mysterious band from Sweden that creates sunny pop music with eclectic influences and a fair share of quirkiness.
Delicate guitar and synth lines correspond well with the equally delicate vocals and harmonies; the songs feel like they may snap in half at any point. The irony is, it works much better when they do. When a sample from Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” unexpectedly drops by on album highlight “Ecstasy,” the results are appealing. Don’t expect this sample to hold you over until Rebirth though, Lil Weezy followers. I have a feeling this may not be your cup ‘o tea. jj n° 2 never strays away from an ebullient, lighthearted mood that falls under an obscure category called “balearic beat”- think, Caribbean dance beats. Add a hint of ambient here and there, some nonsensical samples (i.e. random Youtube reporter “ I'm dyin' in this ***ing country-ass ***ed-up town."), and you’ve just found the mysterious Swedes, jj.
As far as lyrics go, these are a bit predictable and trite, but they clearly aren’t the focus. The female voice coos about “a place in the sun where we used to live,” but it’s the island sounds that really take you there. All the vocals are sung in lower-case letters, to the benefit of the music and the overall atmosphere.
The songs, when listened to individually, are fairly likable. Although, with the longest song clocking in at a measly 3:34, you can barely call them ditties. I felt as if there was never quite enough to grasp on to. As soon as I thought I was getting an ear for a song, it flitted away. The closer, “Me & Dean,” is very appropriate consider that it fades away amidst laughter around two and a half minutes.
If jj n° 2 sounds like your quintessential hipster band, then you’re about right. Not too many people are going to fall in love with this, but those who do are sure to gush about it on their blogs for the coming months until the next fad inevitably arrives. My reaction towards jj n° 2 s characterized by indifference. While jj is likable and relaxing, there’s simply not enough substance to push the album towards regular listens.