Junip
Junip


2.5
average

Review

by Michael Snoxall USER (47 Reviews)
April 24th, 2013 | 19 replies | 1,579 views


Release Date: 04/23/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Poke the body with a stick, roll it down.”

2 of 7 thought this review was well written

Living in the shadow of his solo work (who then again was living in the shadow of his popular covers of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ and The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’), José González and his indie folk band Junip have come back after their 2010 release, Fields, to release their sophomore self-titled album. While Fields played it relatively safe within González’s spectrum of easy-going folk songs, it was still great for what it was, despite growing a little stale on repeated listens, not quite living up to his 2003 solo debut Veneer. What made his original work so powerful was the relaxed nature of his graceful, yet simple guitar work with dark undertones that made the album have a certain aesthetic about it that evoked emotion, his sullen and unique voice leaving an impact with its shadowy quality. Slowly giving up these aspects of his music ever since Junip’s original EP Black Refuge and with his sophomore record In Our Nature, González has seemed to have found a niche that strays away from his humble beginnings and has slowly defined his career as a monotonous repetition of songs that all sound the same. A decade later, all the more with Junip do we begin to see that he will never again emulate the brilliance of his debut.

It’s not that Junip is a bad album, it is, by all means, good, it’s just that it fails to do anything different, and what it does do, Junip--and González--have done better before. Whereas Fields still had a distinct charm to it, the songs were easy to digest and they featured some wonderful melodies and folk stylings, Junip tries to relive it all once again, but sacrifices any memorability for tiring repetition and it all lumps itself together into what feels like a sloppy effort of attempted greatness. The man himself sounds the same as he ever did, yet it just doesn’t feel like there’s any spark left. The songs barely progress and tend to meander on for far longer than they should ever have to, and the album could easily be more enjoyable if each song were perhaps a minute or two shorter. The band tends to try and build each song to boom at a climax, but there’s little to no energy there, and from the admittedly great opener ‘Line of Fire’, everything seems to go downhill.

While most of the album seems to follow a boring formula of being homogenous, taking all its cues from Fields, trying to be larger than life with tawdry strings and electronics at points when it just sounds almost pitiable, the album’s halfway point ‘Villain’ is the highlight; standing at less than two minutes, the song doesn’t last long enough to get boring and its groovy drumming and fuzzy production makes it far and away the best song on the album. It still manages to hold some of the signature González feel from his early days. And for what it is, Junip is an enjoyable album, it just appears as though González and co. are digging themselves a hole and they need to get out, all the more is his work sounding “poppier” and losing a defining edge he used to have in stride. And despite the album’s deceiving cover, this album lacks any of the shady, arty undertones of his classic work. Junip is ultimately González’s weakest effort yet and it seems the man and his band heading down a path that they won’t be getting off any time soon.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
MichaelSnoxall
April 24th 2013



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Was really quite disappointed with this. Maybe I just have some hardcore nostalgia for Veneer, but this just isn't Jose.

Sniff
April 24th 2013



1017 Comments


Album's pretty meh

Maniac!
April 24th 2013



26187 Comments


Holy run-on sentences, batman.

MichaelSnoxall
April 24th 2013



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I predicted that comment before I even opened the page.

Maniac!
April 24th 2013



26187 Comments


I predicted it before I even read the review.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2013



9470 Comments


Good review, man. You have a finesse for reviewing, and I hope you continue to work with it.

Only thing I'd advise is cutting up a bit of the longer sentences. WHile it's all grammatically sound, it can be a bit tiring to read so many compound sentences. Other than that, very good work =]

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

Maniac!
April 24th 2013



26187 Comments


"Only thing I'd advise is cutting up a bit of the longer sentences. WHile it's all grammatically sound, it can be a bit tiring to read so many compound sentences."

THAT'S WHAT I SAID

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



20204 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

First song sounded good but I got bored after that and gave up listening

Digging: YG - My Krazy Life

MichaelSnoxall
April 24th 2013



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

yeah that's pretty much how I felt, fish. I was considering giving this a 2, but I don't think it was that bad. Just very average.

"THAT'S WHAT I SAID"

Grammatically sound, therefore I keeps it ;)

MichaelSnoxall
April 24th 2013



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

also, thanks for the kind words, Jacob

Maniac!
April 24th 2013



26187 Comments


BLARGH GARBLE GARBLE

Tyrael
April 24th 2013



20394 Comments


What is this

I am the master of run-on sentences you bastard

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

MichaelSnoxall
April 24th 2013



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I am here to take that title.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



709 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Disagree but not by much, although there's only two tracks here which don't work for me.

wacknizzle
April 24th 2013



11909 Comments


Aww man, Fields was so good! Gonna be really let down if this sucks, but good review anyway Snox.

Digging: Fall of Efrafa - Inle

MichaelSnoxall
April 24th 2013



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

You might love this too, wack, it's just I found him going downhill ever since his first album. The Black Refuge EP is the best thing this band has done.

omnipanzer
April 25th 2013



21391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The vocals remind me of The Stone Roses. Nice mellow album but there is a bit of filler.

Digging: Dead Combo - A bunch of meninos

MichaelSnoxall
April 29th 2013



12163 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

average alb

Ziio
May 17th 2013



55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like it. Not spectacular, nothing bad.

Kinda falls into a nice groove.



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