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Friday, Dec. 2, 2005

LISTENING POST

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Junior Senior


Since 1995, Danish dance-rockers Junior Senior have been shaking up Scandinavia with their humorous blend of Prince-like funk and indie garage rock, and for the last five years they've taken Britain and the rest of Europe by storm. The effective working relationship between Jesper Mortensen and Jeppe Laursen splits the difference in various ways: Junior likes girls and writes most of the material, while Senior claims he leans toward the lads and is happy to mostly bop around ordering everyone to "shake their coconuts." This may be crude and dumb, but you hardly need an intelligent reason to shake anything these days.

On their wickedly clever new sophomore effort, "Hey Hey My My Yo Yo," Mortensen and Laursen offer up the best B-52s song since the '80s, and so naturally they get Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson to sing on it. If "Take My Time" also happens to be the best song on the album, it's because it makes the best use of their talent. The derision that greeted 2003's "D-D-Don't Stop The Beat," the pair's best-selling debut, mostly sprang from the feeling that their guileless energy masked a paucity of ideas. Actually, the ideas were there, it was the resources to pull them off that they lacked. Their analog disco production work is imaginative and craftsmanlike, but as singers they tend to be more charming than compelling -- the fact that they still can't rap worth a damn is obviously meant to be a sales point. It's the sort of cuteness best appreciated in concert.

Junior Senior: Dec. 6 & 7, 7 p.m., Shibuya O-East, Tokyo (Creativeman, [03] 5466-0777); Dec. 8, 7 p.m., Nagoya Club Quattro (Box office, [052] 264-8211); Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Osaka Namba Hatch (Kyodo Osaka, [06] 6233-8888). 6,000 yen advance.


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