Junior Boys

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. In the beginning, synth-pop pioneers like Bronski Beat, Soft Cell and Heaven 17 collectively shared the DNA of American soul, '60s pop and funk, coupled with a limited ability to re-create that music on conventional instruments. To make up for this shortcoming, the musicians s1ought out Kraftwerk's groundbreaking recordings and the nascent technology of synthesizers, arpeggiators and drum machines to realize their mechanical Motown mash-ups. As if the intervening thirty years never happened, the Junior Boys reinvent synth pop and -- rather than retread the worn tires of their predecessors -- rediscover what made that first wave great. With haunting melodies, minimal rhythms and soulful delivery, vocalist/songwriter Jeremy Greenspan and producer Matt Didemus hit that perfect beat, dancing with tears in their eyes and 4/4 pacemakers on their sleeves. As if to underscore the melancholy human heart beating beneath the synthetic veneer, the duo's latest outing even includes a brooding, sparse reading of "When No One Cares," made famous by Frank Sinatra, another great inventor.


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