JJ Changes Their Name Slightly, But Not How Good They Are

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V is full of the polished sounds that have made JJ’s previous albums stunning opuses built on catchy instrumental loops and layered vocals. Tracks like “All White Everything,” “Full,” and “I” are so heavy they threaten to collapse inward, creating a musical singularity. They’re beautiful. Perhaps too beautiful. That contrasts starkly with the production decision to not tune Kastlander’s vocals. There are moments when she falters at the cusp of the proper note, and there’s something ironically angelic about it, because why does an artist decide to show their imperfections over the easy conceal? It’s baffling and attractive to hear this human vulnerability within the context of Benon’s and Kastlander’s slick production. The messy vocals—they’re right at home in the unkempt wilderness of the guitar/vocal track like  2‘s “Me & Dean.” That makes sense. This puzzling production decision on V is strangely alluring and respectable. Somehow it casts them as even more compelling artists. {Read More}

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