If you want a précis version of what JR JR (formerly Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr etc etc snore) sounds like, this is basically the album that Passion Pit should have made. But we’re kinda glad that they didn’t, because JR JR bring with them an additional sense of humour and cheek that most bands are too up themselves to get round to.
Basically: this sounds like fun. Fun to listen to, fun to make. Fun in the relentless singalong chorus of As Time Goes, the opening whistle of Gone, and every massive hook and chorus from In The Middle to For My Brother. It’s largely addictive beats rather than big drums and such, with even the occasional delve into neo-R&B territory on James Dean (“the internet won’t ever love you back,” to refer to that sense of humour we mentioned earlier).
If there’s a slight niggle, it’s that the pace dips after the initial front-loading of arms-aloft jams. After the halfway point, JR JR struggle to find their sound and stick to it, branching out like a spider diagram but never quite filling it in. Still, it matters little in the bigger picture – theirs is a record perfect to see out the summer, crystallising a last hurrah on the final day of sunshine.
JR JR by JR JR can be ordered here.