Junior Boys: It's All True (Domino) 

It's easy to underestimate the pleasures of an album like It's All True, which is content to just hang out doing its thing, trying not to bother anybody. "Kick the Can," for instance, chugs along like the theme to a lost Atari game. Croaky voices repeat the title in staccato bursts. Boys breathe heavily at you. I'm not going to call it innocuous; it's silly, but unfunny.

"The Reservoir" is the record's chronological centerpiece, and it's a breezy ballad. Remarks are made about the "autumn air." The song contains tiny moments of drama—like a sudden influx of frenetic beeping—but is mostly content to approximate the feeling of lying around outside and looking at the clouds. "Unattached young men be cruel," the singer sings, and then a moment later, "Summer is here." For this album, contemplating ephemera with lazy disregard is what passes for sexy.

Somehow, though, It's All True is a success, and it outflanks 2009's pestering Begone Dull Care, mostly by committing to its brand of helium-light electrofunk. "A Truly Happy Ending" and "You'll Improve Me," for instance, are winning.

The distance that has been covered between this and "Birthday," a signature track of 2004's Last Exit, is remarkably small. Junior Boys might not be growing, but they're settling in just fine. That's nice. It's All True is a confident and slight album, but reliable and pleasing.

More by Sean Bottai


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