jj, "jj no. 3"
Elusive Swedish pop duo jj's second full-length album, "jj no. 3," confidently flirts between globetrotting indie and '80s adult contemporary. Though the band maintains the Caribbean and Afrobeat carry-overs from its 2009 debut, jj isn't all summer sunshine the second time around. Borrowing the chorus from Game's "My Life," the album's opener with the same title is a ballad-esque reinterpretation over thoughtful piano. And "jj no. 3" lacks nothing in the way of lush synth-scapes, embracing Balearic beat with a childlike exuberance that simply can't be helped. The lyrics in "And Now" may be heavy ("And now when the end is near/I know/You meant every tear you gave to me that year"), but they're balanced by an almost comically carefree melody and a high-flown string intro. The duo strays into territories of pop predictability with lines like "The music stops/And the music drops," but jj's sophomore effort is nonetheless charming and imaginative.