Dutch born and Los Angeles based producer, Tom Holkenborg returns once again to his electro genius alter-ego Junkie XL, this time with a more refined and more complex offering than previous releases, which could be due in part to his hiatus from his own albums to work on movie scores as of late from blockbuster films such as “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Inception”.
But, it has been a long fifteen years since the release of the debut album, “Saturday Teenage Kick”, and instead of fading away Junkie XL has continued to morph, grow and still remain an artist who knows how to infiltrate a dance floor.
“Synthesized” is the sixth full length album from Junkie XL and the first new work to be release since 2008’s “Booming Back at You”. And while this album doesn’t immediately grab your attention the way “Booming” did with its immediate hard driving bass beats and dance tracks, “Synthesized” is a more refined ad fluid electronic album, and will prove to be one that will not disappoint the ardent fans of Junkie XL.
Junkie XL’s Leave Your Ego Behind (feat. Timothy Leary)
The first few tracks start off with a sort of mellow, trance like vibe with tracks like “Take off on Molly’s E” before sliding effortlessly into the track “Off the Dance Floor” featuring Isis Salam of Thunderheist. But the party truly gets started when one gets to the title track of the release, “Synthesized”. From it’s first moment, this number pleasantly kicks the listener in the ears, as a trance-like haze slowly clears from the dance floor and the infectious rhythm begins to take hold.
Some interesting collaborations are also found on this release, such as the vocals from Tears For Fears’ Curt Smith on the track, “When Enough is Not Enough”. This is a track that blends the seamless vocals of Smith along with the electro rhythms of Junkie XL’s, the result is stellar genre crossing accomplished with a totally flawless effort.
The listener encounters other stand out tracks on the album; including the high energy “Twilight Trippin”, and the electro-rock anthem “Gloria” featuring Datarock, which plays out before Junkie XL makes the excellent choice to transition the album back down to the trance-like music is began with.
As a complete release, from beginning to end, the album is flawless in its execution. By starting slow, building, hitting a peak and then taking it back down to the trance, it’s as if you now have your own personal dance club on one disc.
For more details on the album, or Junkie XL and his previous work, log on to http://www.junkiexl.com/
Written by Christina Lawler
OurVinyl | Contributor