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Junior Boys - Over It (Q (radio show) 2016)

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Big Black Coat
Big black coat.jpg
Studio album by Junior Boys
ReleasedFebruary 5, 2016
GenreSynthpop,[1] electronic, techno-pop, dance
LabelCity Slang
Junior Boys chronology
Singles from Big Black Coat
  1. "Big Black Coat"
    Released: October 22, 2015
  2. "Over It"
    Released: November 18, 2015

Big Black Coat is the fifth studio album by Canadian electronic duo Junior Boys, released on February 5, 2016 by the group's new label home, City Slang.[2][3][4] It is the group's first record in five years.[3]


  • 1 Background and release
  • 2 Critical reception
  • 3 Track listing
  • 4 Personnel
  • 5 References

Background and release

Following the 2011 release of their previous album, It's All True, the duo spent several years pursuing solo and side projects, which included Jeremy Greenspan's working on music by Caribou and Jessy Lanza.[4] The group's press release cited Yellow Magic Orchestra, Plastikman, Robert Hood, Dan Bell, and ESP’s 1986 proto-house track "It’s You" as inspirations for the recording.[4] Describing the genesis of the album's title, Greenspan explained:

All the songs were about the guys that I saw down town who were just lonely and walking around. I wanted to give them a voice and all the songs are about guys who are frustrated with their emotional lives, frustrated by women, frustrated by everything. So the coat became a metaphor and an analogy of a way to insulate yourself away from the harshness of a Canadian winter. It’s pretty bleak."[5]

Big Black Coat premiered as a live NPR stream on January 27, 2016.[6]

Critical reception

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 80, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[7] Andy Kellman of AllMusic noted influences from "a pool of old sources, including post-disco, early and raw Chicago house, and the bizarre art-pop of Yellow Magic Orchestra (and graphically from Jesus and Mary Chain's Darklands)" and felt that it "contends with Last Exit as Junior Boys' deepest, most vibrant work."[8] The Guardian's Lanre Bakare complimented the duo's "ability to mix elements smoothly",[9] while Pitchfork Media's Cameron Cook stated that "it's impressive and frankly unusual to see a band five albums into their career experiment with new sounds and actually make it work, but Junior Boys have pulled it off."[13] Stephen Worthy, writing in Mixmag, called it "their most rounded, consistently engaging record yet",[11] and in a separate review for Mojo, he added that "their reunion album fizzes with energy—although it retains the underlying melancholia that defined their previous work."[12]

While noting that the band's "usual affinity for R&B drags on the album's slower numbers", Gary Suarez of Consequence of Sound wrote that "as they depart from their early combination of synthpop and R&B into harder, accented electronics reminiscent of early Detroit techno, Junior Boys push forward with one of their most liberating releases in a decade — and, best of all, they sound happy doing it."[17] Andrew Unterberger of Spin found the underlying "sexual desperation" in the lyrics to be inconsistent, but nonetheless called Big Black Coat a "surprisingly successful reinvention".[15] PopMatters writer John Bergstrom was mixed in his assessment, remarking that the band sound like they "want to be Pet Shop Boys", but that they "need to work on sharpening up that Canadian wit and maybe using 'baby' a bit more ironically."[1]

Track listing

Tracks written by Jeremy Greenspan unless otherwise noted.


Junior Boys
  • Matt Didemus – production
  • Jeremy Greenspan – production, vocals
Additional personnel
  • Mike Jerome – artwork, design
  • David Psutka – engineering
  • Bob Weston – mastering


  1. ^ a b c Bergstrom, John (February 8, 2016). "Junior Boys: Big Black Coat". PopMatters. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  2. ^ Breihan, Tom (October 22, 2015). "Junior Boys – "Big Black Coat"". Stereogum. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Minsker, Evan (October 22, 2015). "Junior Boys Return With New Album Big Black Coat, Share Title Track". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "Junior Boys return with first album in five years, Big Black Coat". Fact. October 22, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  5. ^ King, Alasdair. "Canadian Winters: Jeremy Greenspan Of Junior Boys Talks". The Ransom Note. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  6. ^ Orlov, Piotr (January 27, 2016). "First Listen: Junior Boys, 'Big Black Coat'". NPR. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Reviews for Big Black Coat by Junior Boys". Metacritic. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Big Black Coat – Junior Boys". AllMusic. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Bakare, Lanre (February 4, 2016). "Junior Boys: Big Black Coat review – Ontario electro duo's energetic return". The Guardian. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  10. ^ Carroll, Jim (February 18, 2016). "Junior Boys − Big Black Coat: a serving of rich, warm, vibrant and shapeshifting electronica". The Irish Times. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Worthy, Stephen (February 6, 2016). "Junior Boys: Big Black Coat (City Slang)". Mixmag. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Worthy, Stephen (March 2016). "Junior Boys: Big Black Coat". Mojo (268): 95. 
  13. ^ a b Cook, Cameron (February 4, 2016). "Junior Boys: Big Black Coat". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  14. ^ Howe, Rupert (March 2016). "Junior Boys: Big Black Coat". Q (356): 111. 
  15. ^ a b Unterberger, Andrew (February 9, 2016). "Review: Junior Boys Are Smoldering With Lust Beneath Their 'Big Black Coat'". Spin. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Junior Boys: Big Black Coat". Uncut (226): 111. March 2016. 
  17. ^ Suarez, Gary (February 2, 2016). "Junior Boys – Big Black Coat". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 

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