Anthony Easton: Beautiful, lonely, yearning, gets less interesting the more it plows on, but the first few seconds with the harmonica, gorgeous!
Michaelangelo Matos: This is actually a fair (they’re Swedish–hah!) match for Sade’s “Soldier of Love”: Elin Katlander’s foggy voice isn’t too far from Ms. Adu’s, and the harmonica from Neil Young’s “Powderfinger” (not from the Australian band, obv.) is a nice enough touch. But nice enough is about all.
Mordechai Shinefield: This band, and specifically this song, is like a balm upon my soul.
Martin Kavka: This sounds depressing, what with the minor key and the sad harmonica, but when Anonymous Singer says “Let your friend know that you’re on the beach by my side” — dump him/her? — for a moment my concept of happiness is completely overturned. Just as I start to process what’s just occurred, the song ends. And so I replay.
Chuck Eddy: Actually figured this was some kind of Sigur Ros baloney before the girl started singing (which probably just indicates how little I’ve listened to Sigur Ros — doubt they’re so pretty), and I can’t really decide whether it gets better or worse once she does. If she had a sweeter voice herself, I might even give into the going-nowhereness of it all. But she’s kinda bleh.
Matt Cibula: There are some lovely parts here, but they are more than negated by the icky parts. I do not know why people would want to listen to this kind of music in the year 2010.
Martin Skidmore: I have no idea who this is. We get atmospheric electronics, mouth organ and acoustic guitar, and a low-affect female voice singing pleasantly over it. It’s a very pleasant experience, if rather too ambient to excite.
Iain Mew: This could have easily have ended up too lightweight or sappy, but it’s just so unashamedly, thoroughly pretty that it seems wrong to find fault. Has lines about getting away from the winter but keeps bringing gently falling snow to mind. Nice touch to actually float away itself at the end, as it suggests, too.
Ian Mathers: The first 90 seconds of “Let Go” isn’t just lacklustre, it feels entirely pointless. The song never really gets over that feeling, but when the chorus comes in, the scrubbed-clean production and painstakingly tasteful instrumentation actually become virtues, and I begin to understand why jj have been getting such good reviews. That chorus suggests they have a place in whatever boxset (or boxdownload, I guess) chronicles the state of soft rock in 2010, but only if they stop being so stingy with the good bits.
Doug Robertson: It’s like Saint Etienne, Enya, Ace of Base and Windy Miller all got together and decided to form a band, and the end result is a lush, laid back, dreamy soundscape that seems to have come straight from the blissful moment where you’re not quite asleep, but not quite awake either. Probably best not to listen to this if you’re about to operate heavy machinery.
Alex Macpherson: I’m not sure why jj’s last album drifted through me without leaving an impression while their alphabetical counterparts in elegant, minimalist mopery The xx took up permanent residence in my heart; possibly because jj tilt too much towards floating around instead of resolution, possibly because Elin Kastlander is aloof where Romy Madley Croft aches. “Let Go” is pretty and pleasant — even a bit more than that when jj release the tension and the booming beat emerges — but it’s just not tugging on the heart-strings yet.