This year I’ve been digging myself into the dreamy, dancy production skills of Jeremy Greenspan by way of Jessy Lanza’s Pull My Hair Back. That album feels like a lost Junior Boys release, a moody and emotional and jammin’ set of songs. It makes you wonder where Junior Boys have been since their last release was the encore-esque It’s All True in 2011. The ten minute closer “Banana Ripple” felt more like a “Peace, motherfuckers!!” than a “See you next time!” I need me some JB, guys.
Thanks are in order because they are back. As they proclaimed on Facebook a week or two ago, “hibernation is over!!!!!” The return is a more Greenspan song, something that leans toward “Drums & Drums & Drums” instead of “More Than Real“: it’s a cover of the Bobby Caldwell classic “What You Won’t Do For Love,” taken to the disco and dipped in a glittering rainbow. It’s Greenspan’s emo evolution closer and closer to the dance floor.
Atop of a chirping synthscape, the song starts with Greenspan giving Caldwell’s lyrics an appropriate conversational tone. “I guess you wonder where I’ve been,” he says. “I came back to let you know. Got a thing for you and I can’t let go.” While this is about coming back to a lover and getting back into a romantic groove, fans of their work will see the song as a statement of absence, an explanation for why they’ve been gone and why they’re back. It’s an exciting five minutes of JB surveying every sound they’ve ever done and then some. If “Banana Ripple” was the farewell tour, their (Jeremy’s) take on “What You Won’t Do For Love” is a compacted greatest hits.
Is this the precursor of a comeback? I have a feeling it isn’t. It feels more like a singular one-off, a reminder that they can and should and will make good music and this song—while wonderful—is a “for old time’s sake” creation fans will coo after given the content, context, and execution. Please come back, Jeremy. I can’t wait to see more of you again.