Even as our hyper-digital age makes the world smaller, the soundscape of American music keeps getting bigger. Genres multiply, divide, revive, and recycle themselves—reinvented as pre-this, post-that, or this-core, and that-hop. So slap a label on Project Jenny, Project Jan if you want—but you'll find that label is constantly changing.
On XOXOXOXOXO, you'll witness how a young duo from Brooklyn pushes the boundaries of modern music. The band's signature sound—Sammy Rubin's jaunty electro-pop hooks fueled by saucy freestyled vocals from Jeremy Haines—is infectious without being predictable. And on this album, you will hear shades of every genre, from Latin, old school hip-hop, and reggae, to blues, rock, old time rags, and 80s electro. Some songs even brush up charmingly against bluegrass, big band, and swing, resulting in a sound that is fiercely, uniquely their own.
The album kicks off with trumpets and trombones; flutes and drums on "Dia de los Ninos," and despite (or because of) the drum machine, you'll find yourself dancing salsa. Then, out of nowhere, the wily blues guitar intro into "Summertime" conjures images of lemonade and sweat; the manic banjo on the addictive "ZooBar" summons an ecstatic grin, albeit a crooked, haggle-toothed one. You'll find it hard to believe two guys from Brooklyn made this. So can you call Project Jenny, Project Jan post-indie-pop electro-core? Sure, if you insist on categorizing. The bottom line is that this is smart, energetic dance music for a new generation of listeners—the kind of people who'd rather shake it on the dance floor than puzzle over sub-genres. XOXOXOXOXO is a distinctive album of songs that dare you to sit still, so consider yourself forewarned: You will lose this dare.