Coming home for the holidays, I couldn’t wait to see jj’s Kills mixtape under the tree, given free-of-charge on the Sincerely Yours website. Swedish pop duo Joakim Benon and Elin Kastlander sure know how to give fans what they want to hear and keep us wanting more soon after. Having proven their love for covers and hip-hop, Kills brings us all of the above and goes above and beyond. From everyone to Taio Cruz, Robyn, Kanye West, M.I.A. and more, the mixtape brings an entertaining mix of well-known tracks with their own signature twist.
With the release of “Let Them,” renamed “Kill Them” on the mixtape, the much-anticipated release promised something catchy and sparkly, a gift per se. One thing I noticed though, is that Kills doesn’t seem to reflect their original stuff and full-length tracks, but the energizing and creative entertainment of the album seems to cancel out this aspect. “Kill You” offers an already head-nodding beat to M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” for yet another delightfully enslaving cover.
Opener “Still” starts with Kastlander’s wispy vocals echo as it surprisingly melds into a take on Dr. Dre’s “Still Chronic,” a perfect track to set the tone for the rest of Kills. “Boom” takes it even further, combining several recent numbers from Kanye West and even throwing in some Hans Zimmer from Inception. jj covering film scores? I’m pretty they can do it all and make it work.
Elin’s ethereal vocals are beautiful; she can have you hanging on her every note just as quickly as making you laugh throughout the mixtape. I think that covers fascinate people, especially hip-hop broken down by airy, captivated female vocals. Yes, their originals are just as beautiful and delicate, but relax with Kills and smile a bit. jj is home for the holidays, and Kills is nothing but the life of the party.