All the blogs are about you

I went to a wedding this past weekend in Jacksonville (read about it here and here). On the drive there I listened, twice, to 'Partie Traumatic' by Black Kids. It was fitting, since they are a band from Jacksonville. The album just came out a couple of weeks ago, to pretty solid reviews in the U.K. and pretty weak reviews here in the States. You've probably seen the most notorious of these already.

After seeing them in November, I mentioned that if you expect nothing more than a good dance, you'd be golden, and that's pretty much still the case half a year later. 'Partie Traumatic' is a solid album, never amazing but never horrendous, with a few really good songs. If you're expecting anything more than a decent album from a very young band who're already considered last year's news, you'll not like this. And 'Listen to Your Body Tonight' is a bit rubbish.

But this is a band that can get people dancing, even when the song is dumb as hell and rhymes "eat some grits" with "this song is the tits", as the title track does. Even in its new and far inferior recording, 'I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You' still sounds ace. 'I'm Making Eyes at You' sounds a little like a more adolescent 'Love Cats', while 'Hit the Heartbrakes' rebounds nicely from a terrible knock-knock intro into a pure pop chorus.

Reggie doesn't have much to say, but his laments about women are a failsafe subject to sing about. The girls in the band provide bratty back-up shouting, most effectively on the straight-up fun album closer 'Look at Me (When I Rock Wichoo)'. I also like 'I've Underestimated My Charm (Again)', and danced when I heard it in Urban Outfitters the other day, particularly during its Motown-lite outro.

So, anyone that expects Black Kids to deliver a debut album that will match 'Pet Sounds' or 'All Eyez On Me' in terms of permanent cultural relevance and immediate success, will probably be disappointed. For what it is, a collection of ten songs by a band younger than me and mostly younger than my sister – it's pretty okay. There is probably something to be said about the nature of the music press, and how this band has already gone from darlings of the blogs to forgotten also-rans in the space of a few months. But I'm not nuanced or analytical to say that today.

[download Black Kids - I've Underestimated My Charm (Again) (EP Version)]

[Black Kids official / myspace]
[Buy 'Partie Traumatic' UK / US]


Dina said...

Oh Samir, Black Kids are not younger than you at all. I went to high school with two of them and they're older than I am and if you'll remember, I am OLD.

Miss you!

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