Black Kids - Partie Traumatic
Let’s establish one thing from the start – Black Kids are not the new Arcade Fire despite what some people would have you think. In fact the only thing that remotely links the two is the fact that singer Reggie Youngblood’s voice does sound a bit like Wim Butler’s voice. So look elsewhere if you want deep and meaningful songs about death but if you’ve come looking for pop songs about sex, and all things intimate, you’ve come to the right place.
After my first listen of the album I was ready, and quite looking forward to, writing a bad review. However I decided to give it another try and it hasn’t been out of my CD player since. It has that annoying quality of just working its way into your head and not leaving. I swear there must be some subliminal messages hidden between the lyrics about giving head to a statue. Yes, you read that right.
The two stand outs are the singles, Hurricane Jane and I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You. The former is the most uplifting depressing song I’ve ever heard. Even with lyrics like “It’s Friday night and I ain’t got nobody/So what’s the use of pulling a shape?” it still manages to make you smile at the end. I’m Not Gonna Teach… is just destined to be sung along to at festivals over the summer with its catchy numbered refrain just before the chorus. The less said about the bizarre lyrics, “You are the girl that I’ve been dreaming of/ Ever since I was a little girl”, the better though.
That’s not to say there are not any other gems scattered throughout the album. One such song is I’ve Underestimated My Charm (Again) with the aforementioned statue lyric – “They caught you in the park after dark/Giving head to a statue, girl”. For once I have to agree with NME’s review about this album that it is packed with sex references and mainly of the unsuccessful kind. NME still likes the band as well so fear not, it’s still acceptable to like them for all you Indie kids out there.
I haven’t listened to Black Kids debut EP, Wizards Of Ahhhs, so I cannot comment on the newer versions of songs which have had some fanboys in uproar. However you can tell that the songs have been polished and almost too over-produced, but they manage to get away with it as it fits the overall tone of the album and its genre of synth pop.
Overall it’s great to see a band finally live up to their hype and I predict that we’ll be seeing a lot of Black Kids for the rest of this year and throughout 2009. It’s not a perfect album by any means, with last track Look At Me (When I Rock Wichoo) being the very definition of a filler, but not every debut can be a Definitely Maybe. And who can resist an album that starts off with a lame ‘Knock, Knock’ joke?