Tuesday, July 22, 2008

About That New Black Kids Album...

By Evan Rytlewski
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Pitchfork posted another one of those “psych, here’s an image instead of a real review” reviews of the Black Kids album today, but unlike their clear-cut Jet review, this one was a little more ambiguous. A picture of two pugs, one black, one white, is overlaid with the text “Sorry :-/”.

Sorry for what? Sorry for not writing a real review? Sorry that the album didn’t live up to the hype? Or sorry for contributing to the hype when the album is so obviously a disappointment?

I can relate to that last sentiment. I was so swept up in the majesty and promise of Black Kids’ re-recorded version of “I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You” that, in a blog post I’m too embarrassed to link to, I trumpeted the band as not only the potential next big thing, but also an important next big thing. That single was so perfect, and so perfectly timed, I surmised that if the album was nearly as good, it could make the band bona fide stars and create mainstream demand for similar indie acts.

Well, the rest of the album, from the what I heard when the whole thing was streaming on the group’s Myspace page a few weeks back, is disappointing at best, a disaster at worst. Unlike its tight teaser single, the album is a muddled, forgettable and embarrassingly silly orgy of quirk (the album even opens with a childish chant about underwear). The very idiosyncrasies that made “Boyfriend” such a charmer are recycled again and again, until even that single loses its novelty.

Of course, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that this untested group turned out to be a one-trick pony, but like so many other Internet hypemongers, I let down my cynical guard. For that, I’m sorry :-/.

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