Black Kids Are Ready To Save The World (Until The Next Best Thing Comes Along)

noah | July 21, 2008 1:00 am

From time to time, we like to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is the much-blogged-about Florida band Black Kids’ Partie Traumatic, which hits stores tomorrow.

• “‘Listen to Your Body Tonight’ nods to ‘Take Your Time (Do It Right),’ the S.O.S. Band’s slinky 1980 electro-funk strut, with Youngblood urging boys and girls to jump into bed with someone. He might convince you to do so too.” [RS]

• “While Democrats debated whether an African American or a woman should be our next president, Black Kids became the most buzzed-about new band since Vampire Weekend. They resembled the future but sounded like a past only plugged-in Anglophiles could’ve fully inhabited. But now, with confident new songs like ‘Listen to Your Body Tonight,’ they seize the moment by blasting past underground insularity: Their self-assured hooks position the group as winners no matter how hard their leader loses in love. Kissing goodbye to the obsolete racial and gender roles that pop, hip-hop, or indie rock still demand, Youngblood and pals throw a thrillingly subversive victory party to lift the country out of eight years of anguish.” [Spin]

• “Part of the appeal of the Black Kids’ approach is that they nail the technical delivery of each song on all fronts. The vocals, for the most part, sound like The Cure’s Robert Smith on helium. If the music was understated, it wouldn’t work as well, but the songs have a habit of coming to a crescendo nicely and giving lead singer Reggie Youngblood a platform on which to soar. If they are to be faulted for anything, it’s for being a little too hook-heavy. But at least the hooks are good. Most of the songs are about sex and love and sprinkled with randy language throughout, so tender ears beware.” [AP]

• “There are moments when Youngblood’s vocals become too affected for their own good – he keeps doing an English accent that has a tendency to lurch around the country like a tourist on a tight schedule – and moments when the lyrical punning becomes a bit torturous: ‘Like many a Mael, I’ve got angst in my pants,’ opens ‘I’ve Underestimated My Charm (Again),’ a flurry of Sparks-related puns that even Youngblood’s bandmates seem to find painful, following it with a synthesised groan. But his ear for a tight, catchy pop song and ascending chorus hardly ever lets him down. ‘Listen to Your Body Tonight,’ ‘Hurricane Jane,’ ‘I’m Making Eyes at You’: almost everything here sounds like a hit waiting to happen, equipped with a tune strong enough to be heard above the hype–or the hype about the hype or the people complaining about the hype about the hype–and memorable enough to make the idea that Black Kids will be forgotten by Christmas seem a highly unlikely suggestion.” [Guardian]