Filed under: Music | Tags: black kids, blogosphere, Dance, indie, indie pop, Music, partie traumatic, pitchfork, wizard of ahhhs
Allow me to regale you, assisted by the historical record of their Wikipedia page, with a tale of Black Kids rise to blogosphere superstars and sudden collapse to Pitchfork punching bags.
It all started (according to Wikipedia) when Black Kids performed at the Athens Popfest in Athens Georgia way back in August of 2007 (a whole year ago!). Around the same time, the group released their EP, Wizard of Ahhhs! for free on their Myspace page. That double whammy earned Black Kids an avalanche of praise from the likes of Vice, NME, The Village Voice and The Guardian, not to mention a whopping 8.4 out of 10 from Pitchfork. Yes, these youngsters were definitely artists to watch in 2008. In fact, Rolling Stone named them “Artists to Watch in 2008.”
Fast forward to yesterday, when their year-long party came to a screeching halt. Black Kids’ debut album, Partie Traumatic was finally released via Almost Gold records in the UK and Columbia here in the ‘States (the apostrophe is for “United”). Pitchfork celebrated by posting their review of the record, which consists of a photo of two sad lookin’ pugs saying, “Sorry :-/,” and a score of 3.3. Granted, this is less harsh than the time Pitchfork reviewed a new Jet album by simply posting a video of a chimp drinking its own urine, but despite the cuteness of the sad pugs, it’s equally damning. User reviews from sites like Amazon reveal fans lamenting everything from the higher production values to the short run time of the record. Yes, it seems the tide may have turned for this potential next-big-thing, and one can only wonder if they will ever find their way back into the good graces of music bloggers and trendspotters everywhere. One wonders less about whether any of these songs will wind up in car commercials (Answer: They will!).
Of course, the ultimate question is: “Does this album really suck that hard?” And the answer, in the opinion of this card-carrying member of the blogosphere, is: “Not really, no.” I mean, really, did these people listen to Wizard of Ahhhs? It wasn’t that deep. Perhaps the lo-fi production tricked people into thinking Black Kids were saying more than they really were, but it’s basically a glorified twee record with dancing shoes on. The only thing that’s changed between that EP and this album is the run time (now ya get 10 songs!). It’s still the same formula of dumb-cute lyrics, shameless pop melodies and danceable (but not too danceable!) beats. It is, technically, a shallow album, but it really doesn’t set out to change the world, and as far as I can tell, neither did their first EP. So, while these guys adjust to their indefinite indie-verse exile, I’ll be jamming out to “I Wanna Be Your Limousine.”
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