The Teenagers, 'Reality Check' (XL)

6
Reality Check
Critical Mass
Label: XL

by Sean Fennessey

The Teenagers want to fuck -- then cry about it. And the French trio try to have it both ways on their debut, a spacey mélange of lo-fi guitar tones and cold dance grooves. Reality Check vacillates between Serge Gainsbourg's slutty cool and Jonathan Richman's childlike poignance: spoken-word vamps, seedy narratives, the occasional declaration of real emotion. Throughout, Quentin Delafon sing-mumbles about Scarlett Johansson ("Starlett Johansson") and seducing "American cunts" ("Homecoming") with deliberate detachment. But when the leer falls away, as on the gorgeous "Wheel of Fortune," the Teenagers discover that a whisper is always sexier than a snarl.

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