If this weren’t such a disingenuous, cynical and generally creepy record, it would be something I could really get behind. The French trio has an undeniable talent for hook choruses replicating that innocent charm of the 80s, and the synth-driven melodies are effective for their updated John Hughes soundtrack concept.
But it’s all undercut by the pervasive feeling that it’s a flippant piss take. And the lyrics are not only inane (stories of parties, gossip and celebrity worship) but also, perhaps in accordance with their teen theme, sound less inspired by youth culture than by hours logged on Internet porn. Maybe this is the analog of Larry Clark’s film Kids, a bold and unblinking statement about the state of today’s amoral youth. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Teenagers leave you feeling dirty and used.
The Teenagers play Lee’s Palace tonight (Thursday, May 1).