Oooh, the Teenagers. Here we find one of the finest exemplars of a re-emerging new wave sensibility, a process that consciously started to gain acclaim in the more recent years with groups like Nouvelle Vague and CSS, though the new wave of today had yet to find an artist who takes the idea to another level, until now. Electro and new wave may be mutually exclusive forms, though the Teenagers display a successful product of merging the two.
The Teenagers’ debut Reality Check has potential to be an influential record for the future and is going to set a standard for this new era in music. This first effort by this French ensemble is confounding me into writing a vacillating, weak-kneed review. The French show us, yet again, how adept they are at making electronic music innovative and exciting with a completely unexpected trip into a territory that is going to be revealed as a whole new side of an entire scene’s possibilities.
On Reality Check , you get a palette of early ’80s post-punk and new-wave along with bursts of rock and dance all simmering in bliss and hugs that immediately mutters ‘tres magnifique’ in a teeth-clenched whisper. And yet, seems like these cats don’t take themselves very seriously, which is great, and makes their first release seem even cooler. Many bands are attempting this type of thing, but they usually are spoiling it with tedious attitude affectations, or an obvious lack of dedication to the form. Songs like “Streets of Paris,” “Feeling better,” and “Homecoming” can’t be beat. I’ve already proclaimed all of these songs to be my theme song as I walk to work.
In the meantime, we are left with this amazing album that sounds like it could have come out during the original neon hype of new wave, but the Teenagers have evolved and branched out so much further than ’80s revival. Drink up.
CSS – Cansei de Ser Sexy
The Van She – The Van She EP
New Young Pony Club – Fantastic Playroom