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Reality Check - The Teenagers

Released on Beggars Xl Recording, 3/18/08

Accents aside, there is definitely a certain "euro-trash" element to this album -- and I mean that as a compliment. As only the Europeans can do successfully, this French trio’s wit and irreverence is an obvious drawcard even amongst the cryptic lyrics and 80s-inspired pop instrumentals.

Whilst the cyborg-synthesizers can get a little annoying after a while, the dreamy (although seemingly perverted) French drawl and the innate mockery, particularly of American cheerleaders in "Homecoming", is almost entertaining enough.

In their press kit, The Teenagers (all now in their 20s), refer to foul innuendos throughout their songs that would make Serge Gainsbourg blush -- well maybe. But what also rings true is their account of the "sleazy French pop background"; an accurate description, particularly when peppered with F-expletives in almost every song. I often have to remind myself that this is 2008, and not a porn film in 1988.

Despite not being convinced that this will be the album of 2008, or anywhere close to it, there is no doubt that lead singer Quentin Delafon, guitarist/synth man Dorian Dumont and bassist Michael Szpiner are having fun with the 14 songs on Reality Check.

An ode to Miss Scarlett, "Starlett Johansson", is written like the open journal of a love-sick, well, teenager. With references to most of her films, lyrics like “I’ll sell my mum to be lost with you, lost in Tokyo or anywhere else”, makes this one a standout for sure.

"Fuck Nicole" is also an interesting listen. It was written for a girl who infiltrated the band’s "fake" myspace page. They posted lyrics on the site as a response to the messages they got from the page's visitors, the first from a girl called Nicole. Before long the lyrics became actual songs, and their page got international attention. The rest so they say, is history.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.