The Black Kids: Partie Automatic

There is a strong case to be made here for the importance of sequencing. The track listing for Partie Automatic, the debut album from Florida synth-rockers the Black Kids, paints the band into a corner before they’ve had a chance to spread their wings. Opening songs “Hit the Heartbreaks” and the title track are serviceable enough, but it’s the third track that throws everything out of whack: The weedier-than-weedy “Listen to Your Body Tonight” has no business whatsoever in the three-hole; that slot is tailor-made for lead single “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You,” which would have propped up everything on either side of it. Instead, “Boyfriend” is batting seventh, behind the girl group-ish “I’ve Underestimated My Charm (Again),” which feels like an answer record to the Pipettes. Granted, those two songs work really well together, but is anyone still listening by this point? Lead singer Reggie Youngblood has a few different speeds, but his strained Robert Smithisms dominate the front half, making the album a more laborious listen than it needs to be. Our suggestion: re-sequence the album, and replace “Listen to Your Body Tonight” with their cover of Sophie B. Hawkins’ “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover.” Everyone loves a cover version, right? (Columbia)

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