The Teenagers Reality Check

The Teenagers Reality Check
For all of the in-jokes, tacky pop culture references, sleazy come-ons and substandard arrangements, the Teenagers sure thrive on their own insularity. Last year’s "Homecoming” single was a brilliantly droll examination of love between a sordid English boy and a naïve American girl, though it was a constant source of confusion for those sensitive to its tongue-in-cheek posture. Reality Check stays true to the Teenagers’ diary approach to storytelling, spilling lewd, candid secrets with both a smartass bite and genuine affection. Set to a simple backdrop of new wave synths, lo-fi guitars and archaic drum machine patterns, the Parisian trio tap into the zeitgeist with frightening relevance. Reclaiming their titular teenhood, they namedrop iconic art like Dirty Dancing and 90210, confess a celebrity crush on Scarlett Johansson as if it’s gonna happen, recall that first French kiss and of course, attack that "fucking bitch” for stealing their "fucking Jazzmaster.” While there’s an immediate tendency to write them off as fromage hipster misogynists, the Teenagers do it all with ocean-size charm. If you can ignore the hype and the impending backlash, an ingenious pop record of hormonal truths, retro schmaltz and a catty demeanour is yours to discover. (XL/Beggars)