Only two members—vocalist/guitarist Reggie Youngblood and his vocalist/keyboardist sister Ali—are technically black, and with each member well into his or her 20s, none would easily be mistaken for kids. But it’s not the semi-incendiary name alone that has had bloggers, and more recently, Columbia Records, fawning over the synth-loving fivesome’s debut full-length. Though the infinitely catchy, blindingly sunny indie-pop rhythms and melodies more than live up to the hype, trite and occasionally clumsy lyrics put a significant damper on what would otherwise be uninterrupted good times.
Youngblood’s Robert Smith yelp is at times sly and sexual, particularly on the yearning “I’m Making Eyes at You” and the seductive “Hurricane Jane,” but lines like “Hello, this is your body/What do you want, my body?/I want to feel somebody on me” (“Listen to Your Body Tonight”) or a head-scratching knock-knock joke culminating in the punchline “Call the ghost in your underwear, ‘Boo.’” (“Hit the Heartbrakes”) aren’t so much inventive as downright laughable.
Partie is the perfect soundtrack to a candy-fueled sleepover, but there’s a high likelihood the overly cutesy rhyme schemes and such “clever” titles as “Look at Me (When I Rock Wichoo)” will grow old long before the titular musicians behind them. –Julie Seabaugh
The bottom line: **1/2