Black Kids - I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You

Sel Bulut 28/03/2008

Rating: 3/5

So, Black Kids. Those who downloaded their 'Wizard Of Ahhhs' EP raise your hand. Everyone? Good.

Obviously Black Kids are massively hyped, and obviously most of us will have already heard the demo recording of I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You (and, most likely, fell in love with it). So is there much to talk about, when it's something we're all familiar with?

Well, the track has been re-recorded for single release and so how the new version differs from the old is the obvious thing to discuss. Structurally, the two are identical, but where they differ is in the production.

Much like every other band in the world right now, Black Kids are working with Bernard Butler on their debut album, and the re-jigged version of I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You has been given a fresh lick of paint by him, ready for release as their lead single in April.

Only, Butler hasn't just put a lick on, he's poured the whole tin. The demo recording muted and muffled almost every aspect of the song to give it a unique and unmistakable edge, Reggie's bitty vocals and the lo-fi synths holding a battle royale with the guitars and bass to create an addictive and remarkable quality you don't usually hear from pop music. The fantastic production was what separated Black Kids from, ooh, let's say, The Killers, who would ultimately be quite similar to one another with a bit of pushed production on the former's part. Thank God that's never going to happen, eh?

Oh, wait.

What Butler's production has removed from the Wizard Of Ahhhs version is essentially what made Black Kids so good. Reggie isn't a fantastic singer and by pushing his vocals to the forefront of the song they sound nothing more than a poor Robert Smith impersonation. The synths are stripped down and in-your-face, the backing vocals too perfect. Whether the intent was to make it more radio friendly or not doesn't matter - it's overproduced to the degree where it's messy, and it's sad to think that this is the song that's going to make Black Kids big, because naysayers will instantly dismiss it and won't understand why their hype was justified.

With all that said, it's still the same song that was so promising from the earlier EP, regardless of production. It's still just as infectious as ever. It still carries those bizarre lyrics that are still just as interesting and enigmatic as ever. And it still wipes the floor with most other pop music out there.

It's just not as good as it should be.

Watch the video here.

(released 7th April)