Best of 2004: #17 -- French Kicks Trial of the Century
There's tons of '80s-sounding stuff being peddled these days by your neighborhood Rob, Dick, and Barry. But just because something sounds like the '80s doesn't automatically mean it sucks. A prime example of this is Trial of the Century, the latest release by French Kicks. In fact, despite the de-evolution implied by a reversion to Me Decade soundscapes, this album actually marks significant growth by French Kicks. They've added quite a few new elements to their sound, which would have greatly benefitted their decent debut, One Time Bells. Songs like "Oh Fine," featuring the smoothest use of handclaps in years, show they've really raised their game.
Giving Trial of the Century a spin leaves you longing for the days when John Hughes ruled the multiplex. Close your eyes while you listen, and you will be taken over by the glorious visage of Sloane Peterson zipping through Shermer in her daddy's Beemer with the top down and the Blaupunkt blaring. Yes, Virginia, there was upscale suburban teen lust before American Pie...and this is the soundtrack as played through the stylus of not-so-revisionist history.