It started as a joke. The French synth-pop trio The Teenagers made a MySpace page in 2005 for an imaginary group and found their muse in the comments they received from strangers. Reality Check, their debut full-length album, features these first efforts at humor and new wave. Unfortunately, too often the results are just moderately funny lyrics that don’t invite repeated listens, weak synth noise that sounds stolen from a jungle level in “Sonic the Hedgehog” and breathy, cheesy hooks.
The Teenagers move through seemingly fertile material for laughs as they hold the formula steady: an obsessive crush on Scarlett Johansson (“Starlett Johansson”), self-improvement through their own music (“Feeling Better”) and a description of various great times to kiss (“French Kiss”). During the verses, the drum machine, tinny guitars and keys hold back, giving focus to the crude lyrics provided by Quentin Delafon and Michael Szpiner, who speak in flawed English through thick accents