Matt & Kim: Sidewalks

Categories: Review Roundup

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​By now you're probably grossly familiar with Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim and their catchy hit song "Daylight."

MTV latched onto the single, giving the band an entirely new fan base comprised of Teen Mom sympathizers and GTL enthusiasts. It's not altogether the fault of MTV, however, since "Daylight" is the sort of light, enthusiastic song it's easy to like. As a single it showcases how well Matt & Kim manage to live in Brooklyn while not playing dense, 80s-nostalgic indie rock. No small feat. 

The dance-punk DIY-ers are back at it today with the release of their third album, Sidewalks. "Cameras," the album's lead single, was released in late August and features some funk-riffic horns  mixed with pounding drums. Matt & Kim are in a solid stride from their last album, 2009's Grand and it's okay if MTV has embraced these two -- their music truly speaks for itself, even if it's sandwiched between promos for Jersey Shore.

What the critics are saying:

Boston Globe: With little more than plinking and repetitive, if deliriously catchy keyboard riffs, straightforward dance-punk beats, and jocular vocal whimsy, their third record keeps the party going hard -- even if it's more the cake-and-ice-cream variety.

Slant Magazine: With the indie hype machine seeming largely disinterested in their punk-dance antics, Matt and Kim has soldiered on with mixed results on Sidewalks, an album clearly caught between reveling in the duo's unique, lo-fi ridiculousness and the tempting call of greater popularity via safe, bland production.

L Magazine: We've forgiven their periodic lapses into cheesiness in the past, but taken in tandem with their only half-successful attempts at new things here (R&B beats, more personal lyrics, etc), you realize they're coming at the cost of what's been their greatest strength all along: the ability to make music that is, first and foremost, a whole lot of fun.

Spin: Everything is slathered with copious keyboards, of course -- it wouldn't be a Matt & Kim production without nods to new wave and happy hardcore. Even emo and chamber music get roped into Sidewalks' exclamatory gush, verifying that there truly is no sound these two won't use to support their almost religious commitment to spreading huge grins.

Sidewalks is out now via Fader.



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