Matt & Kim, "Sidewalks"

72 Billboard Rating

Brooklyn indie-pop duo Matt & Kim have always been a dance party type of band. But the beat on the pair's latest album, "Sidewalks," suggests that keyboardist/vocalist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino have been spending more time in the club than in the rock hall. Catchy verses and get-your-hands-up chants are layered among '80s synth and keyboard lines on these 10 tracks. But with party bangers like "Cameras" and album opener "Block After Block," few fans would lament the lack of introspective piano lines. With spastic electronic quirks, the tracks "Red Paint" and "Wires" fall somewhere between Matt & Kim's past musical creativity and the new direction they'll be taking in the future. And while the song "Where You're Coming From" recalls the act's less poppy past (2009's "Grand") with great success, it seems there's no looking back. However, if there's Auto-Tune and rapping on the duo's next album, then maybe they've gone a bit too far.