The Cool Kids haven’t even come out with an album yet, and they’re already starting to get worse. Very little of “That’s Stupid” is blatantly bad, and it even has some really good moments. But the weaknesses that the Cool Kids have always had used to be minor annoyances, the growing pains of a very young group that didn’t even have any official releases. Now those weaknesses are starting to define them.

The drums don’t kick at all, and they almost all sound the same. Specifically, they sound like the built-in drums in Reason. I wonder why. Overall, the production is pretty mediocre. In particular, the beat on “Dinner Time” legitimately sucks.

The rapping is not as well-delivered as it used to be. Their lyrics often sound contrived (“Know I’m on a roll like the man of the Michelin”?).

And who ever heard of a mixtape that’s less than 20 minutes long? That’s like an unproductive afternoon for Lil’ Wayne.

I was thinking that I’m just getting sick of The Cool Kids. Then I went back and listened to their older stuff that I used to like, and I still like it. “Mikey Rocks” still kicks ass, for example. The Cool Kids really are getting worse, and they haven’t even dropped an album yet.

All of that said, this mixtape still has good moments. The beat on “Full & Paid” is solid, and they milk it with a long instrumental section. “That’ll Work” is exactly the kind of catchy, funny, and self-knowing music that made me like them in the first place, with Chuck and Mikey frequently letting the eponymous sample finish their lines. And that’s a third of the mixtape right there. (The rest of the tape does kind of suck, though.)

It’s way too early for The Cool Kids to get complacent. They had a strong start, but if they try to tread water they’re going to drown. I like these guys, and I really hope they get better.

You can download “That’s Stupid The Mixtape” by The Cool Kids here. But I wouldn’t exactly reccomend it, obviously.

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