Review Summary: The Ting Tings aren’t going to Nowheresville; they’re just going backwards.
For a duo whose only real draw is their release of tunes as pop-worthy as ‘That’s Not My Name’ and ‘Shut Up and Let Me Go’, that fact they’ve acted a right royal pair of twats in the build-up to album number two reveals a great deal of what you’d need to know before you’ve even hit play.
First off, the 4 years they've spent between 2008 debut We Started Nothing
and now would perch more pressure on the couples oddly-matched shoulders than is ever going be an aid to critical soft-touches. After fannying about lending their repertoire of 2 decent (yet HUGELY migraine-worthy) hits to iPod ads and building studios in disused jazz clubs in Germany’s capitol, the pop pair decided to climb atop their musical high horse and chuck out the 11 tracks they initially recorded for Nowheresville
merely because “the record company liked them”. For any other band this move would surely be met with a level of artistic respect but coming from these two – a pair hardly established for their uncommercial ditties – it reeks off unself-aware pretentiousness.
What their supposed creative and respectable sophomore effort should sound like then is something which it ultimately fails to. The squelchy synth pops of ‘One By One’ or the hip-hop-meets-rock tepidness of ‘Hang It Up’ don’t sound like chart-rejecting, serious artist tracks at all and that’s precisely the problem. Claiming to have branched-out and gone beyond daft pop single turf will be the downfall of the Tings – a duo who already appear to be rolling down the hill to mediocrity faster than any detractor of We Started Nothing
could’ve even wished for.
The album is just plain sailing for The Ting Tings. They try mixing genres and injecting doses of dance floor fun via synths, and it sails by on a current of averageness to the point where, after 34 minutes, you won’t have clawed your ears off but only because you know you’ll never have to visit again. In their quest to avoid the charts the pair will be successful – the music sounds like pop-lite, and in trying to be arty or whatever they want to believe they’ve watered down their only appeal and alienated their chances of survival. Katie and Jules; if I were you’d i'd think about buying a property in Nowheresville – you’ll be stuck there for quite some time.