Review Summary: A mess of an album that grabs tight to its title.
So, they had scrapped almost all the 'Kunst' album to make an album that's anti-pop. There is the problem from the beginning, as The Ting Tings haven't been successful due to the substance the songs have, but rather the catchiness of their poppy tunes and Katie White's strong British accent vocals (and looks, but that's a different story). The band have spent a lot of time crafting this effort all around Europe (London, Ibiza, Berlin to name a few) and all the kitschy instrumentation doesn't explain the 2 years of work.
From the cover the band wants to assure you this isn't the ordinary pop record everyone wanted to listen to. And well, it isn't. There are so many genres thrown here that you won't find even the little substance their debut effort had. (Ironically enough, the band insisted that they "found their feet" with 'Sounds From Nowheresville').
Then, all that's left is the catchiness, which 'Sounds From Nowheresville' lacks for the most part unfortunately. There are some nice numbers here and there, but the band managed to erase the fun with all their I-don't-want-to-be-famous pose. The best song here is "Hands", which by the way, is on the Deluxe Edition. The chart success of this single found the band raging and erasing the 'Kunst' album almost entirely. Ironically enough again, they claimed "no one would give a *** if we'd made a *** Euro-pop song, even if it went Top 10" after bragging about releasing a Euro-pop album recorded in an old Berlin club. Still, some of that New-Wave sound appears here from time to time, on the stark opener "Silence" and "One By One", that are the better tracks anyway.
Musically, The Ting Tings just go through genres like motions, with the result being a mess. From the parking lot indie anthem "Hang It Up", to the Gorillaz-like spoken verses of "Guggenheim" and the out of place ska that "Soul Killing" is, you can't tell what's happening here. But, one thing that's constant is Katie, who is raging on any of the tracks because of several matters that aren't clear. Jules makes a nice appearance rapping a verse on "Hang It Up" and is some sort of a relief from Katie's vocals that get annoying at times. There is even a rocker here, "Give It Back", where the band lets loose and Katie makes more sense over the noisier riffing. Towards the end of the album, they introduce the sunny pop track that is "Day To Day" and the simple Spanish-tinged closer "In Your Life", creating even more blur if you weren't confused enough. There is no point in detailing the tracks because they simply don't offer enough depth themselves to elaborate on.
Now, The Ting Tings, as a pop group, unsatisfied with the commercial techno sound they, reportedly, had followed on their own then discarding it, are on the verge of losing their followers who have been waiting for 4 years something and getting 'Sounds From Nowheresville' that is close to nothing really. No matter how dull (in their own vision) 'Kunst' could have been, it should still sound better and at least more focused than what's here.
Highlight - "Hands"
If you really wanna check out - "Silence", "One By One", "Give It Back"