The Ting Tings
We Started Nothing


3.5
great

Review

by NewYorkZoo USER (15 Reviews)
December 24th, 2008 | 85 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: English dude-chick duo makes Bring It On without all the pictures; sound ironically like American blondes. Jeez, can Apple do ANYTHING?

Cheerleaders confuse me.

They're shrill. They bathe in makeup. They kind of move. And they tend to scream things that 5 minutes after the game are completely insignificant. And even though they're not really saying anything, they seem to find some way to enjoy it all, revel in it, even. But just think for a moment what would possibly happen if those damn cheer girls learned how to play guitar.

Now imagine if they actually managed to sound kind of good. Or, at least like they knew what they were doing.

The Ting Tings, an English indie combo of Jules De Martino and Katie White, propelled to fame with their shout-along single "Shut Up and Let Me Go", an agressively peppy tune where it's better off being dumped, enjoyable, even ("I ain't freakin'! I ain't fakin' this!"). Once they got the Apple seal of approval, being featured in one of their dizzying silhouetted iPod commericals, it posed an interesting question: could you indeed make an entire album out of cheers ("That's not my name!", "Ka! Ching! Ka-Ching!", "We walk!", "Ah-ah-ahh-ah!"), let alone by a English band with virtually no publicity but ONE commercial, and make it work in America" And furthermore, is there anything that Apple can't do"

Well, in the "I kissed a girl!" generation, you can at least give it a try. The direct answer is We Started Nothing, an album of the bounciest funky punk pop you'll hear this side of the Atlantic. It isn't all dancey, but it screams perky from every orifice, specifically from lead singer White, who looks like the anti-girl girl but ironically sounds just like her. From the midtempos to the power chick anthems, it's all exciting stuff that works best when (lead singer) is on repeat in the middle of a catchy chorus, while the beats are all effective collaborations of electric guitar, drums, video game sounds, and other random items. There's "Great DJ", a tambourine-pumped tune about, well, a great DJ. There's the funked-up clap along "Fruit Machine", about, well, being played like a fruit machine, and the midtempo "Keep Your Head", reminiscent of an old Game Boy, and it's about, like, keeping your head. It's a majorally cohesive effort, though "Traffic Light" is slower and actually displays White's voice well. In short, Nothing comes off as Bring It On meets High School Musical, with a lot less cheese and a bit more punk. Oh, and a lot more talent.

The definitive here, however, is "That's Not My Name", and yes, it's about getting a name wrong, but it's enjoyable and playground charged from the moment it's jump-rope bass starts, and it's as badass and bitchy as cheer girls can get. Lyrically and physically, it's the most well-produced track, 'lyrically' meaning a guilty pleasure in it's simplicity: "They call me her! They call me Jane! That's not my name! That's not my... name!"

But not as many of the other songs settle in your brain quite like this one does, and even if collectively they're all catchy, you find that there isn't much here to sink into, since We Started Nothing doesn't really stray from its main formula (though it's a well-crafted one). It sits perfectly in between a good listen and great listen: it's not exactly groundbreaking, it's not even deep. But it's a fresh, feel-good album that if it's your style, there's no denying it. It also further pushes the idea of Apple doing to artists what YouTube does to its celebrities (ahem, Chris Crocker)- makes them famous out of nowhere, and not always with good reason. At least this tme, you get something for Nothing.



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user ratings (200)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
bastard
December 24th 2008


3432 Comments


this is a good review but i hate these guys.

Bleak123
December 24th 2008


1900 Comments


i hate this with a passion

foreverendeared
December 24th 2008


14677 Comments


i've heard that one song, but that's it. very good review

Bleak123
December 24th 2008


1900 Comments


also there is another page for these guys


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/soundoff.php?albumid=28318

which should have the ratings merged with this - someone hit the mods up on that

Chewie
December 24th 2008


4539 Comments


apparently this sucks, good review

iarescientists
December 24th 2008


5865 Comments


the chick is kind of cute if you look at her from the right angle

foreverendeared
December 24th 2008


14677 Comments


lol

timbo8
December 24th 2008


628 Comments


I'm surprised it's taken so long for this album to get a review, considering the buzz about them this year. I probably won't get this.

BlindWriting
December 24th 2008


103 Comments


God this band is so annoying. Shows how little you have to try to be "the next big thing" or whatever.

NewYorkZoo
December 24th 2008


95 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i actually totally agree with the second part of your statement there...

Fugue
December 24th 2008


7371 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Gosh darn you beat me to it, oh well my opinion contrasts hugely with yours so I may review this anyway. Well written review by the way.

marksellsuswallets
December 24th 2008


4851 Comments


Ick

Asiatic667
December 25th 2008


4651 Comments


that's not my name

AliW1993
December 25th 2008


7511 Comments


good review. I heard this and thought it was ok tbh, the singles are so fucking catchy.

Bleak123
December 25th 2008


1900 Comments


they're not catchy they're horrible

SlaveLabor
December 25th 2008


481 Comments


Truth ^

Digging: Rudimentary Peni - Death Church

NewYorkZoo
December 25th 2008


95 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

in this case, to speak of one is to speak of the other...

Bleak123
December 25th 2008


1900 Comments


but i don't find anything about this catchy man

NewYorkZoo
December 25th 2008


95 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

they go together in the way that either you find it to be one or the other.



which can be said about all of pop music, really

ConorMichaelJoseph
December 25th 2008


1870 Comments


This is supposed to be indie? Indie is usually interesting or boring. This is just plain baloney.



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