Pop music generally falls into one of three categories: something so wonderful it will live on far beyond the life of the artist who made it; a fleeting piece of fun, or something that generates what can only be described as a feeling of ‘meh’. The Ting Ting’s sophomore album unfortunately falls into the latter category. Each and every single song on the album is so unspeakably dull, it’s hard to pick out specific low or high points. As one housemate described it, it features music ‘only fit for a car advert’. Although the band’s debut record, We Started Nothing, was hardly epic, it was certainly popular, selling more than two million copies worldwide. The Ting Tings made the bold decision to delete their first attempt at a second album (provisionally titled Kunst, because they’re, like, so edgy), after it was received ‘too positively’ by record company representatives. Instead, they went back to the drawing board, hunkered down in a Berlin basement, and produced ten tracks of tedium. In the creation of this album, Katie White and Jules de Martino maintained the repetitive themes of past hit ‘That’s Not My Name’ whilst abandoning the fun qualities that led to their success. ‘Day to Day’ best exemplifies both the duo’s dreary lyrical style and White’s monotonous voice as she sings ‘day to day/day to/day to day/day to day/ day to/day to day’. Much of the album is reminiscent of cheap 90s pop (more Samantha Mumba than Britney Spears), from White’s white-girl rapping to the sheer number of samples that sound like the result of someone falling arse-first into a child’s toy box. The album title alone, Sounds from Nowheresville, is incredibly juvenile, and bears more than a passing resemblance to Busted-spinoff band Son of Dork’s first (and only) album, Welcome to Loserville. For a band that owe much of their success to the use of ‘That’s Not My Name’ in an iPod advert, they have at least managed to create another collection of songs which might feature in an episode of Gossip Girl. Current single ‘Soul Killing’ is one example which might see some success in the realms of advertising, but epitomises just how disjointed the album is with its ska beats fading into dance track ‘One by One’. Whilst we usually commend artists for sticking two fingers up at record executives, we can only wonder whether this time the money men may have been right, and the band’s attempts to isolate themselves from other chart music has, in fact, isolated them from everyone.
-from Issue 247 of Epigram.