Sounds From Nowheresville CD
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The Ting Tings trademark, which inspired the album title for bandmates Katie White and Jules De Martino is simple; to make tracks that sound different to the one before; to have musical freedom and to be held by no boundaries. The first single ‘Hang It Up’ with its irresistible two chord guitar riff symbolises just that.
If you plotted hopes for The Ting Tings’ second album on a graph, the result would be a drawn-out, four-year nosedive. After the boisterous, day-glo brilliance of their 2008 debut, We Started Nothing, the odd-couple duo seemed like one of UK pop’s brightest prospects. Then they announced their second album would be called Kunst, an instantly-wearisome joke that suggested sneery disdain for their pop fanbase, and they became mired in lengthy recording sessions in Berlin, that clichéd halfway house for disillusioned ‘serious’ artists. After dramatically abandoning a whole album of material, the question changed from "will the new album be good?" to "will it ever exist?".
Now it’s finally arrived, it seems reasonable to approach Sounds From Nowheresville with caution, particularly given the hideous cover image of a skeletonised Katie White and Jules de Martino. It might as well be daubed in blood and excreta, announcing "Pop Fans Stay Away". Which is plain bloody-mindedness because – despite its eclectic genre-hopping and snotty art-punk attitude – this is first and foremost a pop album (indeed, one song, the strumming, breathy Day to Day, sounds like a 99% DNA match for It’s OK!, by those revered art-house rebels Atomic Kitten).
The good news is that Sounds From Nowheresville is also a very enjoyable pop album. Opener Silence is a sleek scene-setter, carried along by a slow-burning electro throb and a White vocal that is cool and sweet as ice cream. It’s swiftly followed by Hit Me Down Sonny and Hang It Up, two propulsive blasts of elasticated pop funk which recapture the energy and bratty assurance of their debut, without ever quite relocating the killer choruses.
Elsewhere the album has an intentionally restless ‘playlist’ feel, though it often sounds like a playlist assembled half drunk. Guggenheim fuses beatnik-y spoken word verses with a splenetic punky chorus and narrowly succeeds through sheer eccentric charm, while the fidgety garage rock of Give It Back propels the listener along irresistibly. Less successfully, Soul Killing’s ingredients of a bright reggae groove and fidgety vocal hooks never quite add up to a satisfying dish, while the melodramatic, Spanish-tinged ballad In Your Life is more sketch than song.
Sounds From Nowheresville is neither the Klaxons-style second album catastrophe that seemed increasingly likely, nor the step forward into pop greatness that once seemed possible. It’s fun, but not a lot to show for four years work. If the duo wants to live up to that initial promise, they will need to up their game and their work rate.
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Top Customer Reviews
If i was to listen to the reviews of this album then i would have missed out on a super sounding album. Admittedly it is a more polished version of their first one which is no bad thing. More importantly it is still fun, still fresh and it still provides you with a blast of catchy pop tunes. Also the more i listen to it the more i think it captures some of the energy that the band project during their live performances.
I just wish the band were more prolific and released more material. I hope we don't have to wait another 4 years before the next album.
Anybody who has listened to the poor reviews and didn't purchase the album are certainly missing out on a treat !
It's still cool to like The Ting Tings...........
Every track - yes, every one is just brilliant. It's got everything in the right quantities, like a perfect cake: great rhythms; catchy hooks; humour; the best white reggae i've heard since the Police; beautiful love songs; and a gorgeous cello solo too.
This has been my most listened-to CD this year and i am really looking forward to their next album.
Not quite as good as We Started Nothing, but still a cracking CD. Tremendous value for around the same price of a pint.
Arrived ahead of schedule, as per usual.
Unlike the debut however, Sounds from Nowheresville, lives up to its name. Fantastic opening tracks have you thinking they've got an album full of catchy tracks that they have most definitely proved to be capable of. But no, after track 4 things fall apart for me. In 4 years unfortunately, The Tings Tings have only managed to come of with 33 mins of a mixed bag. Unfortunately, in 2012 this just isn't good enough to survive. Big shame.
Passive Me, Aggressive You
If you're looking for slightly similar style but way way better.
I wrote this in my 2008 review of the debut album which, despite myself, I enjoyed. Like most, I never expected a follow-up and, to be quite honest, I was like most people who let out a collective "Meh!" when news of a second Ting Tings album emerged.
Stories of entire albums being deleted to annoy ambitious record executives, badly-dyed hair on people definitely old enough to know better and tunes so irritating that Toodee and Foofa would be reaching for a shotgun, all circulated in the last few months. `Hands', the single that surfaced a year or so back, wasn't to be included. The new single `Hang It Up' - a curious hybrid of Nirvana guitars and JVC Force hip-hop - seemed to indicate a slightly harder-edged and louder TT had returned; more Sleigh Bells than Belle Stars. Unfortunately, included within this newfound amplification, came an exaggeration of the duo's all-too-apparent weaknesses; Katie White still couldn't sing. Jules De Martino definitely couldn't rap and the nursery-rhyme/sing-song nature of the songs grates after only one listen rather than forming a loveable earworm. In short, Sounds from Nowheresville is effectively the sound of the debut album gone well past its best. The artwork shows Katie and Jules as rotten corpses and this pretty much tells us all we need to know. The urge to make splendid pop has been superseded with a need to be accepted as `proper' songwriters and `real' musicians.
The real shame here is that this album need not have happened.Read more ›
What I thought was the teaser single 'Hands' does not feature on the album, which is a shame, but that said there's plenty of good tracks without it. There has been some comparison to the eclectic album 'Paul's Boutique' by The Beastie Boys, maybe because it marks a departure from the expected sound of the Ting Tings, but apart from that I don't see the relationship.
There's still some really catchy pop tunes on the album, but there's less lyrical repetition than on 'We Started Nothing' and there seems to be great big dollops of funk and soul loaded into the mix. Katie White is still mostly rapping out lyrics rather than singing what some people would call 'proper songs' but that's how the Ting Tings roll and it works brilliantly on tracks such as 'Hang It Up' and 'Soul Killing' (with a 'sub chorus' reminiscent of 'Another Brick in the Wall' by Pink Floyd and touches of Lily Allen) coupled with Jules de Martino's solid beats. That said there are some good electric guitars in 'Give it Back' which could go down well live if they really beef up the rock angle, parts of 'Guggenheim' are like something out of Grease, and the last track 'In Your Life' could be described as a haunting ballad with some serious classical sounding strings.
Some people who don't like change will describe this as a mish-mash, but I have listened to it now three times in a row and it is a serious grower, and so, despite the awful cover and the over-use of cowbells, I will give it five stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Hands" is good. For the most part the rest is forgettable. Doesn't live up to the first album.Published 10 months ago by Oliver Franks
Don't understand any negative reviews - as good as their first.Published 14 months ago by Mr. A. Knight
Ting Tings fans had a feast of musical ideas w instant appeal on their debut. Although it may take 3 or 4 plays to 'gel' with ".. Nowheresville", it has lots of new faves. Read morePublished 18 months ago by MusicFan