We Started Nothing
On the Ting Tings' debut album, We Started Nothing, the duo's new wave-worshiping mix of dance and indie pop -- which grafts chugging guitar and bashed drums onto looping structures and proudly plastic keyboards -- is polished, but far from polite. Singer/guitarist Katie White's snotty, singsong vocal delivery and flat rhymes are part cheerleader, part playground chant, and a tiny bit of punk snarl; "That's Not My Name," on which White sneers "Are you calling me darling? Are you calling me bird?," even sounds a little like riot grrrl sloganeering filtered through a decade's worth of pop. Even when White sings more melodically, as on "Traffic Light" and "We Walk," the energy, attitude, and repetition can be grating, even if you're tapping your foot to the songs. However, the Ting Tings manage to stay on the catchy side with "Fruit Machine," a Lily Allen-ish bit of cheeky bordering on vindictive pop, and on "Keep Your Head" and "Be the One," which tone down the Ting Tings' energy to more manageable but still lively levels. "Great DJ" and "Shut Up and Let Me Go" (which sounds like a Yeah Yeah Yeahs parody/tribute) are also standouts, and it's no surprise they've been used in commercials -- they're so short and memorable, they feel like jingles waiting for products to endorse. Since they've got a real knack for writing songs that stick in your head whether you want them to or not, the Ting Tings' songs are fun in very small doses. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi
Track samples provided courtesy of iTunes
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