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The Ting Tings
We Started Nothing
Columbia Records
www.thetingtings.com


Maybe the name The Ting Tings says it all. The duo's music has rations of electro bubblegum pop, techno dance, post-new wave, Brit-pop, and urban funk on their Columbia Records release We Started Nothing. Lead singer Katie White might look like a cross between Gwen Stefani and a young Debbie Harry, but her singing has more of an in-your-face brashness similar to a bunch of other Kates, namely Kate Nash and Katy Perry. Together with multi-instrumentalist Jules De Martino, White forms The Ting Tings, whose modern dance record has a perfect fit for clubs from California to New York and from the UK to Singapore.

Hailing from Salford, England, The Ting Tings have a Brit-pop sound that undertones each track. The top layers of their music have a hefty dose of techno and urban funk relatable to Kylie Minogue, but White's vocals make the tunes her own. Produced by De Martino and written by De Martino and White, We Started Nothing brings in more rainbow flavors for techno-pop music, including fragments of tuneful horns in the title track and dulcet piano overtones in "We Walk." The lyrics show a recurring theme of looking forward and moving ahead no matter what holds you back, like in "We Walk." The verses discuss, "You saw the changes / The things that come / It's how you deal with it / When switching off / Make a decision / A precondition / We got the choice if all goes wrong / We walk / We walk / When nothing makes you feel good." The lyrics interact with the audience like White is having a conversation with them, and both she and the audience are dealing with the same issues.

Tracks like "Great DJ," "That's Not My Name, " and "Impacilla Carpisung" have club music talons that harness a ton of kinetic energy. White's vocals push and prod the wavelets of excitement to strike a party blast plateau. The urban funk pigment in the club beats give the robotic turnstiles some attitude so the melodic repetitions feel less mechanical with White's vocals infusing the songs with a steamed off personality. The dainty, carefree harmonic strokes of "Traffic Light" shed light on The Ting Tings gentler side, while "Shut Up And Let Me Go" has a tough attitude in its lyrical phrasing. There is a strong post-new wave intonation ringing through "Keep Your Head" and "Be The One" that makes them part of the family with music from '80s movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, whereas the modern techno bonding of "Impacilla Carpisung" and the title track have more in common with today's club music leaders.

The Ting Tings have made an album in a rainbow of techno-pop flavors from bubblegum to post-new wave. It's an album you would like to hear in clubs and at parties, and may even be influenced to listen to it at home when the mood hits you. The band's album induces a party atmosphere and it is probably most gratifying when it's played at public gatherings.

-Susan Frances

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