Review: The Ting Tings, ‘Sounds From Nowheresville’

Review: The Ting Tings, ‘Sounds From Nowheresville’: Aidin Vaziri | Having spent four years out of the spotlight after their wonderfully swaggering song “Shut Up and Let Me Go” was used in an iPod commercial, propelling them to international stardom, it appears the only reason the Ting Tings have returned is to drive away the few fans who bothered to stick around for a follow-up. The Manchester duo’s second album, “Sounds From Nowheresville,” is a dark, bitter affair. The irresistible electro-pop beats and shouty choruses of its predecessor, “We Started Nothing,” responsible for seven singles, have been all but stripped away. In their place are tuneless dirges (“Synthhenge”) and inexplicably angry drones (“Give It Back”). The spoof reggae track “Soul Killing” prominently uses the sound of a drum stool squeaking, which is probably the best thing about it. Then there’s the cover art, which looks as if it were rendered by a 13-year-old with a cell reserved at San Quentin. What’s truly odd is how in recent interviews, the band members have loudly boasted of making an album their label was certain would make them twice as big as the last, only to scrap it and come up with this instead. Obscurity knocks.

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