Alex Fredkin, Staff Writer
When the Ting Tings debuted their electro-pop sound in 2008 with their hit album “We Started Nothing” they were praised for their ability to squeeze funk, rock and punk into an eclectic vessel. That ship has long sailed, however, as the Ting Tings’ newest album sounds like a mish-mash of half-baked ideas.
“Sounds From Nowheresville” was originally slated for a 2010 release, but according to an interview with frontwoman Katie White, they scrapped the entire production because it sounded too much like everything else on the British airwaves at the time. This is a commendable endeavor, but their new album isn’t that great. It almost seems like they forewent writing good songs to make sure that the record was varied and unique.
Ironically, the best songs on the album are those that are in the same vein as their last one. “Hang It Up” is a rhythmic pop piece that perfectly captures the swagger and spunk they are known for. All of the other songs are vastly different from each other, and although they reveal that the band is experimenting, the efforts do not pan out quite as successfully as they had hoped. “Give It Back” is bland and generic. Explore the depths of this album and you will find everything from 80s disco and synth-pop to slow ballads with no substance. Then, there are songs like “Hit Me Down Sonny,” which aren’t that bad but are mere shadows of the best ones from their previous work. And that is the essence of this album; most of the songs aren’t really that bad, but none of them are truly great. If this was the band’s debut they would certainly not have achieved the fast recognition that they did. This endeavor left a bad taste in my mouth, but hopefully on the next one the Ting Tings will return to their roots and not stray quite so far from what they do best.