March 13, 2012 - Columbia
This review originally ran in AP 285.
The Ting Tings’ long-awaited sophomore album is aptly named: Although 2008’s We Started Nothing brimmed with flirty cheerleader chants and punky disco-rock rhythms, Sounds From Nowheresville is all over the map. Seriously, the U.K. duo dabble in a different style on every song—from cheeky ’80s hip-hop (the streetwise, Beastie Boys-esque “Hang It Up”) and sassy electro-rock (“Give It Back”) to girl-group cooing (“Guggenheim”) and reggae-pop (“Soul Killing”). These genre hops come across as unfocused and generic rather than ambitious, however—which also plagues Sounds From Nowheresville’s overt stabs at chart success. Chopped-up acoustic guitar circa Justin Timberlake in 2002 drives “Day To Day,” while the lyrics of the sweeping, dramatic ballad “Help” don’t justify the urgency of the song’s title. Disappointing—and, worse yet, faceless.