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The Ting Tings' debut album (originally released in May 2008) is almost a perfect pop record. It comprises of 10 little pop gems. Each track is catchy, has punchy lyrics and an addictive tune. Opening track Great DJ sets the tone nicely with it's "Imagine all the girls, ah, ah, ah etc. And the boys, ah, ah, ah..." chorus. Then the number one smash That's Not My Name with that thumping bass drum at the start continues in the same vein. "They call me girl. They call me Stacey" sings vocalist Katie White, a modern Debbie Harry perhaps? Jules De Martino's contribution to this song is also very important, especially his vocals towards the end.
Traffic Light may initially sound a bit cheesy but after a few listens it's actually quite sweet. "Don't you be a traffic light. With all things said you turn to red". Great line that, reminds me of the time my wife caught me flicking through Nuts magazine. Only kidding!
Shut Up And Let Me Go and Be The One were both singles and were hugely catchy, so you'll be familiar with those. However We Walk only reached #50 in the UK when released but it's still a nice little tune. It breaks the mould a bit by opening with a bit of piano. This almost fooled me into thinking it was going to be a ballad.
I'm not ashamed to say that I don't have a clue what the track Impacilla Carpisung is supposed to signify but I still like it. The title track is the longest at over 6 minutes in length. It has a basic guitar riff all the way through but ends the album on a high note.
We Started Nothing is quite a short album with a running time of just under 38 minutes. However it's a mini-gem which is all too rare in today's uninspiring musical climate.
The Ting Tings' music has been described as pop rock, indie rock and new wave. Shouldn't that be rephrased as new, new wave? It'll be interesting to see how they fare with Kunst, the follow up to We Started Nothing and that difficult second album. It's due to be released in the summer of 2010. Personally I'd like to hear Jules De Martino contribute a bit more singing, maybe he can do lead vocals on a track or two with Katie on backing vocals? We'll have to wait and see.
BACKGROUND: The Ting Tings were formed in December 2007 while based at Islington Mill Artist Studios in Salford. Katie White (Vocals/Guitar/Bass Drums/Bass Guitar/Cow Bells) originally comes from Lowton in Greater Manchester. Julian "Jules" De Martino (Drums/Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar/Vocals/Piano) originally comes from Albert Place in East London. They formed after sharing a mutual love of Portishead.
In 2008 they were the opening act for the NME Shockwaves Tour. Also on the tour were The Cribs, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong and Does It Offend You, Yeah? We Started Nothing has currently sold 4 million copies in the UK. That's Not My Name has sold over a million digital copies.
Checking out the latest albums of bands appearing at Glastonbury has so far proven to be a less than rivoting affair, The Ting Tings however bring a bit of cheer and whilst they are more poppy than alternative, they are at least relative fun and their electro tinged pop is more than likeable and acceptable to the majority I imagine.
Lyrically it's good clean fun, not particularly outstanding material but catchy and interesting enough to hold ones attentions. There are numerous steady single worthy songs on this debut album alone and the fact the band have a formula that works is indisputable.
You can see that The Ting Tings revel in having an 80s new wave aura about them and are clearly influenced by numerous bands from that period including Talking Heads, who I'm not actually a fan of but can at least see their talent! We Walk is probably the least exciting of the songs on this album by this duet.
Fruit Machine has a more poppy sound is reminiscent of Girls Aloud whilst Keep Your Head is a bit overplayful but is ok for a one-off, sounds a bit like Shampoo (Oh, Oh, We're in Trouble) . That's Not My Name and Shut Up Let's Go are pure winners, Be The One is relatively similar to Blondie, although when it comes to new wave, I think there's always room for a few more songs and generally the album has a steady quality about it.
1 Great DJ
2 That's Not My Name
3 Fruit Machine
4 Traffic Light
5 Shut Up And Let Me Go
6 Keep Your Head
7 We Walk
8 Be The One
9 Impacilla Carpisung
10 We Started Nothing
The union of Pop and Indie is a fraught and shady undertaking, full of angst and uncertainties. Will Pop's bright and brash forwardness scare Indie off? Will Indie's scruffy nonchalance repel Pop? Will Pop be smart enough? Can Indie be pretty enough? Quite frankly, it's generally a liaison best avoided at all costs.
Except, occasionally, these underhand rendezvous can produce marvellous offspring - shiny, scruffy, smart and pretty things. The Ting Tings are one such entity. Two individuals by the names of Jules and Katie who hail from Greater Manchester and between them apparently play all the instruments on this album. But that's quite enough dry facts - what are the tunes like?
Pretty damn great, actually. "Great DJ" opens it with some classic indie-strumming guitar. The verses are sparse - just bass, drums and bleeps to begin - and even though the chorus consists entirely of the phrases "ah ah ah ah", "eee eee eee eee" and "the drums" repeated over and over and over, it's eminently singalongable. You will undoubtedly be familiar with "That's Not My Name", the humongously massive number one with its groovy drum and handclap beat and chorus that, depending upon where you stand in the Pop Wars, either drives you absolutely insane or had you leaping about and singing along and pondering dragging out your old Transvision Vamp records for a spin.
"Fruit Machine" features the obvious sound effects of jangling cash and slot machine noises, and reminds me both of "These Boots Were Made For Walking" and "Walk Like An Egyptian". It's a jaunty tune with flutey noises underlying the chorus of "kching kching boy!" and a surfin' style guitar solo. "Traffic Light" is a surprising diversion from all this strident indie-pop, being a laidback tune with extremely girly vocals advising you not to "be a traffic light", to which you can only reply "okay then, I won't". With dainty strings and a meanderingly cheerful guitar line, it's very sweet and happy tune. It's followed by "Shut Up And Let Me Go", probably my personal favourite song of last year, with its extremely catchy riff, angry spoken vocals, insistent bass, huge stomping chorus and Katie's excellently timed "hey!"s.
"Keep Your Head" drives along with non stop shouty vocals from Katie overlapping plinky guitars. "Be The One" has the signature monotonous bass signature of classic indie, and is a pretty, singalong tune. But it's "We Walk" that takes the album down a sombre side alley, with solemn piano chords and more insistent "ah ah ah"s. It's a dark tune, with largely spoken vocals and spooky synth sounds in the background. "Nothing makes you feel good" sings Katie in the bleak, layered middle section, before the piano riff breaks back in with determined graveness.
"Impacila Carpisung" is just bass, some bubbly noises and muffled, overlapping vocals singing complete nonsense. It's a flimsy but strangely infectious song which will swirl annoyingly round your head for days on end. Finally "We Started Nothing" consists of very little apart from a simple guitar riff and some quite irritating high pitched vocals. It's very repetitive, despite attempts to inject some variety by dragging in a brass section at the end, and a weak end to an otherwise great album.
I tend to like my pop straight and to the point, and albums divided into ten portions of pop in roughly three minute servings are always going to get extra points for me just for Doing It Right. "We Started Nothing" is a fabulously shiny little trinket of an album, a little rough round the edges but worth treasuring whether you stand on the Pop or Indie side of the fence.
My first impression of the Ting Tings was whats that name all about?! Well according to Wikipedia its the first name of a chinese colleague of Katie White who fronts the band. Katie hails from Salford and her partner in crime is Jules De Martino who is from Cumbria. Both members were originally in a 3 piece band called Dear Eskimo. They were signed to Mercury records but the Ting Tings were formed after a split due to creative differences.
To date the Ting Tings have only released this there debut album titled 'We Started Nothing' Realesed on Columbia records in 2008, the cd is fairly short with ten tracks in total.
This is the opening track on the album and starts the album off with a bang. Its such a catchy track, starting with a guitar rift and then the electro drumbeat kicks in. The lyrics are very simple and repetitive particularly in the chorus which helps to make it such an addictive track.
'The girls ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah,
and the boys ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah,
and the strings ee ee ee ee ee ee ee ee,
and the drums, the drums, the drums, the drums'
~~~Thats Not My Name~~~
The most well known hit from the band to date, with the most commercial success this brought the band into the spotlight for me. Again the track has an addictiveness about it. I particularly like the vocal arrangement on this track. Towards the end there are three vocal melodies layered sung by both members of the band and although the album version is longer than the radio release it is enjoyable right to the end. This is a bot of a taster track, if you like this track then you will like the album, if not then you won't.
'Are you calling me darling?
Are you calling me bird'
After the first two tracks this one struggles to have as big an impact. Having said that it is a grower and has a good beat and catchy chorus. Its also quite a short track.
This is a completely different style to the other tracks so far and is one of my favourites from the album. It shows off the sweetness of Katies vocals as opposed to the usual attitude filled harsher vocals. The lyrics on this track are very simple and yet cleverly effective.
'Don't you be a roundabout,
not another roundabout,
you've come so far yet back to the start,
don't you be a roundabout'
~~~Shut Up And Let Me Go~~~
If you haven't heard the hook from this tune then you must have been living on another planet! Its been used in numerous adverts and programmes. Its instantly recognisable and very catchy. The follow up single to 'Thats Not My Name' it was another big hit for the band.
~~~Keep Your Head~~~
I love this track. Again it has a catchy melody and hook, I refer to the track as '10 minutes ago' as these are the most prominent words for the majority of the track. It practically jumps along, makes you walk faster when listening on headphones!
'Fourteen, intimidated and shes just fourteen'
~~~Be The One~~~
This is a much more subtle track, with not much of an initial impact. But its definately a grower and a nice to listen to track. It almost has a sing song quality to it, very mellow. Another track that has been released as a single.
'I don;t wanna be the one, making all the noise'
The most recent track to be released from the album. It doesn't really get going until a couple of minutes into it and it lacks the oomph of the previous tracks. Its still a decent listen but nothing special and a bit too long.
'ah ah ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah'
Don't really get this track! Its fairly catchy but I have no idea what its about. It may just be me showing my stupidity! In the break in the middle and towards the end there are sections that sound as if they are played on a kids casio keyboard. Very odd! Even so, its still catchy!
(not even gonna try and print lyrics here!)
~~~I Started Nothing~~~
The final track on the album and and a bit of a weak ending. I like the vocals on this track, they are different. It has a catchy rift but it does drag on a bit.
'I started nothing, I wish I didn't'
We have had this cd for a while now. I originally bought it for myself as I liked 'Thats Not My Name'. It has proved to ne the most popular cd we have. It regularly gets put on in the car when the kids are tired and they are soon singing along and dancing about. It seems to give them a new lease of life. The album does have an infectious sound to it. We all tend to like the start of the album more than the end. The latter tracks are all decent they are just not a patch on the excellent start to the album. I would recommend this cd to anyone who likes music to put them in a good mood. It can't fail to get you singing along. I have listened to the album over and over and I never tire of it. Usually if someone else in my family constantly wants to listen to an album I tend to get sick of hearing it. That is not the case with this one.
Its available to buy fairly cheaply now but is still popular. If you want to listen to any of the tracks yourself then visit the bands website:
The band are currently working on their follow up album and I can't wait to get my ears on it!
Arriving suddenly in the spring of 2008, The Ting Tings quickly made a name for themselves. But are they more than just a gimmick one hit wonder. This album is a mixed bag of events.
Who are they:
Ting Tings are a duo made up of Jules De Martino (drums, vocals) and Katie White who provides the lead vocals
On this album:
The obvious number hit huge hit 'That's Not My Name' is like Tony Basil's 'Mickey' meeting 'Footloose'. It has an insanely annoying chorus, yet is also a guilty pleasure. The drums are prominent and drive it well and Katie's curtish vocals sit well in the song. It is one of those hate it or love it tracks. I suggest playing it then giving it a rest for a week! Other highlights include 'Great DJ' which is an understated synth driven retro affair. It has elements of disco about it and a nagging hook.
I really like 'Be The One' which has a lovely synth melody driving it. It reminds me of OMD or music of that ilk and the vocals show more restraint here. 'Shut Up And Let Me Go' is about as funky as it gets with a stomping chorus section and a great guitar laden hook. This has a swirl of seventies nostalgia about it.
'We Walk' is one of those mid album songs that doesn't have the charm of the singles and lacks anything that stands out about it.
There are a handful of catchy moments and some lesser ones on here, but they cracked the market, they make fun music and the album is worth a listen if you like indie disco.
Bright young things The Ting Tings have a single view of the record industry as is today: it's rubbish. Filled with marketing and image and not enough substance, they've elected to challenge it, one insubstantial pop-rock song at a time. They've got a very simple setup - Katie White does the singing and guitar stuff, and Jules De Martino does everything else. Except, in this case, 'everything else' relates to 'play drums, wear sunglasses indoors, and look like a massive tit'. Seriously dude, who wears sunglasses indoors? I think he might also get on the bass guitar from time to time, as well. The songs are all very simple, guitar-led tracks, but the message the band throw out is so defiant and noisy that it can be hard to understand just how clever some of the tracks are.
I'll give you an example. Main single 'That's Not My Name', which got them a recording contract, is all about being pissed off because record companies don't care about bands. White, who has a trail of broken pop bands behind her, tells over a looped drumbeat of her annoyance at having her name forgotten while auditioning for a contract. 'It's a difficulty and I bite it on my tongue' she tells, before hurtling into the slow, deliberate throws of the chorus "that's not my name!" she shouts at the employers, irritably. It is, unsurprisingly, one of very few anti-corporate songs to have made it into the charts in the last few years, but you wouldn't at first notice realise what they're talking about. This unsubtle and somehow still subtle songwriting is the predominant theme on the album. 'We Walk', which starts off slowly with some piano and then grows into another steady beat of a song, features the disaffected line aimed at their record company 'put us in the corner 'cos we're into ideas?' It's an admirable and honest piece of writing, which would perhaps be a little stronger if the band themselves had more of those ideas they speak of.
There's nothing wrong with any of the songs on the album, apart from the heady 'Be The One', which is too forthright for its own good. It's a lifeless shell of a song, complete with light keyboard bits that practically sing the words 'we're annoying don't you know it' over and over again. Also, the vocals of Katie White seem a little too muzzled for any life to erupt. White has a decent voice for this sort of music, sounding like a semi-cockney version of Annie (the singer, not the ginger musical puppet), but too often she tries to dominate the song she's working on, and crushes it under her sort-of charisma. Going back to the point of this paragraph, the problem with the album is that although it provides an entertaining mix of songs, nothing is too featherweight for the band. They're willing to throw in completely pointless tracks like 'Fruit Machine' at any juncture. Although the song is fine enough, a bit entertaining, it's too tongue-in-cheek for its own good, mixing in all kinds of sound effects to try and overshadow anything else. It's too silly to have any hook.
Other tracks do attempt to give us new sounds, and 'Impacilla Carpisung' is odd enough as a song to be interesting, even if it's essentially rubbish that nobody would ever actively want to listen to. This spirited approach to music is all very well and good, but in an age where we have completely committed artists like M.I.A. or Florence and The Machine giving us proper oddball tracks, the Ting Tings don't stand up much. But they have their moments. 'Shut Up And Let Me Go' is a fun track, made better through the pace and short tracklength it possesses. The fast stomp of the bass drum and sharp angular guitar stuff we're offered is a good fit for the band. So much so, that 'Great DJ' and 'Keep Your Head' elect to recycle the style and fit it to different lyrics, without much of a change for the music. The same drums, slightly different guitar pitches, the music isn't similar so much as it is the same thing. Whilst dullards The Kooks can seemingly get away with this because nobody cares about them, it's harder for a band with a personality going on, and they fall to the wayside a little.
This is better than most pop Britain has to offer by a fair country mile, however. Don't get me wrong - despite my 'spastic critical word implosion' (phrase trademark: Seres) I'm drawn back to the album surprisingly often. Sometimes you want something that shows personality and ambition, and The Ting Tings show both frequently during the record. Especially Katie White, who has a bit of a Debbie Harris thing going on - you'll complain about that comparison right up until she makes her first genuinely fun pop song, but you can swivel on it, people. I'm the expect here. Well not expert, but I'm certainly far more arrogant than anyone could ever rightly expect from a music reviewer. 'Traffic Light' is frothy but pleasant, a chance for White to give us a glimpse at her voice properly, without stuttering and stammering in short blasts, but the real song of the album is easily the title track, which also closes off matters with a six minute looped music thing going on that Wilco would be proud of.
'We Started Nothing' - the song - is a great dance mix of a rock-pop collaboration thing, and manages to fix in some cowbell on top of a blaring brass section and a fun, funky guitar part. And I love me some cowbell, I really do. Short on decipherable words, the track would probably work best as a repetitive instrumental, but it's a blast that ends the album on the upturn. In the words of Common, "you coulda got it, if you never woulda stressed it". If The Ting Tings stop trying to force it, and enjoy themselves more when recording, then they're going to become a band to watch. A British version of the B-52's, perhaps
There's something about the name that just makes them seem like a bundle of pop fun. and my gosh does this album back that up.
From start to end you are submersed in a world of fun synth sounds and energetic drum beats- if you ever want an album to give you some energy and put a smile on your face, this manages it with ease.
Just about every song on this album has the potential to make it to number one in the charts, and it works fairly well going from track to track on the cd.
Apparently these guys were a dance duo under a different name, but got dropped by their record label- i'm glad they were. This album is attempting to bring the fun and energy back to a pop industry that is beginning to suffer from the likes of take that and spice girls coming back, and my word do they do a dam good job.
Despite the current media backlash against the Ting Tings, I still love them. And it's easy to see why. This album offers straightforward blondie- inspired pop to the same standard as their contemporaries
Album opener is Great DJ is a classic, the singer sings the lyrics as if they were some postmodern nursery rhyme. The riffs are simple yet sophisticated, and they control the rhythms and the layers like a masterpiece. Is it a masteriece. I think so. Will it go down in the annals of rock history? Only time will tell.
Fruit Machine doesn't have the same effect - ok, it's danceable, catchy, but it ain't quite as good as Great DJ
That's Not My Name - well, what can I say - ait's already known as the Ting Ting's only song (it isn't, by the way, you can get hooked without hearing it) It's great pop
So Shut up and let me go sounds like CSS - CSS are a great band, what's the complaint
In short, this band has many detractors. But their music snobs so you shouldn't listen to them. This is good pop music. 4 stars rather than 5 because it's good rather than great - but point me to another 10 bands at the moment that are surpassing this and i'll eat my hat
The Ting Tings are a two piece band from Salford in the UK. Formed of Katie White and Jules De Martino, the band were sure to be compared to the most famous other two piece band around today, The White Stripes (not least because Katie shares a last name with their lead singer, Jack White). Whilst the two bands may be on a similar level in terms of potential success, the sound of the Ting Tings couldn't be more different to that of the White Stripes. The band are an electro-indie-pop collaboration, with a distinct message of female power and individuality.
I first came across the band through ArtRocker, where they were given a fantastic write-up for the single "Great DJ", which I soon downloaded off ITunes. The song is catchy, although after a few listens it does begin to grate on the nerves, with its repetitive nature and frustrating beat changes. In fact, given the sound of this song I must admit I had them pegged as a bit of a one hit wonder. Nevertheless, I downloaded some more of their music, and I eventually found a copy of the album quite cheaply on E-bay, and so bought it upon impulse.
I was soon swallowing my words. With songs such as the two hit singles "That's Not My Name" and "Shut Up And Let Me Go", the band are far from just another one hit wonder, with a unique sound which is able to bridge the difficult gap between indie bands and mainstream music. The hit "That's Not My Name" managed to capture the fantastic sounds of the first hit, but with a better beat (although admittedly the song is still frustrating at times with the repetitive lyrics.) "Shut Up And Let Me Go" helped them hit the big time as a hit in the states after its presence on the ITunes adverts, and with good reason too - the song is one of the best off of the album, with personality and power. Although the repetitive lyrics are still present, they are distinctly less frustrating than on the other two hits.
As with many bands at the current time, the band gained fame through MySpace, and there are a couple of songs on the album which would be familiar to anyone who listened to the band on MySpace. "We Walk" and "Fruit Machine" are both good songs, though arguably would not strong enough to be released as singles, which is a shame - I think that 90-100% of songs on a good album should be successful as singles, it helps the album appeal to the listener.
However, there are a number of album-only songs which help the album not seem as if it just contains a few good songs. The two songs that are not as familiar "Be The One" and "Impacilla Carpisung" are both really good tracks, though I couldn't help but feel disappointed that these were the only two songs which I had not heard before from their MySpace or downloads. The songs are quite strong in their own right and fit in with the album perfectly.
"Traffic Light" and "Keep Your Head" have both been on the band's Myspace during the band's lifespan, and are both also relatively strong pieces, though again I fail to see them succeeding on the large, commercial scale of the singles. They are upbeat and rhythmic, but unfortunately the band have gained fame for their lyrical prowess, and here I feel they fail to meet the catchy standards which they set in the first half of the album.
The final song, and the title track, "We Started Nothing", sounds like it should be a single (who knows, maybe it will be in the future) and is a fantastically strong end to the album.
Overall, I feel that the album beats expectation (or mine, at least) by being stronger and more powerful than they let on with their initial singles. The debut album from this power-pop duo seems to be a sign of bigger and better things to come, and I see a bright future for this band.
heard the single 'that's not my name' and instantly rushed out and purchased this album, initially I was disappointed but by the third listen I was hooked. Its a fairly short album at around 50 mins and only 10 songs but its 50 mins of brilliant songs!
The Ting Tings comprise of 2 members (often referred to al the Salford duo)
Jules De Martino (Backing vocal, Drums and Guitar)
Jules was born in London and started out in a Christian band called Babakoto they released one single in 1987 titled just to get by' Jules was also a singer in 1995 group Mojo pin.
Katie White (Lead vocals)
Kate was born in greater Manchester and was initially a part of girl TKO as a teenager, the group never received any commercial success but it was during her time in TKO that Katie met Jules.
Jules relocated to Manchester and after both having failed in the music industry the Ting tings were born! The Ting Tings name came after a Chinese colleague of White's at a boutique, who told her the name meant "an old bandstand" in Mandarin.They then recorded the album 'we started nothing'
1 Great DJ, a brilliant song to start of the album with repetitive drum beat and rough guitar at the start and a synthesised beat to follow is met harmoniously with Katie's no nonsense voice.
2 That's not my name, Potentially the best song on the album and my favourite. The song is simple in sounds with little more than drum and symbols over Katie's almost common sounding voce, Jules' perfect timing for background mumblings complete the song.
3 Fruit machine, Initially I thought this song was nonsense and pure silliness but actually it tells a story its sung in what can only be describe as repetitive stutter rap, but is carried off very well.
4 traffic light, is a fun little number but due to its nothingness its not one of my favourites the behind beat remains the same throughout and the lyrics are silly.
5 Shut up and let me go, another amazing song with progressive drums similar to 'Red hot chilli peppers - cant stop' and its clear cut guitar at the beginning it builds you up for something big...and it delivers.
6 Keep your head, another good song, defiantly not single material but still very good nonetheless it continues with TT's energy and vibe.
7 be the one, a slower more melodic song from TT's and I think it works, Katie's voice sounds less harsh in this song and it suits her.
8 We walk, this one is really slow to start but once you get into it its quite good, use of piano adds another sound to the album, much similar to the other songs.
9 Impacilla carpisung, this is the TT's aiming for diversity and trying to be something they are not, defiantly filler and nothing more, real shame it made it onto the album.
10we started nothing, to my mind it seems like they picked a title to an album then tried to match a song around that title and the result was disastrous. With Katie horribly out of tune and singing a style which really does not suit her.
The album was released on may 18th 2008 and reached the number one position as did the first single that's not my name.
The single 'shut up and let me go' was feature on an ipod commercial and is widely credited for the singles success.
Overall the album Is really good but I think they did not have enough content to fill an album after their initial success and had to rush out a few extra songs as filler.
I also have this review on Ciao
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Great DJ
2 That's Not My Name
3 Fruit Machine
4 Traffic Light
5 Shut Up And Let Me Go
6 Keep Your Head
7 We Walk
8 Be The One
9 Impacilla Carpisung
10 We Started Nothing