After debut successes with hit songs like That’s Not My Name, The Ting Tings seem to have slowly slipped off the radar in the UK, even though their first album attempt We Started Nothing reached the #1 spot in 2008. Sounds From Nowheresville is definitely a more mature album, with far fewer repetitive hooks with meaningless lyrics, though maybe this has been their downfall. Songs such as Silence and In Your Life feature beautiful echoes, violin sections and smart guitar melodies. They are sophisticated tunes that are catchy but exclude the downright silliness of earlier efforts. Despite this, it seems sometimes it is the bizarre, frustrating lyrics (‘I’m ticking those boxes and making off like Speedy Gonzales’), that really catch the public’s attention, and needless to say, even with a progression into a more highly developed sound, there is still no shortage of painfully repetitive choruses, shown for example on Hang it Up. Perhaps this is what makes Sounds From Nowheresville such an impressive album though. Either through inability, laziness or just plain genius, The Ting Tings have somehow incorporated a surprisingly remarkable mixture of chilling ballads and upbeat pop songs into an album that never fails to throw out surprises, even when you think you’ve heard it all.
Star Rating: ****
Next Week: Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen