Review of Super Critical Album by The Ting Tings

The duo who comprise The Ting Tings had the sort of launch that is the stuff of dreams; topping the album chart with their debut in 2008 with a record that spawned five singles, including the ubiquitous number one 'That's Not My Name'. In comparison, their second full-length release in 2012 bombed, so now they attempt to regain their mojo, with the assistance of Duran Duran's Andy Taylor on production duties.

The Ting Tings Super Critical Album

The initial success of the Tings was their ability to mash pop, indie and dance into irresistible hooks - a feature that was majorly lacking on 'Sounds From Nowheresville'. They address this on their third record, but not through trying to re-create the first album. Lead track 'Wrong Club' is a strong representation of this collection - a soft disco anthem with funky guitars and a beat to tap along to. Katie White's sultry voice provides an easily grasped hook and already things are looking up. 'Do It Again' follows a similar path but with a hypnotic vocal delivery, whilst 'Only Love' is further evidence that collaborating with Taylor is a positive move - his experience of hits from three decades ago works a treat on an album reflective of a past era. Not all songs here are as immediate as these, though 'Failure' certainly wraps proceedings up in an infectious manner, but this is a tidy release. 'Wabi Sabi' provides some respite to the tempo in the form of aching balladry and at nine tracks long, there's no danger of The Ting Tings outlasting their welcome. A return to the popularity that greeted their initial breakthrough isn't likely, but there's more than enough here to repair their reputation and ensure they shouldn't be seen as a flash-in-the-pan act.


Alex Lai

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