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The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing | Excessively Danceable

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Artist: The Ting Tings
Album: We Started Nothing
Label: Columbia
Release Date: June 3rd, 2008

It doesn't take much of an imagination to enjoy the Ting Tings. The UK-based duo, who have garnered wide media attention thanks to those obtrusively "stylish" Apple commercials, devise instantly appealing, uninvolved jams. Their brand of dance-infused pop-rock is as sharp and clear as their name. And, in stark contrast to their rather bucolic birthplace, the Ting Tings are full of vim and vigor.

We Started Nothing swings into gear with "Great DJ"—a foot-tapping hymn to the disc jockey. The vaulting, unbridled tone professes a strong love for CSS-like articulation. Thus, the leading track exhibits a wide use of heightened expression, contagious pop melodies and gyrating beats.

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Other single-worthy material, like "That's Not My Name" and "Shut Up And Let Me Go," is constructed around similar melodic and rhythmic patterns. But the only structural idea at work, while irrefutably endearing, verges on being overly accessible and predictable.

The Ting Tings - "Shut Up And Let Me Go"

Still, the Ting Ting's free and easy spirit conquers all. For it is the plain fact that uncompromising moments bereft of ostentatious design leave a far more lasting impression. And no other song on the album conveys this idea as effectively as the Whites Stripes-like title track "We Started Nothing." The duo seem to recapitulate the no-frills vibe sprinkled lightly throughout the rest of the album.

All in all, We Started Nothing proves that disgorging sweet tunes successively can work against an artist. The Ting Tings have certainly started something and to assert otherwise would be foolish. However, it becomes increasingly clear after each listen: the songs that are as easy as pie may be less indelible than initially perceived.