Release Date: Jun 3, 2008
Record label: Columbia/Red Ink
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
Ask any semi-serious hip-hop head about the greatest problem facing hip-hop these days, and he may tell you ring-tone rappers like Soulja Boy, Flo Rida, and T-Pain are killing the game. This kind of knee-jerk reaction to overt commerciality is, of course, a joke, because the supposed point of all commerce-based mediums (like music, movies, and online music magazines) is to get that product in front of as many people as possible. Where the brilliance of rappers like those mentioned above comes in, though, is the ability to synthesize what makes a genre great (in the case of hip-hop, easy to sing choruses, overly ridiculous personalities, and danceable beats) and make it easily consumed by the general public.
In pop music, catchiness and obnoxiousness often go hand in hand, but on the Ting Tings' debut album, We Started Nothing, they're locked in a death grip. The duo's new wave-worshiping mix of dance and indie pop -- which grafts chugging guitar and bashed drums onto looping structures and proudly plastic keyboards -- is polished, but far from polite. In fact, the way the Ting Tings repeat their cheap and cheerful hooks until their listeners' ears are about to break often borders on annoying.
This Manchester coed duo’s irresistibly upbeat ”Shut Up and Let Me Go” has become the latest single to enjoy a digital-sales bump due to its placement in an iPod commercial. And here’s some good news for anyone who bought that track: The Ting Tings’ debut, We Started Nothing comes packed with a peppy parade of songs likewise steeped in electro beats and chant-along vocals — from the playfully taunting ”That’s Not My Name” to the dreamy near-ballad ”Be the One.” Who knew the sound of Nothing could be so much fun? B+DOWNLOAD THIS: Hear ”Shut Up and Let Me Go” at the Ting Tings’ MySpace page .