The Ting Tings – We Started Nothing

Sony BMG

The Ting Tings have a lot going for them. They’ve got a knack for writing catchy pop hooks they’ve developed a style that folds recent indie rock and dance trends into an easily digestible mainstream-friendly sound they have a way with vocals and a gorgeous lead singer who could be strutting down the catwalk as easily as standing behind the mic. It’s no surprise then that the band is burning up the U.K. pop charts and are currently featured in Apple’s career-boosting iPod ad campaign.

For the first four brilliant unpretentious perfectly poppy songs on We Started Nothing The Ting Tings sound wholly deserving of all the instantaneous success they’ve experienced. “Great DJ” is a high-octane rocker that cruises by on jangling guitars electronic bleeps and Katie White’s playful vocals. “That’s Not My Name” follows riding a simple drum-and-handclaps beat as White does her best cheerleader impression. The song slowly layers three more vocal melodies over its chanting centre climaxing in its last two minutes of joyous pop overdose. “Fruit Machine” keeps the good times going as White transitions from one killer hook to another only letting up so the band can throw in a surf guitar solo. “Traffic Light” runs the last lap of Nothing’s opening relay changing the mood completely as the band delves into adorable jazz-tinged French pop.

After these four tracks (all singles save for “Traffic Light”) Nothing sadly sputters. For the remainder of the album The Ting Tings simply pass the time slapping the same ideas over top of decreasingly inspired instrumental frameworks. The album quickly changes from charming to innocuous before finally resting on annoying. The same pop chops are on display but the songs ring hollow coming off as slipshod efforts with none of the oomph evidenced earlier.

By the time We Started Nothing comes to a close only a husk of the beginning’s greatness remains. It’s a shame because for a moment there The Ting Tings looked like they could be one of those all-too-rare bands able to back up potentially massive success with great songs. At least we’ll always have those first four tracks.