Back and edgier than ever: The Ting Tings release their second album

Jennifer Suh and Jennifer Suh

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The Ting Tings’ sophomore album, Sounds from Nowheresville, makes me wonder what happened to their fun energy. This English duo, who gained recognition in the music scene after their hit debut album in 2008, has returned with a wide range of eclectic pop music but with a much darker edge.

Their first single, “Hang It Up,” is one of the few tracks that still retains its funky dance-punk groove like the songs of their previous album. There’s not much melody to it, but its rhythmic beats, chant-styled vocals and repetitive lyrics resemble their previous hit single, “That’s Not My Name.”

The opening song, “Silence,” is a mood-setting electro-synth track that clearly shows that their music has evolved and taken a different direction from their previous album. The remix version by Bag Raiders, which was released last November, also demonstrates that their music has gotten much edgier.

Earlier this month, another track called “Soul Killing” from their new album premiered online. This song has Spanish instrumentals and has a bouncy reggae rhythm to it. Katie White, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of the band, told Spinner, AOL’s music blog, that the song is about “frustration in this biz.”

The track “Guggenheim” is a unique track that stands out in the album. This is primarily composed of White’s spoken word verses with barely any instrumentals. During the chorus, her vocals quickly shift to angry shouting as Jules de Martino’s drumming gets incredibly elaborate as it speeds up.

The feel of the album as a whole gets increasingly darker towards the end. In the track called, “Help,” White’s sassy vocals that used to sing “Shut Up and Let Me Go” are nowhere to be found. The ending track, “In Your Life,” is even more melancholy and somber, reminding me of Australian singer-songwriter Sia’s “Breathe Me.”

Despite the duo’s Grammy-nominated first album, this second release fails to capture the cheerful spirit of its predecessor. The Ting Tings have taken on an enormous change in their music. But regardless, this album is without a doubt still a good pop compilation with a variety of sounds.

Although their album has already been released in some European and South American countries, it will be officially released in the United States on March 13. The duo will begin their North American tour next month and they will perform at Metro in Chicago on April 3.

Jennifer Suh