July 11, 2008

Music review: creatio ex nihilo

One boring afternoon, I was listening to NU 107, aka the high-scale brother of 91.5 Energy FM; on their new music stinger, I heard the voice of a happy girl. Certainly NU 107 wasn't the place to listen happy songs, after all, Orange and Lemons won at the Rock Awards, which was the then darkest hour of Pinoy rock before one of the Hale people wore Manchester United and Real Madrid jerseys.

Guess what, that voice belong to Katie White, no, not that American soap star that kisses girls and likes it very much. Katie White the vocalist of British indie band The Ting Tings. Just like every indie band, it is a prerequisite for their band name to be prefixed with "The." Like The Kills, The Killers, The Bravery, The Strokes, The Virgins, Shiela and The Insects, and so forth. But the ting is, I wouldn't even classify The Ting Tings as rock, much less pop-rock, it's more of pop-electronica or pop-techno, the type of music Seth Cohen listens to when he wants to get laid by one Lou Palone Summer Roberts.

So what makes them different from the other dance acts such as Kylie Minogue and her younger clone named Hilary Duff and Madison Avenue (which reminds me, their type of music is alike, even the composition is identical, one pretty girl and the dude who does the dirty work)?

The difference is that their songs are of the happy variety. Sure Kylie did happy songs when she had wilder hair but it seems that nobody does that nowadays. Now we hear about Russian lesbians kissing each other and Hilary Duff on a falling elevator making out with some dude, of course with love. No, the Ting Tings doesn't do that; instead they watched a lot of White Stripes videos and came up with a subtle change -- instead of triangles, use their bare hands. Touching each other. Touching their hands.

"Shut Up and Let Me Go" is one such example. The title may not seem happy but once you'd hear the word "HEY!" you'll be transported into an alternate universe where Ryan Atwood and Taylor Townsend were strangers in The O.C. Lively guitar hooks, Katie White's lively singing and a pretty short song for people with the attention span of Chuck Bartowski.

Actually their songs on the surface may not mean anything. You can listen to "That's Not My Name" and don't care about the lyrics and enjoy yourself. But a dozen listenings will give you the idea that their songs follow the basic pop song, first verse, chorus, another verse and repeat chorus until fade. Looks boring but it isn't, since Katie White's voice is coated with sugar that makes diabetic die in a matter of seconds.

So while you may have nothing else to do and is extremely bored, doesn't want to listen to boring discussion, steal a few minutes and listen to a Ting Tings song. You won't regret it, unless you're caught.

1 comment:

  1. i'm currently hooked with their music...

    "We Started Nothing" is the best album ever... or maybe until i get tired of listening to it :)


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