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The Ting Tings - Super Critical (Album Review)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 Written by Gavin Rees

As much as the difficult second album is a major hurdle to clear, reacting to a negative sophomore experience isn’t all fun and games either. The Ting Tings, who possess a contrary streak that is both admirable and, if you’re a label type, probably a little taxing, responded to the breakout success of That’s Not My Name with the decidedly radio-unfriendly ‘Sounds From Nowheresville’ and promptly went it alone.

Two years on, and having traded Berlin’s art scene for the sun-kissed surrounds of Ibiza, ‘Super Critical’ attempts to channel the late night history of music, winding through some disco foundations with a Studio 54-era shot of Diana Ross tucked in the sun visor.

With Andy Taylor, former guitarist of Duran Duran, admitted into the band’s inner sanctum, previously the sole preserve of Katie White and Jules De Martino, album three emerges as a patchwork of their influences and certain elements they felt needed to be reintroduced to the club scene.

Unfortunately, it suffers from the same issue that plagued its predecessor. While White and De Martino are clearly able to conjure dancefloor-ready licks and beats once they are locked in - just take a moment to unpick the layers of the title track for conclusive proof - the hooks have largely been neglected on ‘Super Critical’.

For a record that breaks the tape in just over half an hour, it sags terribly at times, resorting to splashes of brass and recycled guitar phrases ahead of the rough-hewn, relentlessly catchy melodies that elbowed their debut into the spotlight.

With its glitchy synths and snappy intro, Daughter bucks that trend, as does the excellent, snarky Wrong Club, but they’re high points that can be seen from miles around. The insipid Wabi Sabi, interminable funk of Green Poison and rehashed keyboards of Communication and Failure are far less inviting. If album two was a misstep, then album three may well go down as another.

The Ting Tings Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu October 30 2014 - LONDON London XOYO
Sun November 23 2014 - BRIGHTON Haunt
Mon November 24 2014 - BRISTOL Thekla
Tue November 25 2014 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Cluny
Wed November 26 2014 - GLASGOW King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Fri November 28 2014 - LEEDS Belgrave Music Hall
Sat November 29 2014 - MANCHESTER Deaf Institute
Sun November 30 2014 - PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms

Click here to compare & buy The Ting Tings Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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