CD Review: The Ting Tings

Sounds From Nowheresville (Columbia)

It's rarely a good sign when a band ditches the mostly completed follow-up to its hit debut album. After 2008's We Started Nothing, and its signature single "That's Not My Name," the British indie-pop duo the Ting Tings scrapped the record they were making and started working on another LP: a disjointed set that veers from brashly anthemic to weakly derivative. Things aren't helped by Katie White's combination of pithy lyrics and clumsy vocal gymnastics. The album's stylistic shifts would be OK if they weren't accompanied by heavy-handed attempts at being clever — from squeaky floorboard/bedspring percussion on the ska-leaning "Soul Killing" to the string-quartet reverb of "In Your Life." Maybe the Ting Tings released the wrong record: Sounds From Nowheresville bears the scars of too much deliberation and not enough passion. — Brian Baker

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