on December 30, 2002
This is my personal opinion about the quality of this album, which is more POP ROCK than the Russian album which is more DANCE POP:
1. Not gonna get us: If you like Pop, Rock and "THE MATRIX SOUNDTRACK" kind of songs, then this one may be your favourite. The song tell us a story about a forbidden love, and how the 2 girls will continue with it, doesn't matter what can happen, "They are not gonna get us!!" Really good one. 9 of 10.
2. All the things she said: The main reason to buy this album, the best song in it. One of my best songs ever TOP TEN. The best one. 10 of 10.
3. Show me Love: It starts with a phone call, in Russian, then with a slow and soft beginning charms you, it continues with one of the coolest chorus ever heard: "SHOW ME LOVE, SHOW ME LOVE, TIL I OPEN THE DOOR, SHOW ME LOVE, SHOW ME LOVE, TIL I AM READY FOR MORE". Really cool. 9.5 of 10.
4. 30 minutes: In how much time can pain kill you???, How much time does it take to forget pure and true love???, How much blood is it needed for true love to be free???. This is my favourite song, sad, melancholic and powerful song. Definetly one of the best ballads ever, and one of their singles, you've got to see the video, it is amazing as well. 10 of 10.
5. How soon is now: You are not dreaming, if you like the Charmed TV SHOW Openning, then this is your song, if you don't it doesn't matter you are going to love it anyway. It is the same song than the TV Show, the only difference is that this one really rocks!!!!. 9 of 10.
6. Clowns (Can you see me now): Are you ashamed of what these two girls are doing???, They don't even care, this song tells us what Lena and Yulia think about those ones who always critize and talk about them. It doesn't matter if you are straight or not, I am straight and believe me this song talks about forbidden love. If you love someone, then don't care if "CLOWNS ARE AROUND YOU". Because pure and true love is simply that. 9.5 of 10.
7. Malchick Gay: If you like Dance, Trance, Electronic or any kind of this music styles then this one will be your favourite song. Tender and soft song, really good one. 9.5 of 10.
8. Stars: One of the coolest song of the CD, probably the 4th best of the album. The Russian chorus make it more than special, it makes it unique. It talks about desillution and the end of love. 9.5 of 10.
9. Ya Shosla S Uma: "All the things she said" in Russian, actually it should be "I've lost my mind". Whether if you know Russian or not, doesn't matter if you don't get a word, this song is the best, can't denny it, can you???. 10 of 10.
10. Nas Ne Dagonyat: I love this song in Russian, in English it is "Not gonna get us". It is 10 times better in Russian than in English. The chorus sounds much better. 10 of 10.
11. Show me Love (EXTENDED): This version is the 2nd best song of the album, it is really amazing, it doesn't matter your sexual preferences, this song talks about love, my girlfriend loves it, I do too. 10 of 10.
12. All the things she said video and Interview: Well, we must admit that Yulia and Lena don't speak too much English, but it really doesn't matter, because they really rock singing!!!!!. Yulia is really sexy!!!, Lena too. 20 of 10. The best POP ROCK video of the year!!!!!!!!.
on January 28, 2003
A friend introduced me to the band yesterday evening. I took the liberty of downloading the album to check it out (Yes, I still buy my music, but I like to hear it first)...
I read up on the act on MTV's website (and checked out the photos. Nice). What you're looking at are two russian girls, ages 17 and 18, who have parents in the music business and - as the review states - a well-known and renowned producer. The girls are not confessed lesbians - they're marketed as such. They seem to take the stance that they love one another, but it remains to be seen if that love is purely friendly or if it's actually something more...
As for the music (which is really all that matters, unless you stare at album covers while you're listening): The disc is good. The beats are well wrought and the lyrics are actually pretty well done for this genre. While they catch some flack for not being native english speakers, I like the effect that their accents have on the lyrics. It adds a sensuality, I think, and that's what this group is all about.
It's definitely worth a listen. If you like to keep your techno in your clubs, then just check out some pics. If, however, you DJ or mix your own parties ... you won't want to pass this one up.
Personally, I think techno is great for keeping up my energy level when I'm doing housework and other mundane tasks. Yeah, I'm getting it.
Likened by many critics to the boybands that have constantly cluttered our airwaves for what seems like centuries, these dual Russian pop sensations seemed to have been met with mixed reviews and harmed in some ways by their sexuality ploy to push their way in the door. Not immune to this, I have to say that I, too, was a little distraught to hear that someone else was defaming the already unsalvageable realm dubbed the music industry with yet another marketing ploy. Yes, when I first heard of t.A.T.u. and the ploy used to sell their albums, I found myself invariably skeptical of what content their album could hold. Still, I opted to listen to their Russian release first, and I noticed something that the press seemed to have left out; that the rudimentary elements of a band that seemed like they could be entertaining actually existed within that premanufacture publicity ploy. Accordingly, I went out to purchase 200 Km/H in the wrong Lane and have been entertained by it ever since.
Although the sound is definitely crafted from the mainstream intersections that pop feeds from, the album still had a few gems hidden inside it that I actually found myself enjoying. From the frantic beats and hasty lyrics of "Not Gonna Get Us" I found something to entertain my temponic cravings, then I found myself and my lack of radio station ingestation paying off as the ballad-with-a-beat "All The Things She Said" kicked in, and the album went from there. Personally I found Clowns one of the more meritable tracks listed, because their "floating forests in the air" analogies in the lyrics seem beautiful for some reason.
This isn't to say that everything about the album is perfect, mind you, nor is this review saying that I agree with the way the tracks were arranged. There are a few portions here and there that reflect opposing polarities on the listening spectrum, taking a person to heights only to throw them abruptly to the sorrowful ground, and this annoyed me a bit. Still, the rest of the album more than made up for it.
If you haven't heard the album or its tracks yet, simply listen to a sample provided and determine if you like that or not. If you do and you agree with those voices, then you'll find yourself in agreeance that this is, perhaps, and overlooked work because its marketing ploy overshadows the quality of the two singers involved.
on January 25, 2003
I just got the cd last night at Best Buy, and i like it. T.A.t.u's debut album is a mix of great lyrics and catchy music put in one. To extend this review even more, i'm gonna break it down by songs.
1. Not Gonna Get Us: A terrific song, I must say. The lyrics, though somewhat repetitive ("Not gonna get us/not gonna get us/not gonna get us..."), the beat and well-mixed track get's the ear's attention. Julia and Lana's eerie duet voices add a cool effect to this song.
2. All the Things She Said: This over-played song (I've heard this song enough times) is, I must admit, a well-written song and a terrific example of how well European dance music can get. The rebellious (if that is the right term) lyrics of "girl-loving-girl-will-their-parents-ever-accept-this?" is interplayed with a mix of guitars, cool percussion, and awesome vinyl scratches. Whoever mixed this song rocked (Robert Orton) and did a great job.
3. Show Me Love: Another "girl-and-girl" song, this song is alright, not as good as the rest of the cd, though. Good mix though (In fact, that's what I'm going to end up saying about the rest of the CD).
4. 30 Minutes: Okay, this song is creepy, but good. If you put the volume up and play it in the middle of the gym, i'd bet you'd feel like you were in a cadethral. A good song with a very creepy tune (if that's Julia who whispers in the beginning, that was a good effect). The use of the piano, soft laughter, and weird organ sound was great.
5. How Soon is Now: I don't remember this song.
6. Clowns (can you see me now?)-Their voices were very high in this song, and the fact that they were talking about clowns scared the hell out of me (i have a phobia for that sorta thing).
7. Malchik Gay: This is ultimately one of the coolest songs in the album. It is so catchy, you'd end up humming it or nodding your head to the tune (for those of you who are russian, what the hell does the title mean?).
8. Stars: I always liked music where they intermixed two different languages into one song (check out Breath after Breath, by Duran Duran), and "Stars" is one example of it. Julia and Lena's soft, high voices is used very effectively in this song, and the way they used Russian in the song was cool. You know what I have to say about the mix itself. This is a wonderful song, with a sort of beauty in it.
9. Ya Shosla s Uma: If only I understood Russian, this original version of "All the Things She Said" is a great song. I think this was the debut song there, and for good reason.
10. Nas Ne Dagoniat: The original Russian version of "Not gonna Get Us", all I have to say is that it's terrific.
11. Show Me Love (extended version): see #3.
Well, that's about it. The CD overall was a pleasure to listen to. I like it a lot, and I can't wait till their next album comes out. Good job, Trevor Horn!
By the way: Julia, you are seriously hot!!!
on March 4, 2003
Tatu should be extremely proud of their debut offering - the only way is up for these two.
The musical arrangements and production on this album are truly a breath of fresh air through the stale fug of "R&B", tired old rap, cheesey trance and the ubiquitous and empty sound of two-step.
They also give a kick in the pants to some of the rock/metal bands - so no-one is safe!
The voices are pleasing when not forced to the tops of the girl's developing ranges, where they tend to sound a little chipmonky - probably due to transposition software - and they both appear able to carry melodies. I assume that they actually wrote some of them, although it's absolutely evident that the musical arrangements and production are done by experts - very well indeed, it has to be said. The collection of music on this album is very varied - it may be a tired phrase, but it really does have something for everyone. I mean - a cover of The Smiths!
The outstanding moments are Trevor Horn's masterful reworking of "All The Things She Said", which spent many weeks at the top of the UK charts - a notable achievement these days.
None of how the music came about matters - and hasn't mattered since the Mowtown/Spector days of putting attractive girls with pleasant voices into recording studios to sell records. The girls have plenty of latent talent - and a potential for a spellbinding stage presence, if the numerous videos are anything to go by. It is a mistake to dis them as having "no talent", even if it is obvious that they did not do all of the musical work. It would be very interesting to find out how much they did write.
Whether they have longevity is uncertain - the marketing gimmick they have will only last so long, then a fickle music-buying public may well simply drop them, as they did the Spice Girls, etc. The sense of dark humour and irony that runs through the whole album is a streak they should keep a hold of - and never take themselves too seriously.
This album shows so much promise in the girls, and is a work of art in itself that goes way beyond the catchy pop hooks and studio "magic dust".
The marketing people behind them are absolute geniuses!
Buy it - it's fantastic!
on February 9, 2003
A lot of people have tried to pass this album (and this group) off as a marketing gimmic. Sure, two young lesbian producers making an album together DOES sound like the kind of thing that would get young males (American or Russian) into stores, but that turned out to be just a lot of talk.
A lot of people also like to bash them for not speaking english, which does impart a slightly strange sound to their singing, but thats not a bad thing in any sense. Actually I think its something good, it adds another side to the sound, but even if they were just singing while beating on pots and pans this album would still be great because unlike basically any other pop-rock act in the world they actually have lyrics that are pleasant to listen to.
Its full of bittersweet imagery and jumps from manically happy to the dark depths of depression. If you like music at all then at least one song on this album is for you, and no matter what your style preferences it will grow on you until you love all of it.
on February 10, 2003
Everyone keeps comparing these girls to Britney Spears, Cristina Aguilera, and groups like the Indigo Girls or Spice Girls. How further from the truth. If your new to Tatu and wondering wether to buy this CD or not they are a teenage lesbian duo (the name tatu literally translated means girl loves girl). Yet any band who plays with such Metal artists as Ramnstein and Prodigy is far from the Aaron Carter or Britney Spears genre. They are more pop fuesed with Industrial (techno and hard rock). Most of the songs are really electronic, hence the techno, and they sound alot more like Madonna than the Spice Girls. The best songs on this album are "All the Things She Said", "Not Gonna Get Us", and "Ya Soshla S Uma" which means I've lost my mind. If you want the shock rock style like Marilyn Manson or Skillet, but fuesed with Pop then you'll like Tatu; and if your one of those Avril Lavigne posers then try something real. I hate most pop, but this group is pretty good.
One thing's for sure about certain teen-pop--it's the musical equivalent of eating a whole carton of coffee-flavoured Haagen Daz. Guilty pleasure, definitely, and I notice that the younger the artists, the guiltier the pleasure. Examples include Sweet Sensation back in the late 1980's and more recently, Play.
Then there's t.A.T.u., the Russian duo Julia Volkova and Lena Katina whose single, "All The Things She Said" (no, not the Simple Minds song) is a sweet piece of techno-pop. The title is sung in one-two double quick time, accompanied by a mixture of heavy guitars and synthesizers. They're simply the best thing to come out of Russia since Catherine the Great, Mikhail Gorbachev, and all those figure skaters. Call them a cross between Shampoo, M2M, Ace of Base, and Xymox.
Another cute pop teen-duo like M2M, except their music is more on the techno side, they are Russian, and like the White Stripes, helped promote themselves with a salacious rumour. The rumour is that they are lesbians, thanks or no thanks to a video for a song "I've Lost My Mind" which is the song "Ya Shola S Uma" The video involved the two making out in the rain.
"Not Gonna Get Us" begins with a shrill voice belting out the title lyrics with hard-driving industrial synthesizers reminding me of Depeche Mode or Xymox. The lighter moments and the softer voice reminds me of M2M.
Like "All The Things She Said," the title lyrics of "Show Me Love" are sung in rapid-fire succession with the guitar/synth backing. A starkly haunting piano, laughing girls in the background, and an M2M-ish vocal highlight the wistful "30 Minutes", another one of this album's great moments.
That is followed by their cover of the Smith's classic "How Soon Is Now?" It's not half-bad, actually, with some grinding rock guitar enhancing the original. However, nothing beats Morrissey's vocal talents.
"Clowns (Can You See Me Now)" belongs to the Xymox/Depeche Mode/New Order side of the spectrum, with its racing strings-like synthesizer and vocals. "Malchick Gay" with its rhythm guitar backing, is another quick-paced number and some lyrics gives a hint to the lesbian rumour. The title lyrics are sung in rapid-fire, then jumping up an octave, and then another.
"Stars" has an outer-space otherworldly feeling, kind of like Dido's "Here With Me" or something from Sarah Brightman's Dive. There are some distorted Russian lyrics rapped inbetween the soft voices. Lyrics here too suggest Julia and Lena's rumoured relationship: "Are we in love? Do we deserve/to beat the shame of this whole world?/And like the night we camouflage/Denial" Well, it could be something heterosexual as well, but anyway...
There are two Russian-language songs. "Ya Shola S Uma" is "All The Things She Said" while "Nas Ne Dagoniat" is "Not Gonna Get Us". I like the Russian version of "All The Things She Said" even though I don't understand the lyrics. It's phonetically superior than the English version.
So are they cute? As buttons! Julia, I think, looks a bit like Rachel Leigh Cook; Lena, resembles a teenaged Geri Halliwell. Are they lesbians? If they are, so what? And does this album go 200 km/h in the wrong lane? Well, not that much, but it's still worthwhile. Rapid-fire delivery of vocals (think Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire"), industrial synthesizers, techno, vocals that alter between sweet and soft to loud and shrill, that's "t.A.T.u. you."
"200 km/H In the Wrong Lane" is the English translation of t.A.T.u.'s (Taty in Russian) Russian debut of the same name and features nearly all the same songs, this time in poetic English ("Ya tvoi vrag" would have been a good addition, though, and "Doschitai do sta" too, they're excellent songs). t.A.T.u is made up of Yulia Olegovna Volkova and Elena Sergeevna Katina, two Russian teenagers with voices of gold and an eye for the dramatic (as witnessed in their controversial Russian music videos).
In "200 km/h" the girls sing about love: unrequited love ("Malchik Gay"), loving although afraid ("All The Things She Said"), love and loneliness ("Stars," "Show Me Love"), and escape ("Not Gonna Get Us," "Stars," "30 Minutes"). "200 km/h" is a short collection of eleven songs (one is an extended version and two are in the original Russian, "Nas ne dogoniat" ("Not Gonna Get Us") and "Ya Soshla S Uma" ("I've Lost My Mind" or "All the Things She Said") as well as a multimedia track (featuring the video for "ATTSS" and a short behind-the-scenes featurette with Julie and Lena). The music is bubbly and filled with synths, vocal layering and some haunting sound effects (children laughing in the background, a music box), and the voices of the girls are stunning, light and soaring one minute, practically shouting the next, always translucent and light as air. The lyrics are surprisingly faithful to the Russian originals and some are beautiful turns of phrase that actually contain a message, unlike a good deal of lyrics in bubblegum pop. Here are a few examples:
Are we in love? Do we deserve
To bear the shame of this whole world?
And like the night we camouflage denial
And I'm all mixed up, feeling cornered and rushed
They say it's my fault but I want her so much
Wanna fly her away where the sun and rain
Come in over my face, wash away all the shame
("Show Me Love")
Tell me how you've never felt
Delicate or innocent
Do you still have doubts that
Us having makes any sense
Julie and Lena do an excellent job of singing in English, which was extraordinarily difficult for them but which sounds near-native to me, although some reviewers have commented on their phonetic English. I say hats off to t.A.T.u for introducing the English-speaking world to their phenomenal talent, their daring attitudes ( the girls share a passionate kiss under pouring rain in thin white tops in the "All the Things She Said" video, all presented in close-up, they frequently kiss in concerts, and most of the songs showcase their love for one another). Is it staged? Is the "teenage lesbian" theme real, or an exploitation made up by Ivan Shapovalov, t.A.T.u's handler? Who cares? The music is awesome, and whatever their dating status, Julie and Lena pour their hearts and souls into performing and promoting a) being yourself and b) loving who you want. Add to that that now t.A.T.u is a #1 act in a multitude of countries in Europe and also in North America, not too bad for two (girl)friends who are still under twenty. Can't wait to hear the next English album to see how they've evolved! Fans of dance, electronic and pop should give "200 km/h" a listen...it may be the new sound you've been looking for.
on June 15, 2004
I first heard tATu in early 2003 or so. I heard their first single, "All The Things She Said" on the radio, and I loved it. Then, about a half a year later, my friend got their CD and literally just raved about how awesome and addictive it was. I really wanted to hear all their other songs, so I went out and bought it. It is utterly amazing! I thought it would be good... but not this good! I kept listening to it over and over again. It is so addicting. The pop/rock sound mixed with techno influences of each song along with the unique vocal flare of Julia Volkova and Lena Katina make it incredibly addictive. Even now, months and months later, I still listen to this album practically everyday. There is much speculation as to whether or not Julia and Lena are actually lovers in their personal lives. In my opinion, it does not matter. Speaking personally as a teenage homosexual male, these lyrics are truly an accurate and honest expression of the angst, loneliness, and depression that you go through as a homosexual person. They are expressed with genuiness and honesty that no other artist has captured before. I love how poetic and respectful the lyrics are. The fact that this is being put out there for people to buy and hear is truly powerful. There are 11 tracks, but 8 of them are original, and they are as follows:
1.Not Ganna Get Us- Truly awesome song with a techno flare. It's about running away from society with the person you love... like a fantasty song. The only bad aspect is that it can get repetative. 4/5
2.All The Things She Said- Great song! It's basically expressing the general angst of being in love and no one understands your love, and it's driving you insane. Great poetic lines, and not as repetative as track 1. 5/5
3.Show Me Love- Has a very cool russian opening where Julia and Lena are talking on the phone. I love how this album incorporates some russian into the english songs. This song is a very upbeat dance track. It's about being lonely and wanting someone to show you love. It contains my favorite lines on the CD. When expressing why you're attracted to someone they sing that it's "like a game of pick-up-sticks, played by f***in' lunatics" Also, the only hardcore cuss word on the CD. Great Song! 5/5
4.30 Minutes- Very creepy! It's a ballad. There's this creepy laughter in the background that adds a very eerie feeling, especially if you're alone. It's about making decisions. wonderful song! 5/5
5.How Soon Is Now?- a cover of the Smith's song. I've heard both. I know I might get lacerated for this, but this version is significantly better. Probably the most rock influenced track. A truly honest expression of loneliness and needing love. Arguable my favorite. 5/5
6.Clowns(Can You See Me Now?)-Very techno influenced. Probably the most poetic and metaphorical lyrics. It can have 2 interpretations in my opinion. One is how ignorant people shield themselves from what they don't understand. Or, I also interpret it as an expression of wanting the object of your love to see you and that you love them, but they're so consumed with everyone around them that they can't. Can get repetative though. 4/5
7.Malchik Gay- It means "Gay Boy". Probably the most american sounding song. It's about being in love, but the person you love is taken. Incredibly relatable. It might get annoying to some though with the repitition. But, it's arguable one of my favorites just because of the topic and lyrics. 5/5
8.Stars- Truly Captivating! The girls go back and forth from verses in english to verses of russian rap. The russian sounds so awesome. I love songs in different languages, and to also have english in it is very cool. The saxophone in it provides for a very smooth melody. It's a very slow and soothing song. It's basically just about how it shouldn't have to be this hard for homosexual people in society. Great Song! 5/5
9.Ya sashla s uma- original russian version of "All The Things She Said" It's very cool to hear it in russian and go back and forth between this and the english version. Because the girls are singing in their native language, the passion in their vocals really stands out. Very cool to listen to. 5/5
10.Nas Ne Dagonjat- original russian version of "Not Ganna Get Us" Again, very cool to listen to the russian version. It makes you want to learn russian! lol. 5/5
11.Show Me Love(Extended Version)- This is the extended version of Show Me Love. If you like the original, you'll like this. It has a different opening that's more rock oriented. Awesome! 5/5
This album is truly amazing! The lyrics are very genuine and honest, and it truly expresses a soul that is tormented by the angst, depression, and loneliness that encompasses being different. It expresses the shameful shyness that homosexual people experience in their lives. The lyrics are also written in a very illusive way to where not just homosexual people, but that everyone can relate to. Regardless of whether or not Julia and Lena are actually homosexual in their personal lives, the fact that they do express it and put it out for people to hear is awesome. I encourage you to purchase this utterly amazing and expressive album. You will not be dissapointed. It is a must have!