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We Started Nothing

74 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 3, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

10 tracks. Katie White and Jules De Martino needed a name for the "unintentional band" they'd created in 2007. For the sheer fun of it, Katie (vocals, guitar and bass drum) and Jules (vocals, drums, electronics) had begun writing songs together and doing impromptu shows as a two piece. Suddenly, they were generating massive excitement at a series of house parties at Manchester's Islington Mill, a derelict cotton mill from the Industrial Revolution converted into a thriving underground artist collective housing painters, filmmakers, writers, sculptures, musicians and more.

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The debut album by Salford's The Ting Tings comes hot on the heels of their No.1 single "That's Not My Name", a nugget of pop gold that comes on like a genetic splicing of Toni Basil's "Micky" and The Knack's "My Sharona". The bulk of We Started Nothing follows a similar formula, navigating a path between the smart, angular indie of CSS, Bonde Do Role, et al and the pop mainstream. Here and there, they pull it off perfectly: the stutter-rap of "Fruit Machine" sees vocalist Katie White leading on some poor sap with sultry charisma and lip-gloss sass, while the excellent "Shut Up and Let Me Go" is snappy dance-punk in the spirit of Blondie's "Rapture" or Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love". Elsewhere, they branch out with mixed results. "We Walk" builds from quiet flourishes of piano into a surprisingly steely manifesto: "Smash the rest up/Burn it down/Put us in the corner cause we're into ideas", sneers White. Rather less good is "Traffic Light", a light, jazzy number that employs a number of somewhat forced driving metaphors to describe a relationship hit the skids. Still, it's a debut with promise, and a string of good singles is nothing to be sniffed at. -–Louis Pattison

1. Great DJ
2. That's Not My Name
3. Fruit Machine
4. Traffic Light
5. Shut Up And Let Me Go
6. Keep Your Head
7. We Walk
8. Be The One
9. Impacilla Carpisung
10. We Started Nothing

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia/ Red Ink
  • ASIN: B0018OAPI4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,718 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Kirk J. Mckinley on May 23, 2008
Format: Vinyl
This album will probably be dismissed automatically by people like myself for being too manufactured, too saccharine, or too whatever, but the truth to this is that it is a fun, unapologetic, unassuming pop rock album that is a lot of fun.

Too often with rookie albums, whether pop or indie, the songs you've heard on the radio or wherever are light years better than the rest on the album (I'm looking squarely at you, MGMT). This is NOT the case with this album.

The album starts with two of their most biggest songs to date- Great DJ and That's Not My Name. Most bands would kill for just those two songs. Next up is Fruit Machine, which keeps the fun of the first two going with a lot less chanting. Traffic Light is a wonderful little jazz-pop plinky tune that will float in the summer breeze a lot this year.

Next up is the rousing Shut Up and Let Me Go, probably the most known in the US thanks to the latest iTunes/iPod commercial, with its solid rhythm section (a wise DJ will mash in Queen's Another One Bites The Dust). Keep Your Head follows with a fun popping, bopping synth line and drumming. If you haven't started dancing yet, this one will get you off you seat. Be The One follows a little more quietly, but still has a solid groove that will put a smile on your face.

We Walk starts in, and you think, "Uh, oh. They are going to get quiet and ballady now." Um, no. Not even close. Impacilla Carpisung is the Ting Tings getting crazy and a bit experimental. Not sure how I'm feeling on this one. We Started Nothing closes as a long jam that closes things well.

The last two are a bit 'scattered' to me, and don't really close the album the way it should be.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Kerr on July 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD
My new favorite album. Take the White Stripes and reverse the roles. Add in some Devo, electrified disco and Cibo Matto. This album is a blast.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The Ting Tings shot like a meteor onto the UK music scene in 2007, helped along by coverage from UK music rag NME. A year later, they reach to No. 1 in the UK singles chart and the debut album arrives.

"We Started Nothing" (10 tracks; 38 min.) starts off with the irresitable double blast of "Great DJ" and "That's Not My Name" (originaly released as a double-A single in 2007, and "That's Not My Name" re-released a year later, and reaching No.1 on the UK singles chart last month). But the fun doesn't stop there. The duo keeps things moving quite nicely, with "Shut Up and Let Me Go" (which reminds me of that song "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" of yesteryear), and it sounds like another sure-fire single to me. The second half of the album is not as strong, but still features several great tracks like "Keep Your Head", "Be The One", and in particular the closer, the 6+ min. title track, a great way to sum up the album.

In all, these songs just flow by in no time and before you know it you'll find yourself playing this again and again. "We Started Nothing" is not a grand 'artistic' statement, just an album with great fun, dance-along songs. I'll be catching the Ting Tings at the Monolith Festival (at the Red Rocks) in September, where they'll be playing the intimate WOXY-curated stage, and I can't wait to see how these songs will translate in a live setting. Totally unrelated, the internet-only station WOXY ("BAM! The Future of Rock'n'Roll!") plays these guys regularly, and they are the best source for indie music in the US, bar none.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By VMR on June 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The Ting Tings are the epitome of the fun and funky British pop. They've been in heavy rotation on my Ipod - I dare you to hear 'Fruit Machine' and not want to sing and dance along. What's it about Brits that they have such fun bands, and make pop music that doesn't sound cheap or embarrassingly mindless? Just for comparison, if you liked Lilly Allen, you should like The Ting Tings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. F. Whipple on December 31, 2008
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
When I first heard a performance by this English duo on MTV's Palladia HD, I immediately thought wow, that's really catchy and different. Are they a one-hit wonder or do they have the talent to play with this unique, off-beat vibe in other ways? Turns out the latter, as evidence by this clunker-free album and the rapid assault onto the UK Singles Chart.

I was concerned, actually, when I heard the opening riff on "That's Not My Name" because it sounded to me like a rehash of Toni Basil, which wouldn't have worked because "Hey Mickey" was never, er, "my thing," but the song goes in a different direction, and for a chart-topping, devil-may-care pop single it has an agreeable level of variety and complexity. It's my least favorite track on the album, but since it's also the most popular one, the band's certainly doing something right here.

The lyrics and videos are what they are, but White and De Martino have gobs of talent, and if they carry their raw, effervescent attitude and musical inventiveness through multiple albums, I think they'll easily find themselves in a position not unlike the B-52s. That is, wildly popular and probably rich. Good luck to them. If you have eclectic tastes and like to manage iPod playlists that range from Beethoven to Rush to, well, this, then I definitely suggest checking it out.

My Latest Novel
Dasha
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