Ting Tings - Super Critical

2008 saw the indelible indie-pop sound of Salford duo The Ting Tings embedded in our minds. Releasing ‘That’s Not My Name’ which exploded with popularity and then following it up later with debut album We Started Nothing, the band saw their fame increase with rapid progression. Fading away somewhat for four years after their initial success, the group returned in 2012 with second album Sounds from Nowheresville, said to be heavily inspired by the sound of the Beastie Boys. Meeting both negative responses from the media and fans for their more serious sound, The Ting Tings flew out to Ibiza in the September of same year and begun work upon their latest creation Super Critical. Crammed with the components of disco, funk and dance alongside seeing the pair reinstate their entertaining side, the pair’s third album showcases an almost complete alteration in The Ting Tings sound.

From opening, it’s become evident that Super Critical exhibits a sound unfamiliar to come from The Ting Tings. With the first couple of bar sections of beginning track ‘Super Critical’ displaying smoother vocals, hand claps and drums at the head position, The Ting Tings recently discovered appealing disco-pop sound is made clear. The track is further expanded later with the sounds of brass, funk style guitar riffs and strong kick drums, fully launching The Ting Tings into the genres of disco and dance, a position which the group slot into with ease.

‘Do It Again’, ‘Wrong Club’ and ‘Only Love’ provide further confirmation of the duo’s endeavours into the energetic sounds of 1970s. Each integrating mighty drumbeats, White’s attitude vocals and mesmerising guitar riffs, the animated upbeat sound that disco promotes is fully reincarnated.

Super Critical also presents The Ting Tings exploring and utilising electronic instrumentation such as synthesisers. ‘Wabi Sabi’, ‘Communication’ and ‘Green Poison’ all ring clear of synthesiser noises and sounds related to the 1980s, perhaps representing how disco evolved in the decade known as the ‘computer age’.

Generating an album bursting with pleasing, sparkling and polished sounds, Super Critical echoes the glamour that disco often comes packaged with. Whilst possibly representing disco through its development in the 1970s and 1980s, The Ting Tings’ third album rebirths the care-free environment and enjoyment that disco produces, making it impossible for Super Critical’s memorable riffs not to induce feelings of those weekend nights on the dance floor.

Aaron Joliff

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