ALBUM REVIEW: The Ting Tings – The Black Light

There are just some songs in the world that you will never forget and The Ting Ting’s have a couple of those songs under their belt with ‘That’s Not My Name’ and ‘Great DJ’. The British duo are one of my not so secret guilty pleasures with their alternative pop fusion which is so experimental, fun and quirky. However it has been four years since the band have released their under-appreciated third studio album ‘Super Critical’ but they don’t seem to care about that as they’ve just returned with a darker new sound. Their fourth studio album ‘The Black Light’ is a short but painful affair of confusing experimentation that is almost unlistenable. From the opening riff of ‘Estranged’ that launches into a 3am rave beat, you will find yourself quickly questioning what is going on. It’s as if The Prodigy had a love child with Kate Nash but it somehow got into a bag of LCD. And that definition makes it sound kind of cool, but it’s not. I really wanted to love this record, I really did but I just couldn’t. ‘Blacklight’, ‘A&E’, ‘Earthquake’ and ‘Fine & Dandy’ are just lost in another world and they try so hard to make it work, they really do, but it doesn’t. They are hard to get through on a first listen that a second listen isn’t even questionable.  A lot of the songs are very in your face and almost feel incorrectly synched with Katie’s vocals as they sound annoyingly off beat.

In saying that ‘Basement’ and ‘Word For This’ are the records “strongest” moments and give you something you can at least bop along to and kind of reminisce on their old records which are a lot stronger and more cohesive. With only 8 songs, it’s sad that this record feels so long. But I guess that’s just a strong testament in just how different and interesting their record is.

2 Replies to “ALBUM REVIEW: The Ting Tings – The Black Light”

  1. Might be worth adding an addendum for the ‘Manchester Version’ of this LP.

    Looks like they did a similar thing to Editors ‘Violence’/’The Blanck Mass Sessions’ where the pushback on a regressive/trend-chasing and miss-fired production and released a more raw production which I assume is closer to what the bands themselves feel happier with.

    I wonder if Duran Duran might rerelease ‘Red Carpet Massacre’ sans the Timberland doing a phone-in Timberland impression production.

  2. Hmm, i know it’s all subjective but i just dont see where this review is coming from. Granted I have been listening to the Manchester version, but i am digging the lp more with each listen. It’s raw yet melodic and some intense emotion mixed with pure fun. I pout it down as their best lp.

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