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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/b91a620625b69d00da392ee35ffdd434d127d5f1.jpg Sounds From Nowheresville

The Ting Tings

Sounds From Nowheresville

Columbia
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10
March 13, 2012

"Should have been a lawyer," barks Katie White on the Ting Tings' second album.  She certainly knows how to argue her case. In 2008, the English duo emerged as international stars with sassy punk- pop rants like "That's Not My Name." Here, the band again is at its best when White is proclaiming ("I'm gonna paint my face like the Guggenheim!") and dissing ("Liar, liar/Your words expire") in a voice pitched somewhere between cheerleader, rapper and Tourette's sufferer. The music dips into ska, Eighties electro and power ballads, and the sumptuously noirish torch song "In Your Life" proves White's heart is as big as her spleen.

Listen to "Hang It Up":

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Photos: Random Notes

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    Song Stories

    “Try a Little Tenderness”

    Otis Redding | 1966

    This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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