|If you told me last year that the controversial Russian pop duo Tatu would be back in the studio doing new recording work, I wouldn't have believed it, given how they seemed to be fading fast in popularity. But I think I am to be proven wrong, and they will do more than make just a comeback, and a huge one at that! |
Tatu, since their 2002 English-language debut album 200 km/h In The Wrong, have changed and grown up. One of the best changes, or decisions if you will, was sacking their crazy producer/manager Ivan Shapovalov. He was responsible for the duo's faux lesbian image, which more than stirred controversy as their debut video "All The Things She Said" featured the girls, when they were still underage teens, kissing each other openly.
Ivan's egocentric and just-plain-weird decisions as well as his total control of the band badly tarnished the group's image in parts around the world, especially with their never-changing image as a lesbian group, which lost its shock appeal after about a year since their exposure in the West.
Tatu have enlisted Caresse Henry, who previously managed Madonna, as their new manager. They've since got their act together and recorded a new 12-track album for English-speaking countries called Dangerous And Moving.
Everyone remembers of course how Tatu sounded on their first album. Well, when I wrote that they've "grown up," I not only meant as people, but also in their sound as well. Songs on Dangerous and Moving include contributions from special guests such as Sting, Richard Carpenter (The Carpenters), Michael Urbano (Cracker, Todd Rundgren), Dominic Miller (Sting), Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Dave Lopez (Flipsyde) and Trevor Horn (Yes, Grace Jones, Seal).
The album's theme is much heavier in general than the debut album in musical style and performance. There are more angry lyrics in some songs, but also softer, even apolegetic ones.
The first track, "Dangerous And Moving (Intro)," is an instrumental teaser of the title track (actually the last track on the album), which starts to build up the setting. Then it segues quietly into "All About Us," which is one of the most powerful tracks on the album. This sets into place the heavy feel of the album. The song is about how people do not really understand what the girls are "about," and probably takes a stab at the rumours that have flown in the tabloids and Internet about the two girls.
The video for the song, however, gives a different interpretation of the song, and I think the video itself will serve to continue the band's controversial image, albeit not in the homosexual sense, but in a different light. Be warned: the uncensored version has very graphic violence near the end.
"Gomenasai" is a heartfelt apology to the group's Japanese fans, who they angered when Ivan forced them to cancel an appearance on a popular TV show, at the last minute (literally) during the middle of the live broadcast in 2003. This is one of the more softer, gentler songs on the album.
All in all, I think this is an excellent album not to be missed, whether you liked Tatu or not back in 2002/2003, when they were very much different people. They are still different from us, and it really shows.
Instead of giving the album a rating, I will say that it is worthy of your digital music collections, whether as a CD or as part of your iPod library. The album is due to come out October 25, but you won't tire of this album anytime soon after it comes out. Definitely to be enjoyed over and over!