Dangerous and Moving (Splendid Magazine)Time of publication: 25.10.2005
|When in doubt, bring in the lesbians -- especially if the lesbians in question are cute young Russian girls. Remember that video t.A.T.u. did? Damn, that thing was sexy! They probably sold a million copies and inspired at least 10,000 teens to finally "come out". Sadly, that was then and this is now, and they've left the overtly Sapphic shtick behind; Julia (Volkova) and Lena (Katina) are fully clothed in all of Dangerous and Moving's CD booklet photos. There's only one picture where they so much as touch, and it's more of a friendly, reassuring, "cheer-up, don't be mad at me" pose. Shit. |
Without the lurid drool factor, our attention must turn to t.A.T.u.'s music, which is not necessarily a blessing. On one hand, Dangerous and Moving is a sonic masterpiece -- fucking amazing producers and engineers such as Robert Orton (Seal), Ed Buller (The London Suede, Pulp), Andy Kubiszewski (Stabbing Westward, Nine Inch Nails) and Sir Trevor Horn worked in fantastic studios all over the globe to mold this music into perfection. It's an opulent palace, full of electronics, guitars and string sections, and no vocalist, no matter how untalented, should be able to fail within its walls. Buller washes "Loves Me Not" in gently filtered pianos and music boxes for the verses, then brings in screaming rock-meets-techno guitars and beats during the chorus; For "Craving (I Only Want What I Can't Have)", Horn combines an effective mix of live flute, Melotron choirs, a palette of the finest percussion sounds and tremolo-affected twang, yielding the best song Depeche Mode never recorded. However, Julia and Lena's voices are nothing special, and their lyrics are still derivative -- suitable fodder for Charmed or a Rachel Leigh Cook movie (picture Cook driving in an old MG, crying and pounding on the steering wheel, frustrated beyond belief by that damned Freddie Prinze Jr.), but not the sort of thing that makes a lasting impression.
I once told a couple of female acquaintances who'd just gotten matching haircuts, "Hey, you two are t.A.T.u.!" A few minutes later, one of them literally slammed a door in my face as we walked out of a club. What does this have to do with anything? For better or worse, I -- and millions of other people around the world -- will never forget the name t.A.T.u. They're infamous -- but sadly, it still isn't because of their music, and at this rate it never will be.
Splendid Magazine, splendidmagazine.com
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