Sunday, August 28, 2005

More t.A.T.u. album gubbins

I wrote a long post about two leaked album tracks and my computer died, so here I go (impossible?) again.

"Dangerous and Moving", is, in its Russian incarnation, the first single released in Russia. It appears twice on the album, firstly, the intro is track 1, and that's repeated along with the rest of the song proper at the end of the album. It's notable in that its lyrics read like a mantra of defeat. "Not Gonna Get Us" indicated the chase, this almost is a concession of defeat:

Obscales and signs, perilous and looming
Dangerous and moving, dangerous and moving

Some of the techno and torch has been toned down, the unstoppable charge forward remains, but it's still somewhat subdued. It's built upon a very 90s synth-trance keyboard line - that style is still very popular in Eastern Europe - and some slightly more modern beats, but underneath that, there are some "actual" instruments that give the song's defeatism away. When the big synths are playing, they're running and making ground and getting away. When they cut out, it's as if the protesters, the chasers and the naysayers are getting close and the story's going to end. Which is appropriate for an album closer or a cliffhanger, no?

Even for t.A.T.u. the vocals are particularly strangulated and urgent, even when set against such an abrasive backing as they are here. The closest sonic relative of the non-techno parts of this song would be Garbage's "You Look So Fine", well, its outro anyway, particularly in the sludgy guitars that coat the whole thing in death three minutes in, and there's a thematic link - in both songs, even as the lyrics declare that everything's going to continue against the struggle, the music, the melody indicates that it's a hopeless cause. Lena and Yulia can get past every obstacle thrown at them in their narrative (and this is a fantastic continuation of their script), but there will always be more, and there's an air of futility in the struggle, particularly as the song fades out bleakly. It's a definite winner.

Also a winner is track three, "Cosmos (Outer Space)" which starts out sounding like "30 Minutes" off the first album, but develops into a muscular, bassy prowl, with some fantastic growled vocals. I could easily be confusing the t.A.T.u. lasses' attempts to get around unnatural English sounds with passion. Like "30 Minutes" and also "Clowns", the lyrics are gibberish - rudimentary ESL rhymes ("fly away/time machine" indeed), but it's extraordinarily felt gibberish all the same. This song was originally only going to be in Russian, and a lot of the fansites seemed surprised it's popped up as an English version.

The flow reminds me a bit of "We Didn't Start The Fire" of all things. It's delivered with more than enough charm to make even ME who doubted how many permutations of the running away from the nebulous people trying to break up our duo would be workable as pop songs, realise that, given that the essence of tATu isn't lesbianism, it's rebellion and forbidden love, the concept can certainly go on forever.

It culminates, splendidly, with a delightfully meaningless chorus:

Our home forever is outer space!
Let's dance on endless seas - outer space!
New hope, new destinies - outer space!
Forever we'll be in outer space, outer space!

It's definitely the most rock song they've ever done, definitely the "heaviest", as useless a measure as that is, but the vocal training Yulia's had has really paid off - she's screaming beautifully here.

The anticipation for the rest of the songs is massive in Casa EO.

t.A.T.u. - Cosmos (Outer Space)


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