Friday, August 12, 2005

So, this TATU single then.

"All About Us" shows us a t.A.T.u. no longer bonded together physically like moths to flame and iron filings to a magnet, but more psychologically bound - the urgent "If they hurt you, they hurt me too" suggests Lena and Katina as a kind of unitary entity. No longer staring at people trapped behind a fence (of their own prejudice), blowing up carousels in jealousy or running for their lives, it's more like the lesbianism is a way of fulfilling a deep psychological requirement of companionship and allegiance rather than a physical. A tight, inseparable unit where the tie is unbreakable and it probably only vaguely goes into the realm of the sexual if the listener insists on that interpretation.

Sonically, it's a fantastic statement of intent that adds some Swedish lilt to its bleak Russian frost. Personality-wise, t.A.T.u. are absolutely at the top of their games, inhabiting this amazing narrative, even if the words, at their purely denotative level are completely banal, with sheer force and determination. The back story of fake lesbianism actually gives this distinctly non-sexual song a useful context. If anything, it establishes Lena and Yulia more like a friendship that crosses into the sexual incidentally rather than deliberately or even consistently. Inseparable, at least on record, if not in reality, if you can understand. The teenage girls will, and they know more than twenty-something amateur critics.

The middle section is absolutely arctic with chill, but that chorus has wings once you get over its relative lack of parent-disobeying, rebelling sturm und dreng. The us-against-them of "Not Gonna Get Us" is the nearest thing thematically, the musical drama seems to be most closely related to "Show Me Love", and if your first listen indicates it's a lame duck, give it another. You'll find the way each repetition of "it's all about us" has slightly different intonations, which reminds you of the amazing break after the first chorus in the still-astonishing epic of "All The Things She Said".

It's great pop. It plays with their history, while not being controlled by it. As with the Sugababes' new one, this is a pop group at the height of their powers on a personality/thematic level, and as such quality of the material almost doesn't matter. But the material's extremely good, so we all win.

Breathtaking.

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At 3:41 AM, Blogger doughboy said...

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