21 September 2005

tatu - "all about us" (from the dangerous and moving lp, available for preorder here.)

in brief : if you cared the first time around, you'll be surprised to hear that you should still care.

you're thinking: didn't i already sell you? didn't i see you in the cut-out bin last week?

no, no, b/c this is the new album by tatu, described elsewhere on the net as, interestingly enough, the comeback album by tatu. drafted for the comeback is just about the damnedest guest list i've ever seen. sure, one expects to see trevor horn and dave stewart involved in a project like this, but how about sting? and--in the coup of some sort--richard carpenter?

the question lingers: is this worth any of our time? at first glance, it would seem not, for if ever there was a one-hit wonder ... (though i thought the same about shaggy.) for the first thirty-five seconds or so, i didn't think so, the single sounding somewhat like evanescence played by the trans-siberian orchestra--but, then, something rather remarkable happened. it might just be a weakness in my constitution, who knows, but there is this "ahhh ahhh" sung so beautifully in the chorus, in stark contrast to its industrial surroundings, and the whole tone of the single changes for me. it's one of those great fillips that make good pop tunes better and, like the "oh yeah!" in "dancing queen," makes great songs classics.

apart from that "ahhh ahhh," the chorus of "all about us" contains scant more than just those three words. it seems to me that, unlike, say, diddy or pharrell, tatu are better the more self-involved they get. (yes, yes, a loaded statement, and totally meant, but they're not an item and never were. one of them actually just had a kid.)

asked about the credits for "all about us," the girls replied, "a number of people wrote it….but I forget who. ... it was some american songwriters. the song 'all about us.'" their self-involvement and their lack of involvement in the songwriting process, though a lack that never seems to signify when the song itself is playing, calls to mind the myrmidons of melodrama: the shangri-las. the major difference is generational: the shangri-las were there at the birth of the teenager and the death of camelot; tatu perform in an era of the sainted teenager and came of age in a post-soviet russia (both girls were six when yeltsin was elected). the names may have changed, but the song remains the same. you'll cherish this single until you sell it back to the record store.

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