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All about us reviews [Stylus Magazine, CD UK, BBC]

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Post subject: All about us reviews [Stylus Magazine, CD UK, BBC] Reply with quote
Ok, I thought it would be better to have all the new All about us reviews in one thread.
So,I start:


Tatu – All About Us [8.07]

Patrick McNally: When you’re a kid you know that orange cordial is nice and so want to drink the syrup without added water. The concentrated hit has to be better. Eventually when you get old enough to do stuff behind your mum’s back you try it and it’s foul. This distillation of everything that was great about the first Tatu LP is like trying it and finding that it’s even more delicious.

Alex Macpherson: Back from the dead, and stronger than ever before: whereas tATu '03 traded on desperation, paranoia and shame, tATu '05 are bold, brash and unstoppable. If 'All The Things She Said' and 'Not Gonna Get Us' saw them running away from a cruel world to preserve their love, 'All About Us' sees them returning to storm the gates and usher in their new world order. You can imagine those pounding war drums soundtracking the Bolshevik revolution - there's certainly a similar sense of collective running through the lyrics, drawing strength from standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow revolutionaries. "If. They. Hurt. You. They. Hurt. ME. TOO.": spine-tinglingly magnificent pop moment of the year.

John Cameron: "We us me you us we us me you us you me us," okay, we fucking get it.

Jonathan Bradley: I have some trouble rationalising to myself why I like the hyper-emotional irrationality of Tatu and not the hyper-emotional irrationality of, say, Linkin Park. Both groups revel in taking their melodramatic teenage angst to an extreme. Both posit a cruel world that either refuses to or is unable to understand the emotional needs of the respective protagonists. So why do I find the Russian faux lesbians so enchanting and the American geeks so painful? Perhaps it's that Tatu find refuge from an uncaring world in each other’s love rather than their own narcissism, or maybe the post-communist grit of the music gives their desperation a far more believable context than the pampered art-school backgrounds of their whining nu-metal counterparts. Then again, it could just be that strings and rushing dance beats provide a far more palatable bedrock for modern-day Holden Caulfields than turgid metal guitar.

Tom Ewing: It made their people a whole lot of money but the lesbian stuff was never what made this band great. Tatu are high-octane pulp hyperfiction for hormonal outsiders, and the girl-girl action is no more the point of them than superpowers are the point of the X-Men. It was a means to an end - establishing the girls as inseparable in a world that fears them - and "All About Us" takes that theme and works it even harder, even better. Trevor Horn's production is as widescreen as ever and the hooks are instant but this is all about the pose, the passion and the paranoia. "If. They. Hurt. You. They. Hurt. Me. Too." - every word raising the stakes and amping the drama to absurd, beautiful levels. There is honestly nothing else in pop like them.




All About Us

* * * *

To the best of our knowledge, Russia is a vladi scary place to live right now. As far as we can tell, every second person is a mafia monster, a muscle-bound psychopath who’ll shoot you dead as soon as look at you. And the others? They’ve just been shot dead by the first bunch.

Add to that, the country’s soaring class divide, and the kind of (how to put this on a family website?) physical commerce which makes Victorian London look like an away-day in a monastery, and it’s all too clear why t.A.T.u. are the most exciting pop act we’ve experienced for years.

It’s because t.A.T.u – like their motherland – are unbelievably dangerous.

And we mean that sincerely. t.A.T.u. honestly give us the impression that they could have us killed. Compare that with… say, Girls Aloud, who – at the very worst – could inveigle us into a situation where we might have to make regular payments to the Child Support Agency. Or The Pussycat Dolls, who could just about blind us with the steely glow of their over-bleached teeth. Or the Sugababes, who could possibly sulk us to sleep. None of them can do what t.A.T.u. do so effortlessly: scare us.

Forgive us for getting all “it were all hills around here” but, once upon a time, lots of pop music was like this – dangerous, uncompromising and brutal. Pop music was a threat. Pop music scared your parents. And, whereas nowadays the most exciting thing a popstar’s likely to do is perform a costume change, popstars actually used to change the world. And they did it by adopting the first rule of any revolution: there’s YOU and there’s THEM. And (unless it involves crowbars and molotov cocktails) never the twain shall meet.

Which is entirely what ‘All About Us’ is about (and, for that matter, t.A.T.u.’s two other genius singles, ‘All The Things She Said’ and, especially, ‘Not Gonna Get Us’). As the lyrics slowly reveal themselves – timed out one word per line, like some kind of slow-moving tank attack - it’s spelled out pure and simple, in black and white: “If / they / hurt / you / they / hurt / me / too.” And they’re not just talking about some fictional relationship; they’re talking about US (the young, free people) and THEM (parents / government / all forces of authority). Make no mistake: this is fight music – and its simple sophistication makes most punk rock protests look like the juvenile flailings of a teething toddler.

Why is this so important? Well, it’s important because, at long last, pop has starkly come to terms with the fundamental ground zero of teenage emotion: they’re out to get me and no one understands – without resorting to whiny Kevin The Teenager grumbling. It’s articulate, it’s powerful and it’s got a melody so cold and sturdy you could cross the Siberian tundra on it.

No wonder the tabloids were up in arms about t.A.T.u. all those years ago. It’s nothing to do with girlie snogging. And it’s nothing to do with dodgy marketing. But it’s everything to do with teenage independence and a stone-cold refusal to listen to your elders. They’re right to be afraid. And you’re right to be excited.



All About Us is a moving song which skates on the brink of sentimetality with every note. I am sure Tatu are capable of galvanizing a broad world wide audience.


PostSat Oct 01, 2005 2:26 pm
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Canadian review!

It was their first English-language CD, but one monster top 40 hit called "All The Things She Said" drove the sales of "200 km/h In The Wrong Lane" to over 5 million copies worldwide! In the blink of an eye, this controversial Russian-duo became international pop-music icons.

Two years later, Julia Volkova and Lena Katina are on the doorstep of fame again with the release of t.A.T.u.s follow-up CD entitled Dangerous and Moving. As proven by the first single "All About Us", this new album takes the dance-pop sensibilities heard on t.A.T.u.s last album, and brings them to the next level.

PostSat Oct 01, 2005 2:37 pm
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chris p


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The CD:UK review is brilliant.One of the best I've read of any record being reviewed.
Meanwhile,the BBC one is...er...a bit crap.

Thanks for posting them. Thumb
"I need ooh la la la la ..."...in fact I need a drink.
PostSat Oct 01, 2005 3:03 pm
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Great review from most of them - This is looking really promising for tATu - it seems that everyone is lovin' their comeback just as much as we are! Thumb Grin
PostSun Oct 02, 2005 6:24 am
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This is a little review of AAU in Hot Stars mag, that comes with OK! Magazine. Grin

It's difficult to keep up with this pesky pair. First they're lesbians, then they're not, then maybe they are.....
Make your minds up girls, it's not that tricky. Well, whatever, at least they're not having an identity crisis musically - this is charactaristically brilliant, dramatic pop.

Rating - 4 stars out of 5 Smile
PostSun Oct 02, 2005 12:09 pm
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Blackcat wrote:
It's difficult to keep up with this pesky pair. First they're lesbians, then they're not, then maybe they are.....
Make your minds up girls, it's not that tricky. Well, whatever, at least they're not having an identity crisis musically - this is charactaristically brilliant, dramatic pop.

Rating - 4 stars out of 5 Smile

LOL!!! Short, but on the spot! Grin Thumb
PostSun Oct 02, 2005 7:02 pm
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Wow, great reviews. But the UK has always been a little friendlier. I have a feeling some of the US reviews are gonna be bile-ridden, with fangs.
PostSun Oct 02, 2005 11:20 pm
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POP! At Number 8 we welcome back one of the decade's more interesting ideas - Tatu. The story of Julia and Lena (at least as far as the UK is concerned) is an intriguing one. Back in 2003 we were seduced by them in the same way the rest of Europe had been the previous year. Two Russian girls, dressing in school uniforms, claiming to be lesbians and singing exquisite pop records produced by no less a legend than Trevor Horn. 'All The Things She Said' raced to the top of the charts with pride and the album began to sell steadily. What nobody reckoned on was the more downmarket end of the British press which at times has a pedophilia obsession that goes beyond parody. The antics of Tatu's then manager Ivan Shapovalov and his cheerful admittance that the image of his charges was designed to be a bit pervy prompted a press campaign against them. Knocking copy rather than an appreciation of their music became the order of the day. Don't believe me? Check out the scoring for the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest in which the pair represented Russia. They came third in the end, their ultimate defeat almost certainly down to the fact that only two nations failed to give them any points - Britain and Ireland. Second single 'Not Gonna Get Us' made a brief chart appearance, the arenas booked for their summertime concerts failed to sell and just like that Tatu appeared to be over - not least with Julia falling pregnant and thus ruining the whole lesbian chic thing (which in truth nobody really bought into anyway).

So after all of that it is something of a joyful surprise to see them return. Shapovalov is history, replaced by a new manager and a new Russian label who swiftly realised that the Tatu brand was strong enough not to need a dodgy image. Still, it wouldn't be Tatu without a little controversy so the video for 'All About Us' features a graphic shooting scene that has proved to be a little too hot for some TV channels. For all the fuss about their return, 'All About Us' isn't quite as strong a single as some of their earlier ones and at times has struggled for airplay here. I was actually sceptical about its chart chances so it is a pleasant surprise to see the single vault comfortably into the Top 10 at Number 8 and put the pair firmly into the public eye once again. For those of us who are Tatu junkies, just like last time there is an English version and a Russian version of their new album available. I'm happy to admit I'll have both on repeat for the next month.



He does write an excellent chart commentary, and it's nice to know he thinks so highly of good pop music!
PostMon Oct 03, 2005 3:44 pm
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