Saturday, 13 June 2009

Track By Track Review: Tiga - "Ciao!"

Yeah, we know, this is really really late.

So, Canada's favourite boyband-faced electro kid is back for album two. And while a lot of bands seem to struggle with Sophomore releases, Tiga hits back harder, louder, catchier and... dare I say it... sexier.

First up is "Beep Beep Beep", and Tiga doesn't fuck around, ditching the "long intro to first track" ethic with the full beat coming in straight off the bat. And it's a great start, with pop vocals, jazzy piano chorus and some nice percussion towards the end. This is the way you keep people interested.

Cutting away from the relaxed-yet-jumpy feel of the last track entirely, next up is lead single "Mind Dimension", a weird, experimental, and best of all, Soulwax-produced acid electro tune. If it can even be called a tune. The Dewaele brothers sure did a fucking number on this one, chopping up, rearranging, blasting a serenade of "Everytime I look into your eyes I see the future" to hell, but sadly, failing to make the track go anywhere. No build-ups. No big drops. Nothing. However, due to it's choppy, twisted fucked-up-ness, it's gained notoriety as a remix tool, with countless remixes popping up everywhere. Check out the Mansion and Youth Attack! remixes.

Next is another single "Shoes", a funky electro pop song with just a hint of acid. Can't go far wrong with the occasional 303! You'll either love it or hate it, but the general consensus seems to be that most people love it. You might find the lyrics cringeworthy, but it's still a good pop song for a dance around your room when no-one's watching. A grower.

Coming up after that, most recent single "What You Need". This is when things start getting really awesome. Great electro synths, fantastic layered percussion and those catchy Prodigy-style samples of "Bring the beats 'cause I'm hardcore" make this track a winner!

Next is "Luxury", an electrofunk slow jam that could've been a collaboration between Roger Troutman and Robbie Williams if you wished hard enough... WAIT, COME BACK! This is GOOD! It's got really complicated synth solos and everything! What? You're still leaving? Fine, your loss! While it might lack the punch of some of the other tracks, again, it's a nice pop track to get down to.

After a quick fade out, the Nintendo bass of "Sex O'Clock" comes in. While the 8bit is a nice touch and the whispers of "Tick tock, it's Sex O'Clock" will be stuck in your head for days... well, that's not a good thing really. Although the instrumental is nice, this one kind of falls flat.

Next, the rumbling bass and 808 cowbells of "Overtime" begin. It soon becomes clear which elements of ZZT's "The Worm" Tiga was responsible for (ZZT is a collaboration between Tiga and Zombie Nation). Around halfway through, the vocals kick in, with that electro boyband sound that he is known for. Not the best track here, but noteworthy.

"Turn The Night On" is a catchy slice of modern-day uptempo synthpop with a nice piano groove and... oh my god... is that a melodica solo? Wow, I didn't think anyone but charlieissocoollike could pull that off, but this is a very good song! Good show Tiga!

The fast theme is kept with the next track, "Speak, Memory". However, this one's more reminiscent of Heads We Dance than DatA, packed with ray gun sounds and 80s nostalgia. Not what I expected from a Tiga album really, but then again, I'd never really listened to much Tiga prior to this album. Another nice synthpop track.

"Gentle Giant" is next. When I heard the opening I thought Depeche Mode had hijacked the record. A soft, dark track, its primitive percussion, prowling bass synths and onomatopoeic title are the ultimate definition of the word "retro". Damn, Tiga is way too good at this synthpop stuff.

Finally, an epic closer to this album, the 10-minute love song "Love Don't Dance Here Anymore". The opening piano reminds me of Daft Punk's "Something About Us". The first two minutes trick the listener into believing that this album will be closed with some kind of classical odyssey, but then... just as it occurs to you that the only proper way to close an album is with some disco... it drops. The beat comes in, we get a repeat of the vocals over some backing funk with phasers set to stun (get it?), and the whole shifts into full-on disco mode. This is the proper way an album should be closed.

So, overall, "Ciao!" is... well, let's just say NME's 6/10 rating doesn't do it justice. Rob your own grandmother for a copy.
Overall Score: 8/10

Now for my picks from the album:

Tiga - Beep Beep Beep [Right Click To Download]

Tiga - What You Need [Right Click To Download]

Tiga - Love Don't Dance Here Anymore [Right Click To Download]

Ciao! (Oh come on, Tiga set me up for that one!)


Mr. Brown said...

Nice review, now I feel sad not doing it...

But mind dimension needs some loving for god's sake. It IS the best song on the album, why can't anyone hear it's genius, sigh.

The album's a grower so who knows it'll eventually happen.


Joe said...

Mind Dimension's a good track, but to me it just seems like a DJ tool.

Boba Fettuccini said...

I wouldn't call that last track disco.