REQUEST MAGAZINE November - December 2002

t.A.T.u. 200 km/hr in the Wrong Lane (Interscope, Oct. 22)

With Britney Spears on hiatus, the Russian duo t.A.T.u. stands ready to overthrow the reigning pop princess.

Many words (and pictorial pages) will be devoted to these Moscow teenagers' embrace of lesbianism -and eachother -in their video, "All the Things She Said" (named Video of the Year by MTV Russia). Directed by their manager Ivan Shapovalov, it's a metaphor about societal pressure, featuring the dynamic duo in rain- soaked school uniforms, with hands clasped and lips locked at various times.

Granted, the question of sexual exploitation may hover over the clip, which is unfortunate beacuse the album as a whole is a groundbreaking electronic pop blast. English dance-rock legend Trevor Horn (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Pet Shop Boys) oversaw the English version of the album, whose opening track, "Not Gonna Get Us," sounds like Republica's "Ready to Go," and sets the album's urgent tone. The single, "All the Things She Said." and third track "Show Me Love," are crunching electronic-rock pleas, while the icy piano piece "30 Minutes" recalls Kate Bush's quieter moments.

200 km is titillating to a degree, but thought- provoking throughout thanks to songs with consistent themes about repression, desire, and the consequences of tough choices. Even a remake of the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?" makes its point about the frustrating search for affection. Although, when these teens boldy put society's taboos in the open, the real question to consider is, "What Differece Does It Make?"

Source: by Jim Meyer, REQUEST MAGAZINE. Special Thanks to Aya Walraven

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