Picks and Pans Review: Quick Cuts
>THE TING TINGS
Sounds from Nowheresville
There’s nothing here to match the giddy heights of “Shut Up and Let Me Go” or “That’s Not My Name.” But the No Doubt-esque “Soul Killing” comes close, and the duo get points for venturing into new sonic territory.
Letters from Birmingham
Taking inspiration from his own marriage, the 2003 American Idol traces the arc of a relationship—from courtship to divorce. Emphasizing the sweet over the bitter, though, he’s still the Velvet Teddy Bear.
Break It Yourself
With his chamber pop and rich, mellifluous voice, this singer-violinist sometimes suggests Rufus Wainwright with a fiddle. But there’s a sense of whimsy—whether he’s plucking those strings or just whistling—that’s all his own.
On a rock-edged side project with Dot Da Genius, Kid Cudi fails to conjure up the magic of his best solo work. It’s not a total disaster, but a painful “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” should make Cudi hang up the Kurt Cobain act.