Anyways, I'm not planning to sum up their career here, but rather focus on my enjoyment of their history. My fascination started with their story. It was a puppetry put together by Ivan Shapovalov in quite an exploiting manner. This is also a big reason for their huge breakthrough, though of course their music and great mix of beautiful and powerful vocals (which should get them to the same fame-rate as they would've had without their cotrovercy) has been important. Why did their story fascinate me? Well, the same reason why exploitation movies, horror stories and eccentric people makes me interested. It would maybe not have been so interesting if they were from somewhere else than Russia either. Russian is my favorite language, and when Russians does something, it always feel like they do it 50% more than what people from the rest of the world would do.
But MUSIC! The reason to stay with them. It's pop, but it hit a nerve that pop music mostly fail to hit. Usually you like it for a day, and the next day you forget about it and it's just frustrating hearing it over and over. t.A.T.u. on the otherhand has a power feel to it. Catchy songs with a great mix of Lena's beautiful feminine singing and Yulia's chick-with-a-strong-bone-in-her-nose voice makes it impossible for me to get tired of their sound. It's important though to check out the Russian versions of their albums over the versions intended for the english speaking market. Lyrics translated and changed from their original Russian versions loose a lot of it's power. Their english speaking originals are great as they are, so it has nothing to do with their voices and the english language, it just works better. A good example of this is "Белый Плащик/White Robe" from their 3rd and last album. Judge for yourself:
To me it's two different approaches in their music. It's either a punchy groovyness to their songs, or a ballady beauty. The videos above is a good example of the first one and on their first album we find the wonderful single 30 Минут.
Both of these songs gives me shivers and happiness the way good music usually do, and are good examples of what music videos should look like. They appear as strong women with personality.
There's not much to say about their albums as standalones really. The second and the third as a continuation of a great debute, and offers fresh new music with enough variety to not be too much like the previous album, but at the same time follow the recipe that has made t.A.T.u. what it is. But their approach and history has made t.A.T.u. more than just another popband. It's also dark and light, serious and unserious, beautiful and harsh, and lo-fi and hi-fi all together, taking the best from everything.
They've now split up as mentioned and has both started solo careers. Lena with a playful and smiling approach and Yulia with a more punchy and some would say "bitchy" style. I think this has been the reason why they've worked so well together, but following both their careers instead of chosing who to follow is what makes it interesting for me to actually keep up with them. They have not got the same great power being solo artists, though they both has enough of what made me love their duo in their solo stuff for me to keep following. Their first singles aren't as great as if they would have the other to put in what lacks, but it gives me a smile and is worth checking out. Yulia seems to distance herself from the past more in her "Didn't Wanna Do It", while Lena seems to look back at their history as a band with more of a "it was nice" attitude. Lena even put a smile on my mouth covering a pop-hit that has been truely annoying to me "Mr. Saxobeat". If you don't agree you may understand my enthusiasm with the band at least after reading this. Next time I promise to be back with something more gravly sounding and less commercial, and it will also not take years before I write more.