t.A.T.u. tastes so good

Russian pop pair sounds sweetest when it ignores complexity

by Frederic Hanson

Dentists tell their patients that sugar may be fun, but to avoid it and stick with the nutritious stuff. Dentists might show patients small charts portraying sugar molecules as cavity-gun toting monsters.

Music writers are similar. They are just as lame and just as preoccupied with pushing substance over sweetness. And they use too many analogies, to no end, between decay and pop as any anti-sugar dental propaganda.

As a result, wealthy dentists and corporate-magazine music snobs forget how to have fun.

Russian pop duo t.A.T.u. is fun. And their latest album, “Dangerous and Moving,” is heaven to the ears of anyone with a sweet tooth and a blind conscience.

Like Oasis – that other European guilty pleasure -t.A.T.u. is at their best when they are handing you hits of Ecstasy so blissful you feel guilty accepting them. “Perfect Enemy” purrs with all the sultry swat of a Bond theme. “Obezyanka Nol” is even better – a Moscow drug cartel groove with a chorus like something beautiful dying, a child flying or a princess crying.

“All About Us,” “Loves Me Not” and “Cosmos (Outer Space)” sound like a posse of anime rock star karate angels riding a gigantic glowing rocket ship to Pluto at a million miles an hour 5,000 years in the future.

In this case, that posse is only a pair of two sprightly heroines – frontwomen Lena Katina and Julia Volkova – who refused playing the MTV Europe awards unless provided with real guns.

I would have given them a nuclear arsenal. But even without it, they seem indestructible. They weather pastiche balladry in “Gomensai” and “We Shout.” They endure the blinding, urban-boutique techno of “Dangerous and Moving.” They have Sting and Richard Carpenter work on the album and avert any serious damage.

So ignore those dentists and fascist music writers. Forget being told to eat your vegetables; t.A.T.u. is sweet, and we are starving.