No girl-girl play

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It’s hard being faux lesbos — just ask t.A.T.u. Throughout late 2002, Russian teens Lena Katina and Julia Volkova worked overtime to prove their Sapphic love by swapping spit onstage, pawing each other in photos and making music videos that verged on soft porn. All their efforts were for naught, however, once news broke that the duo was the creation of Svengali Ivan Shapovalov and that Volkova was knocked up by her longtime boyfriend. Their raison d’être reduced to a gay-for-pay punch line, what are a couple of not-so-true-blue indigo girls to do? Surprisingly, kick Shapovalov to the curb and make a Europop album that’s strong enough to silence the peanut gallery. Much like t.A.T.u.’s debut, 200 km/hr in the Wrong Lane, Dangerous and Moving whizzes by in a flurry of explosive choruses, adolescent angst and manic, munchkin-voiced histrionics. The songs here are catchier and more varied, though — highlights include the dark, rock-driven “Cosmos (Outer Space)” and “Gomenasai,” a ballad featuring string arrangements by Richard Carpenter — with Katina and Volkova indignantly chirping about being misunderstood by the world. But really, when non-lezzies make entire albums about girl-on-girl love, what else should they expect?

Jimmy Draper writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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