The relationship between Yulia Volkova and Lena Katina mystified millions back in the day. What possessed two teenage girls to make out in music videos and on stage? For every person they made drool, there was another person fuming and asking for their content to be banned. People asked if they were really a couple or if it was all just an act. Their relationship still gets people asking questions, but it's under different circumstances. Regardless of the nature of their relationship, the whole act says a lot about how women and young girls are treated. To this day, they're still Russian's biggest import.
If you take the lesbian personas aside, you end up with two talented ladies. Without the contraversies, I don't think their careers would have exploded the way it did, but I still think their music would been admired as it is today. They've made six studio albums, and it was clear that they were more than just a one hit wonder, but the cracks were showing, and it makes me wonder if they were trying to show that in their music. They reunite for a few gigs once in a while, but I don't think that the girls get on anymore. I was rewatching some documentries were bands reunite after splitting up or going on a haitus, and some work really well, and others not so much. I think the reason why bands like Take That, McFly and Busted succeeded in their reunions is because they all became genuine friends.
As hurtful as Yulia Volkova's comments were, I don't know if she really meant it, or if she was just saying it to please others. In old videos she's shamelessly supporting the LGBTQ+ community. It's also sad that she lost her voice due to cancer and also what I believe to be an overload of work. Yulia screamed a lot in t.A.T.u's early albums and it's really affected her voice. I hope she can get some of her voice back. As far as I know, she hasn't had any proper albums out yet.
Lena, on the other hand, has a decent solo career. She's released three albums in three different languages. She's still showing her support to the LGBTQ+ community.
Because Lena and Yulia have grown apart so much, I don't think there will be another t.A.T.u. album. The drama, stress and pressures of fame killed any genuine friendship or love that they had. Sadly, I think we're more likely to have Kayne West as a future president than a new t.A.T.u. album.
I always liked t.A.T.u. for their music. Their vocals are great, the themes are still relevant in today's turbulent LGBTQ+ culture. In most songs that they sang in both English and Russian, the mother tongue language is superior in vocals. I don't speak Russian, but looking through translations of the lyrics, I like the poetic feel to them. I think the English lyrics are more simplified to be more radio friendly and catchy. You'll notice their English songs can be quite repetitive.
The ranking is of all six of their studio albums in both English and Russian. I'm not counting the compilations and the remix albums.
6. Waste Management
Favourite track: Fly on the Wall
Least favourite track: You and I
Starting the list with their least known album, Waste Management. It's a good album as a whole. It's well produced and is a product of it's time as electronica was common in the charts. There are good songs here. Around this time it was announced that t.A.T.u. would only be a part-time project as the girls wanted to focus on their solo careers. There's a new team of producers as they left their old label. There's a sudden change in music here. This could have been a phenomenal album, but by this point I think the passion for the music is already gone. I don't like this album as much as the others, and I've tried to like it, but it just grab my attention. I think deep down, they knew that this would be their last album and their song, No Regrets feels like a goodbye.
5. Vesyolye Ulybki (Happy Smiles)
Favourite track: Martian Eyes
Least favourite track: You and I
The aesthetics on Waste Management are better than in Happy Smiles, but the vocals sound a lot better and more natural. Martian Eyes is beautiful and I love the bass guitar in Time of the Moon. Things seem to come together a lot more better in Happy Smiles.
4. Lyudi Invalidy (Invalid People)
Favourite track: Vsya moya lyubov' (All My Love)
Least favourite track: Ty soglasna (You Agree)
All My Love is one of my favourite tracks from t.A.T.u. I love the lyrics and the emotions in it. I like this album a lot, and I still think that they sound better in Russian than in English, but the reason I ranked it lower than it's English counterpart is because the tracks exclusive to Dangerous and Moving are amongst my favourite from the band.
3. 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane
Favourite track: Stars
Least favourite track: Malchik-Gey
I think everybody outside of Russia and Eastern Europe were introduced to t.A.T.u to this album. There's a reason why it was one of the best selling albums of 2003. I don't like Malchik-Gey, and don't think I ever will because it feels so forced. I love Stars, which was also a b-side to their hit single, All the Things She Said. I love they kept Yulia's russian rap. Thirty Minutes and their cover of How Soon is Now? make me feel like I'm being transported onto another world.
2. 200 Po Vstrechnoy (200 KM/H Against the Traffic)
Favourite track: Nas Ne Dogonyat (They Won't Catch Us)
Least favourite track: Malchik-Gey (Gay boy)
They sound so young and their vocals are soaring. Nas Ne Dogonyat and Robots are two brilliant tracks. I love how upbeat Robot is and makes me think of the idol groups. Nas Ne Dogonyat is so catchy. This is a fantastic album, even though I don't know the language I can still appreciate the production and the vocals.
1. Dangerous and Moving
Favourite track: Craving (Only Want What I Can't Have)
Least favourite track: Dangerous and Moving
It may not be their best album, but it's my favourite. My favourite tracks from the Russian album all feature on the special edition of this album which makes it an instant win for me. It also has nearly all my favourite English tracks from the band like Sacrafice, Perfect Enemy, Loves Me Not and Craving. I say Dangerous and Moving is my least favourite track on this album, but I really like this one as well.
This post is a lot longer than I planned it to be. I hope you enjoyed it. If you only know the hits, then I hope it helped you discover more great songs from them.