You thought Britney Spears was scandalous in a schoolgirl uniform? Then you’re in for a ride. How about two Russian girls in school uniforms making out in the rain, which happens to wet their shirts to transparency?

Well, that is what the new East European duo t.A.T.u.’s new video looks like. The song “All That She Wants,” from their album “200 km/h in the Wrong Lane,” is conquering the charts and they are quickly becoming a new sensation.

Their hit song is as catchy as something Ace of Base would have released mid-’90s, but the technique here is the marketing master plan that makes those two girls noticeable, brought to you by the same record label that aided the rise of Eminem.

Many questions come into mind about this Russian duo — are they porn stars who got a contract? Professional lesbians?

Neither Lena Katina nor Julia Volkova has any lyrical or music credits on the album, so basically they are Celine Dion — without the voice, but much cuter. Plus this seems to be a rushed album, since there are only eight tracks and then some Russian versions and remixes, plus the scandalous video.

Regardless of what you might think of t.A.T.u., the album does carry some gems. They are poppy but edgy, much like their run from the closet “Not Gonna Get Us” and their redundant yet striking single “All The Things She Said.”

The album is always exciting and new and never leaves you bored. “Show Me Love” has a wonderful melody and “Malchik Gay” is just plain catchy. The accents can be a hassle, la Paulina Rubio.

“200 km/h in the Wrong Lane” touches on dim balladry with “30 Minutes” and gets an attitude with “How Soon is Now.” It then moves to a swinging tale in “Clowns (Can You See Me Now?).” But then the short set closes with “Stars,” leaving the listener wanting more.

It’s hard to give props to t.A.T.u. because they are an image rather than artists — then again, who isn’t these days?

Marketing scheme aside, this album has enough spirit to keep them from having just one novelty hit.

Al-Qatami can be reached at

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