On November 5, 2021, the t.A.T.u. “200 Po Vstrechnoi” tribute album was released. This is an album consisting entirely of covers, so don’t look for songs performed by Lena Katina and Julia Volkova here. But there is a duet with Alla Pugacheva and Sofia Rotaru! The legends of the national stage performed the hit “Not Gonna Get Us”. It was also sung by the country’s main TikToker Danya Milokhin and played by Dmitry Malikov.
The release of the “disc” was timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the first t.A.T.u. album. However, compositions from other works of the duo are also presented here – a total of 26 tracks. The work on the tracks was in collaboration with the t.A.T.u. co-authors Elena Kiper, Sergei Galoyan and Valery Polienko, whose songs are mainly presented on the tribute.
- Danya Milokhin – “Not Gonna Get Us”
The singing TikToker has reworked one of t.A.T.u.’s biggest hits. The verses are new, but the message is the same. “Those who tell us were are not allowed. Themselves have now changed places. With those who previously forbade them. I hope that at least we won’t become like that.” Danya Milokhin shot a video for “Not Gonna Get Us” and in it he also hijacks a tanker truck and then rides on its roof, just like Lena Katina and Julia Volkova did in 2001!
- Manetochka – “Malchik Gay”
Liza Monetochka also recorded new verses for the t.A.T.u. track from the first album. By the way, did you know that one of the co-authors of the lyrics of the first version of “Malchik Gay” is the leader of the punk-rock group “Bakhyt-Kompot”, Vadim Stepantsov? As the story goes, Stepantsov wrote several versions of the lyrics back then. However, the producer of the band, Ivan Shapovalov, did not like any of them. The words were rewritten with Anna Karaseva. Let’s hear what Monetochka has done.
- Vera Brezhneva – “Polchasa”
Vera Brezhneva covered t.A.T.u.’s most lyrical hit, “Polchasa”. Brezhneva did it very carefully and respectfully towards the original. The words have remained pristine and the arrangement will also not hurt the ears of the devoted fans of the “redhead” and “blackhead”.
- LSP and White Punk – “Klouni”
The song “Klouni” was released on the reissue of the “200 Po Vstrechnoi” album in 2002. Rapper Oleg Savchenko, better known as LSP, presented his version of “Klouni” in collaboration with beatmaker Daniil Bumagin (White Punk). Added to the original lyrics is another verse: “This is a clown with a chainsaw. And he came for you. Better open the door. For good, for health.”
- Nadezhda Dorofeeva – “Show Me Love”
Ex-member of the duet “Time and Glass”, Nadezhda Dorofeeva, covered the song “Ya Tvoya Ne Pervaya”, which is better known as “Show Me Love.” The lyrics here are also classic. The ony thing missing is the telephone conversation about the wind, the sun and the answering machine.
- Manizha “Ne Ver, Ne Boysia, Ne Prosi”
Manizha presented a highly controversial version of “Ne Ver, Ne Boysia, Ne Prosi”. This is not even a cover, but a mashup of two songs of t.A.T.u. and “Russian Woman”, which Manizha performed at Eurovision in 2021. First, “Don’t ignite and don’t extinguish …”, and then “Field, field, field, I’m small,” and so on goes the whole song.
- Alena Shvets – “Obezyanka-Nol'”
“Obezyanka-Nol'” is one of the favorite songs of t.A.T.u. fans, although there was not even a video for it. In 2005, Lena Katina and Julia Volkova had a legendary performance at the Muz-TV Awards. Alena Shvets has mostly received positive reviews for this cover. Fans like it!
- Polina – “All The Things She Said”
“All the Things She Said” is the first single from t.A.T.u.’s debut English album “200 km/h in the Wrong Lane”, which became a worldwide hit. The tribute was performed by the singer Polina. Polina Gudieva is the daughter of the singer Natalya Stupishina (in the 90s she performed under the pseudonym Anka, with the main hit “You’re Not a Pilot”) and artist Ruslan Gudiev. Polina lives in the USA, but she does not forget about the Russian public either. She has two high-profile duets with Eminem and Dima Bilan.
- Moya Michelle – “Zachem Ya”
The band Moya Michelle sang “Zachem Ya” from the very first album. We sing along: “Tell me, why I am waiting for a call, why mute clouds float to me from afar and melt.” In the original, Julia Volkova reads the verses, and the singer of Moya Michelle, Tatiana Tkachuk, sings them.
- Vintage – “Prostye Dvizheniya”
When it became known that Vintage would take part in the tribute, fans of both groups began to write that the song “Prostye Dvizheniya” would ideally suit Anna Pletneva. It was that song which Anna eventually chose and executed just brilliantly. By the way, a couple of years ago, at her concert where she looked like Julia Volkova, Pletneva sang her song “Devochki Lunatiki” with Lena Katina.
- Vanya Dmitrienko – “220”
The performer of the hit “Venus-Jupiter” was one of the first to present a cover of a t.A.T.u. song. The 16-year-old singer took only the chorus from the original, but wrote his own verses. “This song is different from my previous releases. It is more conscious, mature, original and new. I hope that I will open up a new side of myself for you”, wrote Vanya Dmitrienko on his Instagram page.
- Molchat Doma – “Ludi Invalidi”
The Belarusian group Molchat Doma performed one of the most scandalous t.A.T.u. songs, “Ludi Invalidi”, from the their second album. The lyrics of the song remain original and the presentation is about the same.
- Reflex – “Novaya Model'”
Forever young Irina Nelson from Reflex chose “Novaya Model'”. This song is from the second album and it is especially unknown to the general public. There was no music video, no radio broadcasts. Nelson asked her Instagram followers how they like the new version. Judging by the comments, Reflex fans liked everything.
- Slot – “Ya Soshla S Uma”
A rock version of the very first t.A.T.u. hit performed by Slot. It is extremely unusual to hear this song from the lips of Nuki (Daria Stavrovich). “When the track ‘Ya Soshla S Uma’ just appeared and thundered all over the world, it was bold and fresh. But today, in the context of 2021, it is impossible to imagine such a level of freedom. 20 years of exposure against the background of QR code reality sounds like a requiem for the dream of that very freedom. But real emotions, like water, will always find a way out and break through artificial barriers. But for now we are nostalgic for how it was”, Nuki suggested to her subscribers.
- Rita Dakota – “Sacrifice”
Rita Dakota was lucky. Except for her, no one else tried to cover “Sacrifice” from t.A.T.u.’s second album. To be more precise, this is a track from the English-language album “Dangerous and Moving”, which was released in 2005.
- Nervi – “Ne Ver’, Ne Boysia, Ne Prosi”
The repeats have started. This time “Ne Ver’, Ne Boysia, Ne Prosi” is covered by Nervi. The band shot a video for this cover in quite a t.A.T.u. style. There is also rain, just like in “Ya Soshla S Uma”, and a tanker truck, like in “Not Gonna Get Us”. By the way, wasn’t Milokhin riding it?
- Alla Pugacheva and Sofia Rotaru – “Not Gonna Get Us”
And now the cover which has gone down in history long ago. Alla Pugacheva and Sofia Rotaru performed “Not Gonna Get Us” back in 2009, at the “Happy Birthday, Alla” anniversary concert of the prima donna. However, this track has never been officially released. Thanks to the 2021 tribute, it can now be found on all digital platforms. And many people say that this is the best cover of the tribute.
- IOWA – “Ludi Invalidi”
And now “Ludi Invalidi” from IOWA. “The song chose us itself, I did not resist. And I found new meanings in it! I have made a wish that one day the coolest artists would come together and sing our songs. Marvelous! We know all the t.A.T.u. songs! They made me think about what we are talking about freely only now. They all hit the mark, that’s for sure!”, wrote the singer Katya Ivanchikova on her page.
- Arty – “Cosmos”
When one of t.A.t.u.’s co-authors, Sergei Galoyan, announced the tribute in the summer of 2021, he promised surprises. One of them he presented himself – a remix of the track “Cosmos (Outer Space)” from the second album. It is performed by musician and DJ Arty, aka Artem Stolyarov.
- Polina Favorskaya – “Obezyanka-Nol'”
Polina Favorskaya is an ex-member of Serebro. Since 2018, she has been performing solo under the pseudonym FAVLAV. Many listeners noted that Polina’s work was made in the best traditions of t.A.T.u. And when the news about the tribute appeared, t.A.T.u. fans began to write that Favorskaya must take part in the project. And Polina was invited! FAVLAV also performed “Obezyanka-Nol'”. “This song is dedicated to victims of violence. Honest psychos can be left untreated, it will not relieve either you or me. Love for everyone – and sadness for monkeys. There are things that you will never talk about. I have one. I don’t want to and will not share this story from my life, but I transferred it into the song”, Favorskaya wrote on her page.
Other Songs: from Klava Koka to Dmitry Malikov
White Punk performed “Novaya Model'”, Yegor Sesarev and Guru Groove Foundation – “Zachem Ya?”, Klava Koka – “Ya Soshla S Uma” (this song was released long before the tribute was announced and there are also new verses), Zhenya Lubich – “Polchasa”, and Imany – “All the Things She Said”. The 26th track of the t.A.T.u. “200 Po Vstrecnoi” tribute album is the instrumental version of “Not Gonna Get Us” by Dmitry Malikov.
Fan Reactions: Why Were The Words Changed?
Fans of t.A.T.u. perceived this tribute in different ways. They analyzed each song separately. And here are the comments that appear in the group’s fan-page on VK.
“Vintage is amazing. Alena Shvets is also very exciting! My Michelle is beautiful.”
“They perverted the whole concept and trampled on the classics.”
“Thanks for ruining Sacrifice. I won’t recover from this.”
“There are decent tracks that will go to into my playlist, definitely. But the tribute is positioning itself as a tribute to the band, music and authors. Why the hell are the artists mixing up the original lyrics in the songs? Where did the authors look?”
“Thanks for Pugacheva and Rotaru, their interpretation is the best. Milokhin, by the way, also surprisingly did not disappoint.”
“Someone conveyed the mood, someone just sang dryly. I liked less than half of the tracks.”
“The t.A.T.u. girls are legends. They are definitely the ones who deserve the highest-ranking tribute.”
Critic’s Reaction: Why Duplicates?
The main complaint about this tribute, including the one among the fans, is the repetitions of the songs. “Not Gonna Get Us” appears three times, “Polchasa”, “Zachem Ya”, “Ludi Invalidi”, “Ne Ver’ Ne Boysia, Ne Prosi”, “Obezyanka Nol’”, “Novaya Model’”, “Ya Soshla S Uma” and its English version “All the Things She Said “- twice. At the same time, from the first album the songs missing are “Ya Tvoi Vrag”, “Doschitai Do 100”, and “Robot”. From the second – hits like “All About Us”, “Friend or Foe”, and “Gomenasai”. And from the third album only “220” appears.
“If everyone who sang a duplicate sang another song of t.A.T.u., it would be the coolest tribute,” wrote Oleg Karmunin, music critic, author of the Russian Shuffle telegram channel.
In any case, t.A.T.u. fans have something to listen to and discuss, and soon see. Most of the tribute participants on November 20, 2021 will perform in a special hybrid show at one of the most high-tech venues in the capital – the Moscow Music Dome.