Review Summary: We are the Pipettes combines all the best girl bands to create an album full of sixties meloidies, noughties attitude and fun three minute pop songs
Imagine if you threw in all the classic girl groups into a blender. You would end up with my new favourite band, the Pipettes,. This all female, polka dot clad, indie pop trio consisting of Gwenno, Rosay, and Riot Becki have created a fantastic album full of catchy,sassy, fun, up beat three minute (and under) pop songs with the odd ballad thrown in for good measures.
Their formula for success is simple. The first thing you will need is a classic 1960s girl group. I would recommend someone with a pedigree such as the Shirelles, the Ronnettes or the Shangri las. You need to take some of their best song such as “ Will You Still Love me Tomorrow” “Be my Baby” or “Leader of the Pack”. (All classics that truly last the test of time). You now need to extract the classic production involving intricate stings and brass arrangements, the wonderful harmonies, glamorous looks and skillfully choreographed dance moves.
Next take a splash of Banarama's vocal and sense of fun (perhaps Cyndi Lauper would do just as well). Just do not add the Spice Girls. They are not classy (or classic) enough. Then throw in just a pinch of Shampoo or even Kenicke (remember them) but not too much you do not want to lose the pretty harmonies. You really need them for their ballsy attitude. Sprinkle generously with lyrics about rejecting wimpy blokes, one night stands and sex in general.
Volla. There you have the recipe to make one classic pop record. I first fell in love with them when I heard “Pull Shapes”. This little ditty about enjoying dancing (a theme that never goes out of fashion from rock and rolling at hops to raving it all night) has it all. It has shiny swirly 60s strings, happy harmonies and a tune which makes you want to “pull shapes” and dance round the room. It is my prefect pop song. Luckily for me this song is not a one off as the album is full of classic pop. I would find it very difficult to find a really duff track. Some of them such as “I love You float by a little bit” but the strongest tracks are magnificent.
I have a fondness for the eponymous first track on the album “We are the Pipettes” . Like “Zuton Fever” on the Zuton's debut album “Who Killed the Zutons” it sets the tone of he album by introducing the band. I really love this song as it has a space age sci-fi feel (which compliments the lyric “Take us to you planet” and is fun and frantic at times.
What I love about the album is that whilst the songs are new they always remind me of older songs but I can never quite put my finger on what the song is. “Why Did You Stay" has an introduction that reminds me of “Will You Still Love me Tomorrow” combined with the conversational part of “Leader of the Pack”
“But he was so sweet, Well I've just had just enough of Sweet”
“Dirty Mind” has elements of “Hitching a Ride” or “Get Right Back to Where we Started From”
Other songs that really stand out for me are Judy,a classic story based song about a bad girl and ABC (not the Jackson 5 song but it does rhyme ABC with 123 ), a song about a good looking geek who does not know about what women want . I like it because of the quirky humouruis lyrics
“He knows all about the movements of the planets, but does not know how to move me.
He knows about the sonic spectrum god dammit”.
The longest track on the album clocking in at over three minutes "A Winter's Sky" has a really different feel to most of the other tracks on the album but does stand out because of it. Tis gentle ballad really slows the album down and gives us a bit of a breather from the feel good, fun tracks. Resplendent with doopy doopy doos. This song has a more melancholy feel to it than others. I like it as it feels quite simple with Gwenno's pretty vocals really shining compared to the raucousness of other songs.
It is only a breather as we are back to the sassiness of “Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me” another song about rejecting wimpy young boys. I could go on all day about how fabulous the tracks are but I will not!
I like the mix of vocals on the It seems that Gwenno has the sweet, pretty voice that I really like. . Becky and Rosay's vocals add the attitude. Thus as mentioned you d have the sweet harmonies but these are complimented by a rougher, more raucous, slightly chanted style of vocal favored by early Bananamra. It is a sound I really like.
The main criticism I can make about this album is some of the lyrics and rhymes. Whilst a lot of the lyrics are fun and quirky (I do like the quirky lyrics if they are done well) some of the rhymes are a bit naff. Rhyming Judy with Rude and wheel, steal, and deal must be a criminal offense. However all is forgiven as it is unpretentious, fun, catchy pop music not Bob Dylan or Morrissey.
This might not be to everyone's cup of tea . I can see some people seeing it as quite twee whilst others will find it a bit of a one trick pony if they are not particularly into that 60s sound with a naughties twist. However “We are the Pipettes” is a versatile album. I can see myself putting this on whilst getting ready to go out, or to cheer myself up when feeling down. It's on the whole a really good party album. I could see it appealing to a wide cross section of ages from indie girls to my dad due to the strong 60s feel of most of the songs.
Go on I urge you to buy “We are the Pipettes” I can assure you will be dotty about them as I am