By The Pipettes
It's been two years since The Pipettes appeared on the musical radar and were tipped as being one of the next big things to happen to pop music. Since that time the girl-power-pop group have been flying low enough to avoid the musical radar of all but the most dedicated fan, carefully biding their time until purest power-pop became cool again. Now that the 80s 'indie' revivalist scene is finally beginning to die down the time could have been right for The Pipettes to make their assault and reinvent girl-power with a new sense of credibility that could appeal to a more mature audience. There is however, one major problem, there's too much reliance upon clichéd styles of yesteryear (a.k.a. Retro) and instead of "inventing the kind of girl-power The Spice Girls could only dream of" they've reproduced (with little invention) a short history of pop starting from disco, taking an elongated vacation in 80s synth-pop, edging towards brit-pop and momentarily touching on more current trends.
The sound is rich, fleshed out and full of summery jollity and, leaving aside the first track which is simply terrible, the album is reasonable. However, I'm completely indifferent to the whole thing, bad music can be enjoyable, it can become a guilty pleasure or you can simply like it without really knowing why. Good music is normally enjoyable but can be disliked due to personal taste, however, that which I consider to be mediocre is always problematic, I simply don't have any desire to listen to it anymore. There are two tracks (which I happened to have from a 2004 compilation) which were catchy enough to keep me interested enough to get this CD for review but even these have been filled out and expanded upon to their detriment.
The Pipettes are a potentially potent force in pop but despite the 2 years it's taken to get to this point the song writing hasn't yet matured enough to be the uplifting serotonin-laden joy-ride that they promised back when I was a fresher. If we believe the aforementioned opening title track which chants "we are The Pipettes / and we've got no regrets / if you haven't noticed yet / we're the prettiest girls you've ever met," as their mission statement. So from the very start they are, like the Spice Girls before them, going on looks but without the formidable management or marketing that splattered Girl-Power over the world's music dictionaries. Conceptually and musically, it's all been done before.