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UK girl group looks to early
'60s pop for inspiration

The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes
(Cherrytree / Interscope Records)
2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2007
The Pipette

Review by Tony Bonyata

Rock and pop is such a cyclical thing. Take the British pop girl group The Pipettes for instance. On their full-length debut, We Are The Pipettes, the cute-as-bugs trio of Rosay, Gwenno and Riotbecki have created a snappy, uptempo ode to the classic sounds of the Phil Spector-produced '60s girl groups such at The Ronettes and The Shangri-Las.

While they're currently being packaged as an indie-act, however, The Pipettes are in fact anything but. Their album is filled with 39 minutes of nostalgic late '50s and early '60s pop fluff that might get the indie kid's grannies pining to hit the American Bandstand dance floor, but is unlikely to light up the music blogosphere anytime soon.

Despite the opening title track displaying a blush of cute new wave - not unlike a mix of The Go-Gos and a less edgy B-52s - the rest of the record is little more than a send-up to the more innocent days of street corner doo-wopping, late night drive-ins and bee-hived girls do-langing their days away. The main problem with their nod to this by-gone era of pop is that it's a pale comparison to the originals - often sounding as if they're just going through the motions on sugary numbers like "Pull Shapes," "You're Kisses Are Wasted On Me" and "I Love You," while also incorporating a bit of disco fever into the [almost] guilty pleasure of "Dance and Boogie."

Sure this stuff is catchy and kitschy at times, but it also all-too-often smacks of cashing in on someone else's nostagalia. Whether you're a fan of the first wave of early '60s girl groups or you're just looking for something new, We Are The Pipettes may have a good beat that you can dance to (as they used to say on American Bandstand's "Rate-a-Record" segment) but it's ultimately more style than substance... and a dated style at that.

Watch The Pipettes' - "Judy" video

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