Uffie - Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Uffie - Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans

by Rich Morris Rating:4 Release Date:2010-06-14

"I've got something MCs can kiss/ It's a nice bum cheek and it sounds like this - smack!" Uffie's long, long, looong delayed debut album sees her coming out swinging, and with good reason. Since garnering much acclaim with a slew of attitudinal singles and guest spots in 2005, the Paris-based rapper all but disappeared from the music scene thanks to pregnancy and marriage. In her absence, a host of female r'n'b stars emerged who appeared to owe her a debt, most notably the perpetually irritating Ke$ha, whose 'Tik Tok' single was suspiciously similar to Uffie's own 'Ready to Uff'. So it would be nice to report that Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans sets the record straight and sees Uffie reclaim her bad girl crown. Sadly, it doesn't.

The first problem is the production, with too many of the tracks dragging, sounding pathetically like shoddy bedroom-based laptop productions. One of the most confounding trends in pop over the past couple of years has been r'n'b producers' sudden enthusiasm for the cheesy sounds of 90s Euro dance. Uffie, thanks to her location and ironic pose, is one of the few credible artists who could get away with going for the Euro dance jugular. But she doesn't. Instead, tracks like opener 'Pop the Glock', 'The Art of Uff' and 'Difficult' slouch along with stilted beats and dated r'n'b sounds.

In fact, it sounds like no one has put much effort into proceedings, including the leading lady herself, who happily acknowledges her laziness on 'The Art of Uff'. 'ADD SUV' features a guest spot from Pharrell, contributing the kind of lackadaisical rap the term 'phoned-in' was invented for. Madonna-collaborator Mirwais contributes one of the best moments here in the shimmering 'Illusion of Love', but it's guest vocalist Matte Safer who shines, while Uffie stays locked in the Britney-lite, autotuned vacuum she inhabits for much of the album.

The album's next problem, and the clincher, is Uffie herself. Again, maybe it's the fault of Ke$ha, Gaga etc but the self-adoring, fame-obsessed party girl pose Uffie strikes throughout Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans is both boring and deeply unappealing. She actually seems aware of this and spends a stupid amount of time justifying herself. "If I get popular, I know that ain't fair/ I got nine million plays and 12 hundred friends," she raps on 'MCs Can Kiss, while on 'The Art of Uff she rambles: "Me and my MySpace with only three tracks a year, and they still talk about me - damn!" which just makes her sound deluded, arrogant and hopelessly out of date. I mean, seriously, Uffie - MySpace? 2005, much?

Possibly as an attempt to claw back some credibility, a cover of Siouxsie and the Banshees' eternally brilliant 'Hong Kong Garden' crops up near the end. Unfortunately, it forms the album's nadir. With it's dinky, tinny production and bored vocal, this should have been a b-side or, better yet, never released. So far, so dreadful. But then, right at the end, comes 'Ricky', a coolly swaying, summery track on which Uffie plays her tough girl act just right. It's just - just - enough to make you think that maybe Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans is a horrible misstep and Uffie deserves a second chance. And maybe she does. But then you clock the "I am fucking lazy/ but I look right/ and I smell right/ I'm spending money" lyrics she's gabbling like a coked-up harpy at some horrid 'industry' wank-fest and you just think 'Oh, Uffie, fuck off!"

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