The Pipettes - Earth Vs The Pipettes

by Katy Ledger Rating:2 Release Date:2010-09-13

You remember The Pipettes right? Three cute girls in polka dots, 60s girl-group pop complete with synchronised hand movements and sharp lyrics? Well forget it. That group no longer exists. Like an episode of the mini drama that is The Sugababes, we are left with no original members, instead the band is now fronted by sisters Gwenno and Ani Saunders, and instead of carrying on the formula that saw tracks like 'Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me' and 'Pull Shapes' become indie disco favourites they have abandoned it completely.

The fact that the band have gone for another 'look' with the space disco theme seems desperate and contrived and that unfortunately sums up the album. It's an uncohesive mess of bad 80s synth pop, 70s disco and funky guitars. The songs are catchy and you instantly know the words, but that is not a compliment, that's because this album is compiled of rearranged songs I've already heard and never want to hear again.

'Finding My Way' is piercing and dull, 'I Vibe You' is not only the worst song title ever but it's also a cringe-enducingly bad song and 'Need Some Time' is what happens when euro pop gets shot in the face with a canon full of camp men. The only saving grace on this album is 'Ain't No Talking' a pure and uplifting pop song and the closest to the original sound of The Pipettes (RIP) but this was over-looked as a single in favour of 'Call Me' and 'Stop the Music', which is exactly what The Pipettes should have done when Rose and Rebecca left the band .

The Pipettes circa 2006 were pop; they were kitsch but they knew it. This self-aware quality is missing in this new offering, as are the witty, tounge-in-cheek lyrics along with the Go-Team style production which separated them from the average girl-group.

Before I finish this review, I just want to make it clear that I do not hate pop music; I'm not slating this album because I think The Pipettes are 'selling out' or because I'm a pretentious indie fundamentalist. It's just that by dramatically branching away from what fans first loved about The Pipettes, they have alienated their original audience; why didn't they just change the name and start again? And now that they're making music of this caliber they have obviously set their sights on chart success funded by nine-year-old girls, and there is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that nine-year-old girls aren't going to be dropping their Saturdays or Girls Aloud dolls in favour of Earth Vs The Pipettes any time soon.

This album should have been called Earth Calling The Pipettes: You Had It Right the First Time Now Please Kindly Never Make Another Album.

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