In a review of a show by the Pipettes, a trio of charming English women partial to matching polka-dot dresses, The Guardian writes:
"The three vocalists - one brunette, two blondes - offer a modern spin on classic girl groups: the Shangri-La's, the Marvelettes and the Chiffons." So far, so good, even though the Pipettes tunes I've heard are as unabashedly retro as a Civil War reenactment.
But then: "Their songs seem to have been blasted from a golden age of the Brill Building, Phil Spector, sugary harmonies and doo-wop - but with a contemporary, slightly feminist slant. Most concern nasty boyfriends, or boring boyfriends dumped for being 'too sweet', and there's a streak of prudity in Judy, about a girl who did 'rude things'."
That old canard again! Anybody with half an ear knows that many Brill Building songs—the biggest influence on the Pipettes—did, in fact, have a "slightly feminist slant" (something observed as early as 1989 by Charlotte Grieg in her clever book on girl groups, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?) And the Pipettes' boyfriends aren't dumped for doing too much meth or getting nasty with Lindsay Lohan, but for being "too sweet." A modern spin, indeed.
12 hours ago