NPR logo Girl-Group Pop with Threats and Boasts

Girl-Group Pop with Threats and Boasts

We Are the Pipettes

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The Pipettes' members play a genuine pastiche of girl-group pop. Pamela Littky hide caption

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Pamela Littky

In light of Hairspray's success and Amy Winehouse name-checking the Shangri-Las, this seems as good a time as any for The Pipettes to breeze across the Atlantic. Steeped in the girl-group tradition but infused with a modernity that acknowledges irony while refusing (reluctantly) to traffic in it, the band's debut concerns itself mostly with dancing, boys and dancing with boys.

But first, there's the small matter of an invasion to take care of. That's where "We Are The Pipettes" comes in: with an attitudinal blast that kicks things off by suggesting that the album cover (showing the three women standing astride an entire city like giants) wasn't chosen randomly. Unlike the rest of the songs, it's far too chaotic to be a genuine pastiche of girl-group pop — it's more like Blondie's punk-era approach to music from the same era.

It's got enough zip, drive and sass to be the theme song to a cartoon about The Pipettes' adventures, so much so that it's not surprising that the band's members throw out a roll call at the top. Charmingly overconfident, the women declare themselves "the prettiest girls you've ever met," and it's as much a threat as a boast. What's worse, based on the evidence, it sounds as if they could make good on both.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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We Are the Pipettes
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