NPR logo A Girl-Group Golden Age That Lasts Two Minutes

A Girl-Group Golden Age That Lasts Two Minutes

The Burning Ambition of the Early Diuretics

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Monday's Pick

  • Song: "The Burning Ambition of the Early Diuretics"
  • Artist: The Pipettes
  • CD: Judy (import single)
  • Genre: Power-Pop

The Pipettes' members throw the word "love" around like so much confetti. hide caption

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It may take longer to read these three paragraphs than it takes to listen to The Pipettes' "The Burning Ambition of the Early Diuretics" all the way through. But with a mere two verses and two choruses, the British trio comes up with the best pastiche of the girl-group golden age since "They Don't Know," which Tracey Ullman's lone, glorious attempt at pop stardom.

As befits its running time — but not its seemingly nonsensical title — the song is simple: A girl doesn't understand why the object of her affection refuses to admit what every indication tells her is true. So she asks, firmly but sweetly, for some answers.

In the process, she makes damn sure that everybody knows what she's talking about, with a chorus consisting of nothing but the word "love" on repeat. The Pipettes' members make like a human carillon, their basic harmonies splitting and echoing back on themselves, until the whole thing shimmers with perfection. All told, "love" is tossed around 91 times over the course of 1:48. In The Pipettes' hands, that's not nearly enough.

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

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The Pipettes
Memphis Industries

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