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The Pipettes 

We Are The Pipettes (Memphis Industries)

For all of their '60s-girl-group moves, the Pipettes have more in common with the early '80s, when formerly spunky girl groups such as the Go-Gos and the Bangles went through the music-industry cycle and came out almost unrecognizably bland. Early Pipettes singles "It Hurts To See You Dance So Well" and "Dirty Mind" suggested a trio that had assimilated both the Shangri-Las and classic British post-punk. But for their first proper CD they've made...a Spice Girls album! Their producers have opted for brittle overcompression and wannabe-Spector effects, including ersatz synthesized strings on nearly every track. This unforgiving sheen doesn't make the re-recorded older songs any less catchy, but it does the newer material (including "Pull Shapes" and the horrendous title track) absolutely no favors. They're still worth checking out as a live act, but you'll need to wait for a singles collection — or a more sympathetic producer — to hear what the Pipettes can really do.

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September 9, 2020

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