As I said yesterday, I’ve been listening a lot recently to the debut album from The Pipettes, released a few days ago. It’s light, bouncy, pop music, always trying to evoke school discos and teenage fumbling. The band deliberately tries to come across, it seems, as a modern indie version of a 1960s girl group; hiding the musicians behind the scenes and relying on the singers to front the band.
It’s a very nostalgic record – a band full of twentysomethings, aimed at twentysomethings, singing at the emotional level of fourteen-year-olds abandoned on the dancefloor. Even when they’re singing about sex, they still sound somehow childish. It’s not surprising to find that they’re fairly closely connected to The Go! Team, whose debut album – which I do like a lot – always strikes me as being the auditory equivalent of a TV talking-head nostalgia show. The Pipettes are similar, a nostalgia band for the London indie scene; you could never imagine this record having been made anywhere other than south-east England.
On the whole, though, it is good to listen to. It’s an easy listen, and there are some good tunes and hooks in there. Whoever is writing the songs knows how to put a catchy melody to equally catchy lyrics, even if the lyrics of one song – “It’s Not Love (But It’s A Feeling)” – always make me think of that cosmetics commercial with Anna Friel in it.* They will probably do quite well. By the end of the year they’ll be a Radio One staple, cropping up on Radio Two occasionally too;** then by the end of next year we’ll be wondering what happened to them.
* You know, the one with the corset and the dirty smirk. That is Anna Friel, isn’t it? The particular lyrics are from the chorus: “touch a little tighter, eyes a little brighter”.
** Actually, I have to admit here, the first time I heard them was on Mark Radcliffe’s Radio 2 show, which I listen to if I’m still travelling at that time of night.