TRACKLISTING:1. Call Me
2. Ain't No Talking
3. Thank You
4. I Need A Little Time
6. I Always Planned To Stay
7. Stop The Music
8. I Vibe U
9. Our Love Was Saved By Spacemen
10. Finding My Way
11. Captain Rhythm
The Pipettes second album, ‘Earth Vs The Pipettes’, produced by the legendary Martin Rushent, the semi-retired producer of The Stranglers, Shirley Bassey, Altered Images, The Buzzcocks, and, most famously, the Human League’s ‘Dare’, was written with the idea of imagining what a disco in space would sound like, an exploration of what might happen if all the genres and styles that have set the dance floor going for the last fifty years were loaded onto a rocket and fired into the stars.
What would Motown’s transition as Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross started to veer into Philly Soul and the emerging compositions of Larry Levan sound like if that development had happened on Mars? (Answers: ‘I Vibe U'; 'I Always Planned To Stay'; and 'Our Love Was Saved By Spacemen'). What would the disco divas and social misfits of the Seventies be listening to if Studio 54 existed on a giant space station orbiting Saturn? (Answers: 'From Today'; ‘Stop The Music'). How would the motorik Euro pop of the Eighties such as The Human League and Stock, Aitken and Waterman translate into the bedrooms of the children of the Eighties if they lived on some cool planet we'd never heard of? (Answers: 'Call Me', 'Thank You').
A pure pop album, leaving behind the realm of the three female harmony girl-group for the unison girl pop of Abba and the Pointer Sisters, moving towards the sounds of Chic-inspired seventies disco and eighties chart music, "Earth Vs The Pipettes" is chockfull of classic influences and killer pop songs, the kind of album that major labels struggle to make with teams of producers and writers.
So many changes have taken place since the release of the Pipettes' previous album that sorting it out is just too much of a pain. All you really need to know is that members of the group have come and gone and their sound has changed from girl group imitators to disco-pop acolytes. The constant behind the group, songwriter and ringleader Monster Bobby, is still there, still calling the shots on Earth vs. the Pipettes. His decision to leave the girl group sound behind was actually a wise one. Despite the tunes often being quite good, there was something off about the presentation. They seemed trapped between wanting to emulate the sound exactly and trying to add something more modern to the mix, which left them in limbo. The new approach is more blatantly pop and newfangled. Working with producer Martin Rushent (no stranger to ultra-pop with a wink, having worked with Human League and Altered Images), Monster Bobby and the two remaining Ettes, Gwenno and Ani, have crafted just about the shiniest, sleekest girl-pop record you could imagine. Like ABBA with some sass, the Spice Girls with tunes, or Bananarama with pitch, the Pipettes breeze through a batch of escapist, lightweight dance-pop like they were strolling through a sunswept meadow. The shimmering strings and pulsating beats of disco serve as the basis for most of the songs, though guitars and the occasional rock & roll drumbeat get a look-in from time to time. Gwenno and Ani are both strong vocalists, imbuing the songs with just enough passion to keep things at a low boil, but not enough to distract. When they join in harmony, they sound like angels riding the wings of a jet plane. The lead singles "Call Me" and "Stop the Music" and the cute novelty track "Our Love Was Saved by Spacemen" are the best songs on the record, but the rest isn’t too far behind. Though almost nothing on the record will appeal to the people who liked their earlier work because of the girl group connection, fans of cotton-candied pop sung by girls who sound like they live on a diet of helium and gummy bears will find Earth vs. the Pipettes just about perfect.
All Music Guide (4/5)
Remember The Pipettes? Well, it hardly matters whether you do or don't because they've had a fair few Sugababes-esque line-up changes since the release of their debut album, We Are The Pipettes. Now a two-piece, they've ditched the polka-dot dresses and completely revamped their sound. But how does it compare?
It's all gone a bit Sugababes for The Pipettes. Four years ago they were they were the classiest girls in pop, backed with songwriter Monster Bobby's swish, ambitious production - so in thrall of all things Phil Spector and 60s orchestral swing. But now none of the original Pipettes remain. Julia Clarke-Lowes carries on with The Indelicates, while Rose Elinor Dougall and Rebecca Stephens have tried the whole solo route.
Though Gwenno Saunders, who replaced Julia just before the group's quite brilliant debut in 2006, is still there, and like Heidi Range in the aforementioned Babes, she was part of the classic Pipettes line up, despite not being a founder member. So she's the continuity that justifies the use of the name that became synonymous with polka dots, pouts and pulling shapes.
Plus Monster Bobby is still behind the music, so this is still definitely a legit Pipettes outfit. Though, as Gwenno's sister Ani takes to the mic as a new Pipette, the group do move on a little musically, briefly into the 21st century, but mainly by adopting an 80s sound. For, like Empire Of The Sun, The Pipettes are finding vibrancy in epic synth, and in album covers of wars in galaxies far, far away.
Those images reflect the sirens that introduce 'Call Me', before the punchy, carefree fun begins. That sort of thing is familiar to Pipette fans, of course, but the wall of sound ambitions are no longer here. Instead, it's the sort of pop Bananarama shone with for a few brief years, with 'Stop The Music' and 'Captain Rhythm' in particular being future retro disco floorfillers.
Faces and styles may have changed, but a beating pop heart remains. And it's a pretty catchy one, too.
These three lovely ladies made a splash a few years back with the terrific ‘50s/'60s pop influenced debut, We Are The Pipettes. Well, fast forward a few years and out of the original three, Gwenno, Rose and Becki only one, Gwenno (the blond) is still around. Gone are the polka dot dresses and as for the ‘60s sound, well , it hasn't entirely been abandoned but has been cast to the side for a more dance pop (think St. Etienne).
Line-up changes and a change in sound could spell disaster for most bands. However, with a batch of terrific songs and help from producer Martin Rushent (the Human League dude), Earth Vs. The Pipettes turns out to be a winner. They waste no time jumping in with the bouncy "Call Me" (siren and all) and then leap into the snappy, funky "Ain't No Talkin'" - and then right into the dreamy bounce of "Thank You."
You want more? Fine, because the hits keep comin': "I Need a Little Time" could be dance floor hit in the U.K. (assuming they are more on the ball than American music fans) as could the super-catchy "History." And those are just the first 5 songs. It doesn't stop there; the rest of the record is just as strong, with the band slowing down momentarily to catch their breath on the slower "I Vibe U." Admittedly, there isn't a ton of variation in these tunes, but who care about variation when you're having this much fun!
If you are one of those individuals that enjoys being taken back to their glory teenage days then the Pipettes second album ‘Earth vs. The Pipettes’ is one that will do exactly that.
The songs that have been created for this new release are not your typical pop music. Although its focus may be this style, it is surrounded by and incorporates some electronica, dance beats and slightly more peaceful ballad styles. The majority of the songs are upbeat, so give off a fast moving poppy atmosphere that you can’t help but want to move to, such as the electronica focused ‘I Need a Little Time’ and ‘History’. The use of different elements such as strings and even the clicking of fingers on ‘Stop The Music’ makes the album more rounded. There are also more soothing tunes too such as ‘I Always Planned to Stay’ and the lovable ‘Ivibeu’ as well as poppy love songs such as ‘Finding My Way’.
Vocally the female musicians are such strong singers. From the opener onwards, the two voices compliment each other so well. There are times the two vocals blend together to sing a verse or one vocal dominates while the other backs up well in the harmonies. They are honest, sweet and pure in their presentation. The Pipettes create songs that are poppy, sing-a-long friendly and 100% memorable. You will not be able to deny the movement of your feel or the motion of your lips as the impulse to sing and dance swarms over you. These guys create a sensationally tremendous second album. (Room Thirteen)
Whilst we’ve not been able to keep up with the constant line-up changes, the temporary break-ups or just who the feck is really running the thing, Crud were no less pleased to learn that cheerfully manufactured all-girl pop band, The Pipettes will be releasing their second album, ‘Earth Versus The Pipettes’ on June 28th on Fortuna Pop! And naturally, in a world of such freakish infidelity, precious few constants remain. So what are we waving goodbye to? Well all three original members, Ani, Gwenno and Beth, the polka dots dresses for one thing and the Phil Spector template the girls’ had adopted so successfully on their critically acclaimed debut, ‘We Are The Pipettes’ has also been sent on its way. No, they never really were a typical band and this is still no typical comeback, the band having already supported a fairly eclectic range of artists including REO Speedwagon and Mark Ronson.
What we have still though are the tunes. Big, brash, covered in sequins, layered in camp and arriving on our planet like love-hungry she-women from outer space. Which is apt really, as the concept this lightyear round is all things extraterrestrial, the girls evidently having relocated to Venus.
‘Earth Versus The Pipettes’, a successful marriage of Sophie Ellis-Bextor posh-bird pop and Barbarella zero-gravity kitsch pretty much picks up where ‘I Love My Heart To A Starship Trooper’ and the Rah Band’s ‘Clouds Across the Moon’ left off – and it promises to be no less entertaining because of it. All we really need is John Barrowman bursting out of the Tardis in assorted leather bondage restraints and the picture will be complete. (Crud)
Thankfully, the overriding sense of fun that permeated their first release is still present, but instead of that girl-band of the 1950s/60s feel it's been replaced by something altogether more 1980s sounding.
Take the record's second track, 'Ain't No Talkin', for instance. Instead of being infused with that Ronettes-esque sound, we're presented with something more like a cross between 'Club Tropicana' and 'The Hustle'. There album also hints at elements of Sophie Ellis Bextor's work at points, particularly track seven, 'Stop The Music', which could have easily been a follow-up piece to 'Groovejet'.
And the influences don't stop there: 'Captain Rhythm' has something of 'Spirit In The Sky' about it, and Jeff Wayne's 'The Eve Of The War' pervades 'Our Love Was Saved By Spacemen'.
In fact, despite its 1970-80s sonic influences, the whole of the album has a very 50s science fiction vibe which does put the B-movie inspired album title into perspective. As such, you find yourself listening to something that has nostalgic kitsch value for a future that never was, which is quite an odd thing.
At points the LP's striking, but for the whole it's rather clichéd. That doesn't mean that it's not an enjoyable listen, though, because it is. It'll be interesting to see what happens next for The Pipettes. Earth Vs The Pipettes is good, honest, fun pop and despite its failings it's definitely worth the trip to HMV. (The Daily Music Guide)
The Pipettes first came to public notice in 2006 with Top 30 hit ‘Pull Shapes’ and debut album We Are The Pipettes, with their sound and look harking back to girl groups of the 1960s. After a few line-up changes, Gwenno and Ani Saunders deliver a second album and although a spirit of the 1960s remain, the girls have discovered disco and have activated the glitterball, particularly on ‘I Need A Little Time’ and ‘I Vibe U’.
This collection is up tempo party music, but it feels a little schizophrenic as they move through decades of girlpop and back again. It's good pop, but whether they bother the charts again anytime soon is another matter. (GaydarNation)
Brighton girl band The Pipettes are, fairly literally, a different band to that which found modest mainstream success with We Are The Pipettes a few years back: the trio are now a duo – only Gwenno Saunders remains of the girls, now joined by her sister Ani.
The personnel overhaul isn’t the only change The Pipettes have made: musically the retro harmonies that distinguished their music are still there, but things have changed in indie music over the last few years and the group have taken an unashamed stab at the zeitgeist, throwing in ‘80s synth lines left, right and centre – especially evident (and effective) on the Little Boots-esque ‘Need A Little Time’.
For what it is, Earth Vs The Pipettes does its job well: a reasonably consistent collection of quick, catchy pop songs. All in all, a decent sophomore effort. (Glasswerk)
After nearly 4 years out of the spotlight and numerous line up changes (yes, not only the Sugababes are capable of this) The Pipettes return with their second studio album “Earth vs. The Pipettes. And its not only band members that have changed. Gone are the polka dot dresses and 50′s inspired melodic hooks that debut “We Are the Pipettes” had to offer. Instead Sisters Gwenno and Ani Saunders have swapped all this for shiny space suit outfits and in their own words music “Written with the idea of imagining what a disco in space would sound like.” With Alex White (of The Electric Soft Parade and Brakes) completing the new line-up on Drums alongside original members, Monster Bobby (guitar), Jon (bass) and Seb (keyboard) “Earth Vs. The Pipettes” defines the word change.
The album kicks off with current single “Call Me.” From the get-go you can hear the 80′s influence, Lily Allen sounding vocals and the Blondie inspired production all help to make this track one of the catchiest on the record. The chorus will stick in your head for days. Following “Call Me” is “Ain’t No Talking” another pure Pop number with less of an 80′s style compared to many other songs featured on the album. “Ain’t No Talking” is definitely a contender for the best track on the album.
The album carries on in the same vain with songs that could easily have been released back during the late 80′s Stock Aitkin and Waterman musical overload. “Thank You” sounds like it could have been an early Kylie song, which is certainly not a bad thing, another strong track which most certainly would be justified as a single. Then we have the likes of “History”, “I Vibe You” and “Our Love Was Saved By A Spaceman” which wouldn’t have gone amiss on a Bananarama album. However The Pipettes definitely add their own sound and quality to the tracks.
There are poorer moments on the album. The Bananrama influence is once again apparent on “Need A Little Time” however if you are familiar with The Crazy Frog ring tone it will be hard for you to make it past the intro. On “I Always Planned To Stay” the girls sound like a poor Bangles tribute act. Luckily for them this is only a small dip half way through the album and is rectified towards the end with “Finding My Way”. Some fantastic vocals and my personal favourite on “Earth Vs. The Pipettes.” “Captain Rhythm” is total Eurovision material, camp Disco/Pop with a Christmas vibe added for good measure. The album closes with “From Today.” The track starts off dark and eerie however these girls clearly find it hard to record anything too sombre and the track really kicks in after the first few bars.
Overall it’s a good comeback album, maybe not in the eyes of many critics who would have preferred Gwenno and Ani to carry on where the original line-up of Pipettes left off, however if you love your 80′s music and the likes of Bananarama, Kylie Minogue, The Bangles and Wham then you are in for a treat. They may not conquer Earth but they do put up a good battle. (M Is For Music)
The Pipettes never really were your typical pop group and with 'Earth vs The Pipettes,' they prove their originality and diversity. Their musical roots of sculpted, self-confessed unbashed pop remain intact but with this release, they have a fresh new take on everything.
The bottom line of this album is fun pop music. Like Alphabeat try and provide with their extrovert pop, The Pipettes are all about upbeat melodies and gentle harmonies that are underlined by the need to have fun.
With vocals that sound like a cross between Abba and Diana Vickers, such are their curling notes at the end of each verse, The Pipettes' latest album offering simply makes you want to get up, dance your feet off and have a really, really good time.
The obvious highlights here are the cheery 'Ain't No Talkin',' the funky 'I Vibe You' and the 80s pop nostalgia of 'Stop The Music.' The Pipettes seem to span the years of cheesy pop to create the chessiest pop album of all time but far from being an embarrassing album to put on, such is the polish and afterglow on this album that although it is cheesy, it is also somewhat acceptable because it sums up just what pop should be about - having a good time! (My Brum TV)