"We are the Pipettes, and we've no regrets!" yell Brighton's answer to the Shangri-Las, kicking up their kitten heels in this unapologetic homage to Beatles-era pop. Phil Spector and the Brill Building songwriters blew teenage angst to Gone with the Wind proportions, but the Pipettes offer EastEnders melodrama, brief tales of one-night stands and hard girls at school sung in estuary vowels with bubbly enthusiasm. It's heavy on Motown basslines, dramatic strings and love affairs that thrive and die on the dance floor.
Just when you thought they didn't make 'em like that anymore, Brighton's Pipettes emerge with this debut album to prove you wrong. With hooks and looks borrowed from the golden era of Phil Spector, the Pipettes, it seems, are on an admirable mission to re-establish the concept of the girl group, and there are, undoubtedly, some true gems on We Are the Pipettes: the 2006 mid-summer single "Pull Shapes" being one. With its stop-start rhythms, sparkling near-disco strings, and a lyric celebrating the bliss of dancing your cares away ("I just wanna move/I don't care what the song's about"), it gives the listener a pretty good picture of what this record is all about.
A section of the Pipettes' website entitled "About the Pipettes" helpfully explains not only where they're coming from, but where they hope their critics will come from: "There is a traditional historiography of popular music which in some way or another always seems to come back to the Beatles; and Lonnie Donegan who begat The Beatles, and Elvis who begat Lonnie Donegan, John Lee Hooker who begat Elvis and Robert Johnson who begat John Lee Hooker etc etc. But that is not what we are interested in here. " The Pipettes are right.