The Puppini Sisters – Betcha Bottom Dollar (2007)

The Puppini Sisters - Betcha Bottom Dollar (2007)
Artist: The Puppini Sisters
Album: Betcha Bottom Dollar
Genre: Vocal Jazz, Swing
Origin: UK
Released: 2007
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Tracklist:
Sisters (3:04)
Mr Sandman (2:35)
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B) (2:28)
Java Jive (3:34)
Bei Mir Bist Du Schön (2:17)
Wuthering Heights (3:35)
Jeepers Creepers (2:32)
I Will Survive (4:00)
Tu Vo Fa L’Americano (2:34)
Heart Of Glass (2:53)
Sway (3:07)
Panic (2:15)
Heebie Jeebies (2:54)
In The Mood (3:11)

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Poised somewhere between the Andrews Sisters and Nouvelle Vague, the Puppini Sisters modernize vocal harmony pop while keeping its “so traditional, it’s hip” appeal. On their debut Betcha Bottom Dollar, the Sisters’ style is their substance; it’s not a coincidence that the founding Puppini, Marcella, worked for fashion icon Vivienne Westwood before forming the group. Fortunately, the trio’s style — vintage ’40s outfits, cheeky covers of new wave and post-punk classics and all — manages to stay on the likeable, not grating, side of kitsch. Taken individually, the trio’s voices aren’t spectacular, but they blend together nicely enough to create a convincing homage to the heyday of vocal harmony pop in the ’30s and ’40s. A very pleasant “Mr. Sandman,” a pretty, languid “Java Jive” and “Sway” are among the best vocal pop standards on Betcha Bottom Dollar, but interestingly enough, the Puppini Sisters often sound less campy on the songs they remake than on the classics. Not surprisingly, the original versions of the tracks they’ve chosen to give three-part harmony makeovers have strong melodies and distinctive singers, so it’s not really all that surprising that Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” sounds lovely with three-part harmonies, or that their version of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” fits right in with “Mr. Sandman.” There are times on Betcha Bottom Dollar that things feel a little too knowing and ironic, as on the chirpy cover of the Smiths’ “Panic,” and the album might be a little too long for the mood it’s trying to sustain. On the whole, however, the genuine affection for the styles the Puppini Sisters adopt and adapt saves Betcha Bottom Dollar from being insufferably cutesy.
Review by Heather Phares

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