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Betcha Bottom Dollar

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Album Review

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.

Customer Reviews

The New Andrews Sisters

Since the time of the Andrews sisters, many female groups tried to emulate the sound and harmonies of the sisters. I must say they are the one who got it. The good thing about it? it does not sound dated and they are able to keep it fresh and fun has the originals were. Love it, more please and as soon as possible

Fantastic Jazz Vocal Album

The Puppini Sisters are the finest jazz vocal ensemble since Manhattan Transfer. Their harmonies are perfectly balanced. This album is a true gem.


Formed: London, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Modernizing the harmony vocal pop of '30s and '40s groups like the Andrews Sisters, London's Puppini Sisters took the name of Marcella Puppini, who founded the act after being inspired by the music in the film The Triplets of Belleville. Puppini, a native of Bologna, Italy, moved to London in 1990 to study fashion and quickly became immersed in the city's music scene. Though she had a career at Vivienne Westwood's design studio, she left to focus on music, and in 2003 earned a music degree at Trinity...
Full bio
Betcha Bottom Dollar, The Puppini Sisters
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Customer Ratings