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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. [The U.K. versions contains two bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Hot steppin' stuff!!

Wow ladies! You're really on the ball with this one - transporting us all back to the heady days of the '40s....with a little Millennium Twist for good measure! Harmonies are tight, tight, TIGHT! All the usual favs you'd expect from an album based in this era....BUT!....check out the "Wuthering Heights" absolutely amazing! I'm sure Kate is tickled pink! Further interpretations of "I Will Survive", "Heart of Glass", Morrisey's "Panic" (YES! Honest!) make this, surely, the most sought-after album of the year....but only if you want to be WAY-AHEAD OF THE CROWD, that this space - these ladies are going to be EVERYWHERE before the end of the year! You heard that here first, baby dolls!!

Why review the album if you DONT like the genre?

I dont see how people can give this album such low reviews when freely admitting they dont care for the genre, its like a person who hates rap reviewing eminem, generally a bad idea ;) Persoanlly I love all the old andrews sisters stuff, not to mention the work of nat king cole etc. And this album is a refreshing take on some old songs and some charming renditions of some new ones. What we need to see next is an album thats half covers and half original work as a progressive step.

Sooo much fun!!!

Why do an album like this??? Because it's fun! The girls' harmonies are brilliant, the songs from the period are done really well and the contemporary tracks that are used and re-arranged are brilliant!!! It's such a fun album who cares why they did it, listen to it, have fun and have yourself some cheery sing song!!!


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...
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Betcha Bottom Dollar, The Puppini Sisters
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