December 03, 2002

Pipas "A Cat Escaped"

Wow, what a great record! Pipas are a lovely British girlboy pop duo of Mark and Lupe, who are as cute as their music is dreamy. Not a single second of A Cat Escaped is squandered foolishly, and that makes the record even better! Lupe sings with a very sweet, siren-song coo that reminds me of nobody, save for a hint or two of His Name is Alive's Karin Oliver. Not too twee, not too heavy, just sweet enough and mysterious enough to be totally alluring.

And the music? It's an odd, unique blend of jingle-jangle indiepop synthy blissout and all out dance-pop affair, with a little bit of candy on top! Ethereal and earthy, folky and funky, expressive yet brief, serious yet silly--A Cat Escaped is full of agreeable and surprisingly successful contradiction. (And when I say brief, I mean it--for all of the muscial ground that Pipas cover, they do so over ten songs in barely twenty minutes!)

This brevity causes but one flaw--songs that sound great and are just starting to get off the ground often just abruptly stop, with Pipas just moving on to the next idea. Even though most of these songs reach their natural conclusion, they just seem at times to be too abrupt in their ending. A minor quibble, though, for A Cat Escaped is just the balm for those bored-out bedroom bummer blue afternoons that occasionally happen. You get up, you dance, and you go about your day--what a perfect record for such a purpose!

--Joseph Kyle

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