Available on: Ed Banger LP
MySpace. Remember MySpace? That thing we did, but even at the time sort of resented, about three years ago? And do you remember how at the time broadsheet newspapers started writing about the new wave of “myspace artists” and how they were revolutionising music and the way it was distributed (personally I think that accolade should go to YouTube for making it so easy to access pirate radio clips and unreleased stuff, but that’s a whole other story), and how music would never be the same again?
Some of these artists rode on their own coattails for a while then faded off – New Young Pony Club. Some gained credibility before their fanbase lost interest – Kate Nash. Some gathered vainglorious ideas that they were real, proper, hard-working bands from their MySpace success and then went on to release the worst sophomore album teaser in the history of music – Klaxons. But imagine, one MySpace artist didn’t do any of that. One artist didn’t do anything, in fact, for four years, before releasing their debut album, with tardiness so extreme it seemed almost random. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Uffie.
With a title Motley Crue would be proud of, Sex Dreams & Denim Jeans is Uffie’s debut album, and she seems to expect her fanbase to be pretty much intact. But what fanbase? I think the key feature about music on MySpace was that you could have profile songs, and it was used by teenagers. This meant that the kind of music that was most promptly hoovered up on there was the the proud identity badge kind of song – “I’m so sexy, watch me party”. We’ve all seen them, we all know them. When MySpace collapsed, these same people stopped listening to electro-pop and new rave and went back to listening to indie in miserable silence. It’s not a coincidence.
So Uffie chooses to add the gimmick of making the album amazingly well0produced. And it is. It’s beautiful at points. You can dance to it, and enjoy dancing to it. You start to wish it was an instrumental album, it’s so well produced. But this does mean that you think the album would be great if it didn’t involve Uffie in any way whatsoever.
‘Pop the Glock’ kicks things off, Uffie’s allegedly “legendary” MySpace tune, with its horrible faux-British accent and meaningless, meaningless chorus. ‘Art of Uff” has Uffie telling us all about how she’s travelling the world, and how all you ever hear about is “me me me”, perhaps with a sense of irony, but then again perhaps not. ‘ADD SUV’ has a Pharrell cameo and I don’t even want to talk about it. ‘Give it Away’ is a genuinely good pop song, with lyrics that fall just the wrong side of clumsy. ‘MCs can Kiss’ is probably the best song on the album, a declaration of disinterest in being a good rapper, Uffie saying she’s “the least working girl in showbusiness”. It also features a grin-inducingly inept saxophone solo. But then it’s all downhill.
‘Difficult’ is a track which is really enjoyable, but halfway through you realise it has nothing to do with Uffie. It’s all production once again, in this case Mr Oizo’s work, but throughout the album, Uffie brings this veil of obnoxiousness over all the beauty which is in the music. ‘First Love’ attempts at sensitivity and is just stupid; what’s upsetting about this is that some Little White Lies-reading couple will say that this is ‘their song’, and that’s just depressing. ‘Our Song’ features a brilliant chorus, which I’ve just realises sums up what I’m trying to say about the album – “let the music tell you you went wrong / that’s our song”. Uffie is an unwelcome stranger on her own album. ‘Neuneu’ ends this period of soppiness in the middle of the album and you remember with bitter resentment the electro brash crap of a few songs ago. The chorus goes, “you wanna talk about it?”’ No thanks. “Let me talk about it.” Oh right, okay.
‘Hong Kong Garden’ would probably be good if it was an Altered Images song, but it isn’t, which just seems spiteful. ‘Ricky’ is the final, smothering, over-the-top odious farewell, and features the line, “I’m Paul Smith, bitches.” Shudder. The album finishes off with a speech that mentions Michael Jackson and monkeys and I don’t know or care what’s going on during it.
What Uffie has done is taken the worst aspects of hip-hop, electro-consumerism and sexual arrogance, respectively, and fused them together to form one unwanted bastard son of a music genre. It is the musical equivalent of Skins. In it, Uffie talks about cellphones and cars and going to Europe in a way that makes it seem as if these things are the most glamourous, enviable things in the world. But it just makes you think of that girl in school that everyone hated. Uffie’s own acceptance of her mediocrity fuels this fire, ‘cause now you’ve got one of those bitches who always go, ”I know I’m a bitch! Love it, me.” Again, shudder. It’s just arrogant music, plain and simple, and the thing about arrogance is you can never really argue against it as it just feeds it, you can only ignore it. And myself, and I imagine nearly everybody, will be ignoring this album.
If an instrumental mix comes out though, do seriously consider buying it.