Uffie - Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans Album Review
It's a refreshing dose of honesty in an age where people with negligible talent make careers out of convincing those with none that their ship will come in; 'I never claimed I was an artist, I can't even sing', says Uffie during 'Our Song'. The happily self proclaimed non-artist - real name Anna Catherine Hartley - signed to French label Ed Banger in 2006, and has proceeded to tread a thin line between globe trotting diva and awkward Gallic pastiche ever since.
All this celebrity contrition has got those pseudo tastemakers at the NME hot under the collar, the wispy bearded ones awarding Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans a not-so-def 0/10. There's an argument that there's little to split the difference between some of Ms.Uff's leftfield electro pop and that of say the critically untouchable Crystal Castles (Crimewave, anyone?) but for the Miami-born pioneer of 'Anti-flow', convincing everyone that she's the genuine article is far from a done deal.
With a production team including label mates Feadz, Mirwais and Mr Oizo and featuring turns from Pharrell Williams and Mattie Safer of The Rapture, there's no doubt though that she has a high powered speed dial. Williams adds some urban credibility to the supposedly ironic, gangster baiting Add SUV, whilst the presence of the autotune heavy and yet really kinda fun debut track Pop The Glock is proof that her inflection free delivery is capable of more than sounding like a Renault's Sat Nav.
In this almost playful mood and not taking herself too seriously the good times continue to roll, the waspy electroclash of MC's Can Kiss destined to soundtrack a few large ones, whilst the cover of Siouxsie & The Banshees Hong Kong Garden is bizarre but yet inspired. When she attempts to come across as serious chanteuse however the quality switch is flipped back to decidedly average, the title track the kind of thing Pink's people throw in the trash every day and First Love missing the target by a mile.
The post of androgynous dance-pop bitch is already taken by GaGa, so it's hard to see any other niche for Ms. Hartley than hip-hop novelty. That's a tight space I must admit, but otherwise you can only regard her as a potty-mouthed Vanessa Paradis, an image that admittedly will make men of a certain age very wistful indeed.