So many changes have taken place since the release of the Pipettes' previous album that sorting it out is just too much of a pain. All you really need to know is that members of the group have come and gone and their sound has changed from girl group imitators to disco-pop acolytes. The constant behind the group, songwriter and ringleader Monster Bobby, is still there, still calling the shots on Earth vs. the Pipettes. His decision to leave the girl group sound behind was actually a wise one. Despite the tunes often being quite good, there was something off about the presentation. They seemed trapped between wanting to emulate the sound exactly and trying to add something more modern to the mix, which left them in limbo. The new approach is more blatantly pop and newfangled. Working with producer Martin Rushent (no stranger to ultra-pop with a wink, having worked with Human League and Altered Images), Monster Bobby and the two remaining Ettes, Gwenno and Ani, have crafted just about the shiniest, sleekest girl-pop record you could imagine. Like ABBA with some sass, the Spice Girls with tunes, or Bananarama with pitch, the Pipettes breeze through a batch of escapist, lightweight dance-pop like they were strolling through a sunswept meadow. The shimmering strings and pulsating beats of disco serve as the basis for most of the songs, though guitars and the occasional rock & roll drumbeat get a look-in from time to time. Gwenno and Ani are both strong vocalists, imbuing the songs with just enough passion to keep things at a low boil, but not enough to distract. When they join in harmony, they sound like angels riding the wings of a jet plane. The lead singles "Call Me" and "Stop the Music" and the cute novelty track "Our Love Was Saved by Spacemen" are the best songs on the record, but the rest isn’t too far behind. Though almost nothing on the record will appeal to the people who liked their earlier work because of the girl group connection, fans of cotton-candied pop sung by girls who sound like they live on a diet of helium and gummy bears will find Earth vs. the Pipettes just about perfect.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra