Tipsy's debut album Trip Tease fused easy listening from the '50s & '60s and '90s electronica together so perfectly and distinctively that it was a tough act to follow. Just over four years after Trip Tease's release comes Uh-Oh!, and though it's not the disaster the title implies, it's a little disappointing. Though Uh-Oh! wisely avoids overtly contemporary electronic styles in favor of exotica, lounge, bossa nova, soft rock, and analog synth tomfoolery, its 18 tracks are strangely amorphous, the aural equivalent of a lava lamp -- equally kitschy and hypnotic. Most of the album's tracks blend into soothing yet subversive background music, but there are quite a few standouts: the sleek, slinky opener "Hard Petting"; "Hey!," which sounds like an exotica-tinged version of the Art of Noise's "Close (To the Edit)"; "Sweet Cinnamon Punch," a mutant offspring of '50s and '60s slow-dance numbers; and "Reverse Cowgirl," which mixes sliced-and-diced slide guitar, bouncy brass, and a galloping beat into the sonic equivalent of its title. With evocative cuts like the seductive, slightly campy "Pink Mood" and "Bunny Kick"'s sassy fusion of soft rock and bossa nova, Tipsy gets increasingly filmic, though there's probably no movie diverse or weird enough to put all of their musical moods to use. From the underwater beach party of "Wig Out" to "Suez Motel"'s hazy exotica to the voluptuous finale "Eclipse of the Sun Virgin," the album sounds like the kind of music Esquivel would have made in the third millennium. Though it could have used some of Trip Tease's structure, Uh-Oh! takes Tipsy's intoxicating sound in a prettier, more atmospheric direction; whether that means it's more straightforward or more subversive than its predecessor is anyone's guess, but either way Uh-Oh! proves that Tipsy's mix of old and new is utterly unique.
by Heather Phares