Label: Ed Banger Records Release date: 15/06/10 Link: Official Site Uffie has several routes she can go. One is to just stop now while she’s somewhat ahead. An alternative is to continue going as she is and attempt to “develop” this sound she’s trying to go for. The third choice is stasis. Either one leaves the public unaffected; especially considering it’s taken three years for her debut Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans to drop. After the wait, we are rewarded with exactly what was expected. Half-baked sprechgesang, foul attempts at electro-pop, abuse of vocal effect plugins, and one of the most banal releases in recent history. When the first seconds are wasted on revealing ‘Pop The Glock,’ the first emotions stirred within me (even after a few listens) are hatred and confusion. This song is four years old, right? Why the fuck would you put it on the album? It’s been on like two or three EPs already, so this song should just die already. The Tenebrae-lite of ‘Art of Uff’ continues this stream of awfulness. “I know, I know, you’re so tired to hear about what I do. About what I smoke, what I drink, what I cook for my husband, all the travels I do, all the shit I got for free,” she dully intones over a maddening synth that NEVER LETS UP. No song on this seems to ever let her supposed talent shine. Either she’s Auto-Tuned within an inch of her life, or sounds so bored and numbed that she might as well just say, “I am a sex automaton.” After ten minutes and countless suicidal thoughts, ‘Give It Away’ treats you with GarageBand drum loops, more predictable lyrics and chord changes, and the worst use of triplets and hemiola in a chorus ever. Every tune seems designed to annoy to the maximum level, and succeeds more often than not. ‘MCs Can Kiss’ has her at her most annoying riot grrl shout, run through a tinny distortion and chopped to the point of shit. Uffie’s flow is predictably atrocious, as awkward as her MIDI saxophone solo (which sounds like a Casiotone soprano sax, just for your edification) and as full of great rhymes as ‘Pop The Glock.’ “I’m an entertainer not a lyricist, I’m so far from all you cats out there if I get popular I know that ain’t fair,” she attempts to rap-sing. At least she knows she’s a talentless whore, I guess. No single part of Uffie seems to imply pleasure, a bizarre move for this harlot. Her voice grates with its saccharine delivery and fake British accent or her alternately oh-so American moments (like on the wannabe pop ‘Difficult,’ which ends up sounding more like rejected shop music from Ocarina Of Time channeled through Daft Punk on Quaaludes…something expected but disappointing from the crafter of this beat, SebastiAn. When not biting the overly slick production of 2000s house, Uffie loves biting the ‘80s until bones show. ‘First Love’ bleeds ‘80s soft rock synths into the modern Auto-Tuned shitstorm and record backspin effect usually reserved for radio censor edits of club rap. Even the drum change-up (that rips off Perfume’s far superior “Polyrhythm” switch. Are you hearing this, Yasutaka Nakata?) seems forced, wrecking a moment that could have built tension with its own minimalism. Too many songs rely on too few elements. Oftentimes Uffie’s vocals, for which I am running out of negative adjectives, get the sole accompaniment of a two to four bar drum loop from an 808, a single bass, a single lead, and maybe some digital alteration from whoever decided to birth the demonic song (usually Mr. Oizo). There’s no fun to be had here, but rather constant tears. Lyrics are all about materialism, dancing, fucking, and probably fabricated life events to make Uffie seem less like a metallic femme bot. Instead her own reliance on machines makes her seem like a byproduct of the Pro Tools age. When not abusing Antares, she’s misusing compression, automatic double tracking, reverse effects, and other tools that used to be used for purposes that were actually valid (hell, these methods are still being used for good today). I guess a certain amount of that can be blamed on whoever produced the track, but Uffie had to have said at some point, “You know what, I need more pitch correction. On every song. And more compression on those vocals. More – I want to hear every syllable at the same volume, goddammit.” ‘Our Song’ attempts to reconcile Uffie with her audience, via another spoken-word confessional intro that instead makes her seem fake and plasticine. “I never claim to be an artist, I can’t even sing you know. Everything happens so fast, and I never knew I could get used to it. And now I’m trapped in something shiny…Do you believe in me?” she explains, almost showing emotion before dropping into an emotionless robot carnival of predictable melody and lyricism. Her calling card of digitally warbled Auto-Tune taints even the highest moments of the album. ‘Neuneu’ could have been a fun, sunny song that scraped the bottom of the Homework barrel. Instead it sounds like Uffie. When you have a chance to shit all over Siouxsie and the Banshees, I guess you have to if you rap about dances called the Tootise Roll. So her cover of ‘Hong Kong Garden’ manages to take a genuinely good song and make it a soulless fucking piece of shit. Bloody Beetroots bass warbles dominate the last 30 seconds of the song, turning it into a nauseating trip instead of the fresh take Uffie was obviously going for. Everything is terrible. No moment here seems to be utilized well, instead using navel-gazing to showcase Uffie’s vocals. It’s a shame her vocals sound like they were recorded on a metric fuckton of codeine or painkillers. This disc reeks of failure, both on the parts of the producer and Uffie. When she’s trying to diss haters, she instead sounds like a whiny bitching 16 year old on MySpace, or that friend who sends you angry texts because they don’t get life. In every song where Uffie goes personal, she reveals her plan to crush her competition by just saying that they suck – a real winner of a plan, there. Wow, Uffie, you must really want to take over the world one club at a time. At least she has a great stage presence…wait, never mind, she just prances on stage dully while some dude “plays” a laptop (probably iTunes). At no point during my time with Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans did I ever say, “I want to listen to [song title] again, I like that.” I received verbal complaints upon playing the singles. I felt genuine nausea during my first two listens, and by the third and beyond I just felt dirty shame at having to listen to this. Uffie as a project is one for self-aggrandizing feats, and results in one of the singularly worst things with a budget this year so far. I would rather hear Ke$ha because the beats are stable instead of a clusterfuck of effects and drops to seem “edgy.” Much like the nonexistent edge of Uffie’s lyrics, wit, flow, beats, and delivery, the possibility of fun is eliminated if not genocide-style murdered. Part of me wants to kill these digital files Viet Cong execution style, but that would acknowledge their existence for a second time. Just stop already, Uffie, for the damage has been done. Photobucket