Never a dull moment, and never an irritating frat-girl with a “bottle of Jack”.
Matthew Horton 2010-06-10
Uffie dropped the ball. The Miami-born, Paris-dwelling rapper made a deep impact with 2006 debut single Pop the Glock, mangling her distinctive US-Gallic vowels around a cocky slab of electro that cemented a quick reputation for this brash new female MC and her producer (then-) boyfriend, Feadz. It should have been the start of something big for a fresh voice, but Uffie and Feadz kept things on the down-low, letting tracks seep out on blogs and under-promoting full singles. A sporadic release schedule and heavy touring pushed a debut album back incessantly (that, and the birth of her first child and divorce from graffiti artist André Saraiva). Then Ke$ha came along, and suddenly there was a new wise-cracking, hard-living, potty-mouthed girl on the block.
So now Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans is finally here, Uffie looks like the copy, not the template. But a swift listen to this exciting, polychromatic record should put paid to that. Talent burns through old-skool rap bangers, ferocious electro body-poppers and teary teen anthems – never a dull moment, never an irritating frat-girl with a “bottle of Jack”.
It’s no surprise it’s varied; this is an album that’s gathered tracks over five years. Now positively ancient, Pop the Glock kicks off the fun, as future-perfect as it ever was, and there’s space for 2007 EP tracks First Love and Brand New Car.
The lengthy gestation has seen a host of French disco kings popping in, with significant production jobs from Mr Oizo (of Flat Beat notoriety), Mirwais (brilliantly weaving the warped skeleton of The Velvet Underground’s Rock & Roll under the title-track), SebastiAn and the faithful Feadz, but the ear is also caught by a couple of Yanks: The Rapture’s Mattie Safer guesting on cosmic house drifter Illusion of Love, and Pharrell Williams’ gleeful turn on recent sarky bling-killing single ADD SUV.
Uffie’s well aware she went AWOL, but paints it as a virtue. “Three tracks a year and they still talk about me,” she boasts on Art of Uff, although the tremendous, shrill, B-girl blast of MCs Can Kiss concedes “No boss on my shoulder... maybe that’s why I don’t do so much.” Still, she’s painstakingly hoarded an impressive 14 tracks here – if she can pick up that ball again, maybe she’ll run with it this time.