Advertisement

Album Review: Uffie, Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans


Following years of Myspace releases, Uffie, the most divisive artist on Ed Banger Records (home of Justice and formerly most divisive artist Mr. Oizo), finally puts out her debut Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans. She has more than her own boatload of hype. The question is does her album actually stand up to it all? The short answer to this question is yes and no.

Before I start answering this question, let me give a little background on Uffie. Miami-born, Hong Kong-raised, and Paris-based, Anna-Catherine Hartley has been making tracks on the dance underground for a few years now. If you are up on your Internet music hype, you would have caught her first EP with “Pop The Glock” and “Ready to Uff” back in February of 2006. Given that I was too busy being a social delinquent at that time, she first came to my attention on labelmate Mr. Oizo’s 2009 album Lamb’s Anger, providing vocals on “Steroids.” Honestly, it was an uninteresting cameo on an otherwise compelling piece of straightahead dance music from someone who is better known for his ability to make the most un-club-friendly dance music on the face of the planet (Youtube “Stunt” if you don’t believe me). After a series of delays and misinformation, Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans was eventually released this June.

To return to the question posed, this album does succeed on a number of levels. The first is the production. Provided by Mirwais, Mr. Oizo, SebastiAN, and Feadz, each track’s beat is sharp, hard, and varied. Ranging from the adapted “Top Billin'” sample on “Pop The Glock” to the nouveau Miami Vice-style synth fills on “Ricky,” each producer does some really top notch work, mixing it up between club bangers and post-club, early morning tracks. There isn’t a poorly produced track in the bunch.

Along with nice beats, Uffie is a good dance/club chanteuse like Caron Wheeler. I can imagine tracks where she sings like “Give It Away,” “First Love,” and “Illusion of Love” burning up floors across the globe (and it probably is). Each of those songs makes you want to get on the floor and grind up on someone, which is a good thing for a dance album. In another addition for the dance floor, Uffie does a really excellent cover of Siouxsie and The Banshees’s “Hong Kong Garden,” honoring the original while putting her own spin on it.

While there are positives to the album, there are a few negatives. The first is that she’s a heavy biter. On “Pop The Glock,” Uffie shows a disturbing lack of creativity by just replacing the words to Audio Two’s “Top Billin'” with her own. As well, during “Our Song,” the tempo and style of the song with its heavy auto-tuning takes directly from T-Pain’s track “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’).” At points, it sounds like an exact carbon copy. Good rappers just don’t do that. As Tha Alkaholiks said on “Coast II Coast,” “If imitation is the greatest form of flattery/ then, punk, don’t flatter me.”

Additionally, her lack of hip-hop artist credentials are wiped out in my mind by the fact that the material she did write pales in comparison to the writing done by Feadz, who wrote 7 of the 14 tracks by himself along with co-writing 3 others with Uffie. This makes her claims about being an awesome writer somewhat difficult to believe. That idea is bolstered by her rather weak flow. I almost crashed my car when she said “Sound like twista fast as hell” at a pace slower than I talk. I appreciate irony in a lot of places, but flows are not one of them.

Lastly, this CD is one of the slowest starters I’ve listened to in a while. If I weren’t reviewing this album, I wouldn’t have gotten to the awesome “Hong Kong Garden” cover, which is the penultimate track, because I would have turned it off by the fifth track “MCs Can Kiss,” another track where Uffie stumbles in another ill-fated attempt to prove her rapping superiority.

Much like a lot of pop albums, Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans has its high and its lows, both of which are meteoric. The only thing that stays consistent in the production. This CD features some of the best work that I’ve ever heard from Mr. Oizo (and that includes his own albums). To end, on “Our Song,” Uffie asks the audience if they believe in her music. If this album is her case, I can’t say that I fully do. I will if she can make more tracks that sound like the last 5 tracks rather than the first 5.

p.s. This is my first entry of many as a member of Mission Creek.


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

stanleymuseum.uiowa.edu/events

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

Don’t let other people’s opinions win.

Vote for your favorite people, places and events in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area! In a time when local businesses need our support more than ever, your vote will send a little love to the places that make our community special. And don’t forget to tell us why—the best comments will be published in our December Best of the CRANDIC 2021 issue! Voting ends September 30.

Read the Best of the CRANDIC issue, on stands now

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.