March 2008

The Puppini Sisters
The Rise & Fall of Ruby Woo

Last year, with their debut release Betcha Bottom Dollar, Britain’s Puppini Sisters (non-siblings Marcella Puppini, Stephanie O’Brien and Kate Mullins) somehow managed to dupe a significant portion of the listening public with their campy treatments of retro tunes and frenzied covers of contemporary hits. Now the cleavage-popping trio, a sort of tongue-in-cheek Andrews Sisters for tone-deaf Gen Y-ers, is at it again, shanghaiing everyone from Patti Page and Barry Manilow to Beyoncé and the Bangles on their sophomore disc The Rise & Fall of Ruby Woo (for what it’s worth, “Ruby Woo” isn’t a person, real or mythical, but a bright red shade of lipstick favored by the threesome).

Magnus Hastings

The Puppini Sisters

The need for another jangling “Walk Like an Egyptian,” a woozy “Old Cape Cod” or a painfully soppy “Could It Be Magic” seems questionable at best. Yet, Ruby Woo isn’t entirely dreadful. As slacker laments go, the Puppini-penned “I Can’t Believe I’m Not a Millionaire” is clever fun, as is her “Jilted,” and O’Brien’s urgent “Soho Nights” is genuinely good. Still, it’s tough not to see it as ironic that the lasses have decided to close with a cloying reading of “We Have All the Time In the World.” They don’t.

Originally published in March 2008
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