Puppini Sisters' Lament In Three-Part Harmony
A bassist plucks the big fiddle's strings and makes them moan. Drumsticks tap out a languid beat. Then a sad woman begins her story of woe: "I bought another dinner for one / I sit and watch some pointless rerun..." Two other singers join her to lament their fate: "Jilted... again." They'd even sat through football games to keep him! Now, the jiltees are engaging in classic self-destructive behavior, from "drinking gin" to "talking to the cat."
Welcome to the unpredictable world of The Puppini Sisters. The group's members aren't siblings, but they sing in close enough harmony that they might as well be conjoined triplets. (Only one is actually named Puppini.) Their shtick is to take the style of The Andrews Sisters and add postmodern zing, which can mean a crazy, violin-driven version of Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" or the outstanding original tune "Jilted," which sounds like a confessional column from a Swing Era edition of Cosmo.
When singing "Jilted," each sister pulls off the neat trick of keeping tongue in cheek while still sounding as if she means every word. Even when those words are, to quote the song's trumpety coda, "Wah, wah, wah, wah."
This story originally ran on March 27, 2008.
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