Jypsi – “Mr. Officer”
The sartorially-challenged Rische siblings are back! Of course, you may not have even missed their absence, considering that the group’s 2008 debut was only released digitally, and its only single, “I Don’t Love You Like That,” topped out at #38. But Jypsi has picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and given radio success another shot with new single “Mr. Officer.”
Here the Risches, who range in age from 18 to 27, tackle that rite of passage for every young adult with a driver’s license: Getting pulled over and attempting to sweet-talk your way out of a ticket.
Now, the young speeder in question doesn’t do what everyone else in her shoes would do–i.e. blame her lead foot on a broken speedometer/labor pains/acute case of dysentery. Instead, she offers up the lamest of lame explanation: she “just can’t stop thinkin’ ‘bout him.” Oh, also “it’s such a pretty day.” We only hear one side of this conversation, but it’s pretty clear that Lillie Mae wants poor Mr. Officer, who probably suffers dopey excuses like this all day long, to tase himself into sweet, sweet oblivion.
Considering the musical chops displayed on their debut album (especially rollicking bluegrass instrumental “Kandi Kitchen” and the vocal harmonies displayed throughout the record), it’s a little puzzling as to why this song was chosen as their “comeback” single and why the band has seemingly chosen to depart from their softer roots-pop sound in favor of thumping Top 40 drums that, during the chorus, nearly overshadow the fiddles and brother Frank’s guitar.
Despite its shortcomings—and there are a few—“Mr. Officer” is bursting at the seams with carefree, youthful exuberance and bright three-part harmony. It’s pretty easy to imagine speeding down some freeway with this on the radio. However, will this easy charm carry the song after the shine wears off (about the time the lyric “Yes I know that this is not the Autobahn” stops being amusing)? It all depends on the listener: still crack a smile at similar one-way conversation songs like Brad Paisley’s “Me Neither” or Daryle Singletary’s “Too Much Fun”? Then you’re good to go. Otherwise you might want to pass this one by.
Though Jypsi certainly has the talent and the experience to stand alongside other successful mixed-gender country-pop groups such as Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, and Gloriana, this may not be the best showcase of their skill. “Mr. Officer” may get a few extra spins compared to “I Don’t Love You Like That,” but it’s not a song worthy of the group’s potential. Luckily, it is worthy of that “Guilty Pleasure” playlist on your iPod.
Listen: Jypsi – “Mr. Officer”
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