Sugababes make good quality pop music seem so easy. Their hazy harmonies and tight rhythm ensure that they deliver each and every time. I have nothing against Girls Aloud, but it is pointless making comparisons. Cheryl Cole’s crew make leggy, lippy relentless dance floor pop, which has its place, but Sugababes offer an entirely different package that is more chilled out, classier and effortlessly cooler. Here are my first favourite tracks from their fresh and zesty 6th album Catfights and Spotlights:
Side Chick: A great number from Robyn’s writer Klas Ahlund. The Sugababes sound is really strong here, effective circling piano chords, all nestled around light and summery percussion. “If you want a sly chick – on the side chick – It’s not you and I boy – you better get your head checked”. Seriously catchy.
Unbreakable Heart: A panoramic and fateful ballad with sweeping guitar synths that evoke those sped-up shots of clouds rapidly passing through the sky. Some classic Sugababes descants appear towards the end, maybe not to the extent that I would have liked though. (Keisha joked how one of their production team suggested ‘Earth’ as a title for this album – admittedly a shit name, but I kind of see where they were coming from with this track).
Beware: A strong Bond-theme sound here, Bassey-esque grandeur and heavy clockwork-like percussion. Amelle takes the lead, showing off her huskier and darker voice, revealing her unique offering to the trio in its current climate.
Sound of Goodbye: Again a very awe-inspiring and epic song that builds this worldly sense that Sugababes are on a quest to destroy the one ring! Nice backing vocal arrangements.
Bad track? Hanging on a Star: The ranting-chanting parts at the beginning are too far into Fergie's territory and the chorus melody is camper than David Schwimmer, I can just imagine Red Coats devising dance routines on their bunk beds.
The only other disappointing part of the album is Taio Cruz chirping away on She’s Like A Star. I like my Sugababes chic and sour, too cool to collaborate with random R’n’B personalities and too cliquey to have guests on their album. I suppose everyone has to do their bit for charity, but surely summer smash Come On Girl is still paying his bills?
Words: Jack Cullen