It's recently been uncovered that Keisha Buchanan, the last original member of the ultimate British female group, Sugababes had left. This is really saddening as I'm beginning to think the Sugababes are over now, which is a shame too as I've grown up listening to their music (which wasn't that long ago). Here's a look back at their wonderful catalog.
One Touch, 2000 (4/5). It all began 10 years ago. The Sugababes formed in 1998 initially made from fresh faces, Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena and Siobhán Donaghy. From the downbeat "Overload" which became the 'Babes first top ten hit, to the dramatic violin and drum studded "Run For Cover," the Sugababes' first album was a subdued and restrained endeavour, implementing moments of youthful soul (which soars seamlessly in the dreamy "Soul Sound" and funky "Real Thing") and pulverant breezy pop on the drum tied "Promises," the dark string and drum fixed "Just Let It Go" and the more lighter but still moody "Look At Me," and also packed with tastefully accessible chastened post-millennium garage on "One Foot In." Best: Overload, Soul Sound, Run For Cover, Just Let It Go, One Foot In
Angels with Dirty Faces, 2002 (5/5). The Sugababes' first album had been relatively unsuccessful, in hopes to get their career back on track, they were dropped from their record label, booted Siobhán out of the group, signed to a different label (Island Records) and released their masterpiece second album, emulating a retro/pop affair with doses of an urban flair. The album scored the group their first #1 with their aphotic remake of Adina Howard's "Freak Like Me" and followed it with (song of my childhood) "Round Round." "Stronger" is the among albums biggest standouts; a blackish, disheartening but still beseeching number another is "Shape" which was built around a sample of Sting's "Shape of My Heart" (he can be heard in the backing track). It's sweetly downbeat and dark but with a charming pop appeal. The electronic pop sounding title track "Angels With Dirty Faces" is another favorite. Best: Stronger, Freak Like Me, Round Round, Shape, Agels With Dirty Faces, Supernatural, Virgin Sexy, Blue
Three, 2003 (4.5/5). I didn't think the Sugababes third album was good as their last--it was indeed their last relatively good album, but wasn't as consistent. The album enjoyed a more rougher production, stemming from the urban tigned, third number-one single "Hole in the Head," the clanging "Million Different Ways" and the heavily electronic guitar based "We Could Have It All."The album was pretty big on ballads too, the deep piano chord fueled "Caught in a Moment" and the throbbing ode "Maya" are standouts. The albums best moment is "Too Lost in You" which also has to be my favorite song from the 'Babes--a perfect showing of melody, drums, piano and raw vocal another knockout is classic poppy "In the Middle." Best: Too Lost in You, Hole in the Head, Caught in the Moment, Million Different Ways, Whatever Makes You Happy, In the Middle
Taller in More Ways, 2005 (3/5). The Sugababes decline began on their fourth album--after rumors of splitting they stuck it out long enough to release their fourth album, producing average results, little did we know it would be Mutya Buena's last outing with the 'Babes. The first three tracks give a good start. The fun number-one single "Push the Button" is great, the sassy R&B tinged "Gotta Be You" is good too and the ballad "Follow Me Home" follows on nicely, after this point things get patchy--"Joy Division" isn't a favorite, but the fantastic "Red Dress" follows up brilliantly, packed with energy and the acoustic pop styled "Ugly" round out the albums solid first half and begins its weaker second half which is packed with mostly filler. The daunting ballad "2 Hearts" is the highlight from the second half. Best: Push the Button, Red Dress, Gotta Be You, 2 Hearts, Follow Me Home, Ugly
Change, 2007 (2/5). Arguably the Sugababes' worst album, largely bland and uninteresting--definitely the girls at their lowest, however I did like hit lead single "About You Now" and the breezy, heavily drum anchored "Denial," the title track "Change" lacks a distinctive melody, but it's still decent and maybe the string and drum backed "Back When" holds some appeal but apart from that, Change, was indeed lackluster. Best: About You Now, Denial, Back When
Catfight and Spotlights, 2008 (4/5). The Sugababes latest album was indeed an improvement from their last, presenting a satisfying blend of retro soul, classic pop ballads and cool funk throwbacks. Lead single "Girls" was a fantastic funky number, "No Can Do" was even better. The Coldplay styled piano keys of "Sound of Goodbye" and the whimsical combination of strings and drums in "Nothing's As Good As You" are just great. "Side Chick" and "Beware" are good too. Best: No Can Do, Girls, Sound of Goodbye, Nothing's As Good You, Side Shick, Every Heart Broken, Beware