Is The New Sugababes Album Any Good?

Sweet 7′ is the seventh album from the Sugababes… it was (finally) released this week but is it any good?

Following Keisha’s removal from the band, this project was always going to be plagued with set backs. People were always going to scrutinise every detail and compare it negatively to former glories and former members, regardless of the actual finished product, which is a shame.

So far, the album has been poorly received by critics, who suggest that the music is too far removed from the familiar sound of their back catalogue. However, these reviewers clearly discredit themselves by referencing the line-up change as a cause for this radical change in sound – which, is curious considering Keisha had already completed recording the album before being removed from the group. Had she remained on this project – it is unlikely that the album would garner such harsh reviews.

‘Sweet 7’ is the Sugababes most consistent and enjoyable album and happens to be the first album since 2005’s ‘Taller In More Ways’ to contain three Top 10 singles. It features a host of top writers and producers including RedOne, Ne-Yo, Ryan Tedder, StarGate, Fernando Gariboy and The Smeezingtons, who all help to create an impressive album. It’s an album of two parts really – the first eight songs are raaaah, in-yer-face style club orientated tracks, the remaining four are simpler, more traditional Sugababe numbers but all are worthy of a mention.

It all kicks off with those three Top 10 singles – ‘Get Sexy’, ‘Wear My Kiss’ and ‘About A Girl’. It’s a glorious way to start any album and sets the tone for the rest of the upbeat tracks. ‘Wait For You’ is a completely infectious, massive stomper which,  showcases Jade’s impressive vocal ability. ‘Thank-You For The Heartbreak’ is a perfect break-up anthem and the compaion/sister theme to the very ace ‘Never Gonna Dance Again’ from the ‘Change’ album. ‘Miss Everything’ features Sean Kingston and some interesting lyrics “i like them diamonds, like a pirate looking for treasure, i know how to find them” – frankly, there aren’t enough songs referencing pirates these days so it works for us! ‘She’s A Mess’ is HOT, it’s a robotic, futuristic sounding track – Amelle’s holler “everybody go mad, everybody go psycho” shouldn’t work or be convincing but it hits the spot.

‘No More You’ is hauntingly gorgeous thanks to writers and producers Ne-Yo/StarGate, thanks to the simple piano and drum beat loop and lyric “oh aah, oh aah, oh ahh, na na” that runs throughout and thanks to Heidi, Amelle and Jade who all put in stellar vocal performances – this REALLY should be a single. ‘Crash & Burn’ is a ‘new’ track recorded with all three current members. The song itself is a lush stripped back mid-tempo track with an impressive chorus. The album closer, ‘Little Miss Perfect’ is a big giant ballad. These two tracks are the most conventional songs on the album –  they’re both about proper ‘clenched fists and beating chest’ signing and this gives the girls a chance to really belt it out and show how good they are vocally.

It’s not all perfect though, ‘Give It To Me’ is typical filler, a traditional Sugababes sounding b-side. Whilst, ‘Sweet & Amazing (Make It The Best)’ is a bit twee – it’s perfectly inoffensive and happens to be a nice change from songs about impressing guys at the club but it doesn’t seem to fit the style of the album as a whole.

Overall, ‘Sweet 7’ deserves to be approached with fresh eyes and ears – forget what has past and enjoy the here and now because what is here is a fantastic, strong and exciting album.