Sugababes - Catfights and Spotlights

2008-12-19 12:20
 
Catfights & Spotlights
 
It's easy to work out where that album title comes from. Since forming as young pups in 1998 (average age of group – 13) Sugababes have been the revolving door of pop – seeing members come and go, never to return. And because this is an all-female group, the "bitch factor" hasn’t been too far away from critics' minds when examining just why the group hasn't been able to hold on to their members for very long.

Reports of tension and constant squabbling have dogged the ever-mutating trio since original member Siobhán Donaghy abruptly left the group just as they were conquering the charts in 2002.

But despite the alleged internal strife, Sugababes soldiered on, becoming one of the most successful and cutting-edge pop groups in history. Much of their spark comes from the fact that they've always fashioned themselves more along the lines of The Supremes than The Spice Girls, forgoing the bratty gimmickry of "Girl Power" for sophisticated pop class that showed off their attention-grabbing vocals.

Though the Sugababes sounded wise beyond their years, even as teenage upstarts, Catfights and Spotlights is perhaps their most mature and essential album yet. Opening track and lead single "Girls" is all hip-swaying sass, while "You on a Good Day" and "No Can Do" show the babes paying tribute to the 60s soul sound of their forebears. But Catfights isn’t all retro redress – "Unbreakable Heart" and "Every Heart Broken" (OK, so there is a degree of title contradiction going on) are spine-chilling pieces of pop balladry, as jaded about love as they are assured that it will survive its pitfalls, still looking (and sounding) fierce.

Of course, the 'Babes do it all with their unmistakable variety of sensual attitude – much of that thanks to the contribution of relative newbie Amelle Berrabah, whose honeyed vocals flow seamlessly alongside those of her fellow 'Babes Keisha Buchanan and Heidi Range.

For anyone doubting that the Sugababes still have "it" after six albums, Catfights and Spotlights has more to say about these girl's enviable talent and career trajectory than any number of tabloid column inches ever has – or ever will.


For anyone doubting that the Sugababes still have "it" after six albums, Catfights and Spotlights has more to say about these girl's enviable talent and career trajectory than any amount of tabloid column inches ever has – or will.

ddsdfas 2009/01/07 3:14 PM
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