The original Sugababes are making an album! This is amazing if you think corporate pop can go fuck itself. This is real music, written by the founding members of what has effectively become more of an engorged club than a band. How amazing.
HOWEVER let’s be honest, if MNEK and Emeli Sande and those other acclaimed people were making music for the current crop of ‘Babes it would be just as exciting. In 2008 when it was announced the band signed to Roc Nation there was this whole thing about how amazing it was that the Sugababes were finally going to crack America. With the right producers and stuff they’d manage to become a global phenomenon. They didn’t, as it happens. And in retrospect, songs like ‘Get Sexy’ (‘If I had a dime, for every single time, these boys stopped and stared, I’d be a billionaire!!’ stand out as particularly oppressive and sad) felt like a step in the wrong direction.
Anyway the nostalgia surrounding what the original members did is astonishing. Because commercially the band weren’t a huge success until Heidi stepped in in 2001/2. Of course, that’s not to say the band’s first album wasn’t amazing, it was. Overload was incredibly clever and brilliantly bolshy without seemingly lifting a finger, while Soul Sound and New Year was alright I suppose. Yea, they were OK.
Going back to Heidi for a moment, she has been in the band as long as Keisha, if we’re being statistical. And anyway, I was only 9 when the original lineup were being all brilliant, so if there’s any misguided opinion here, and you feel like posting a letterbomb, remember that I was 9, and when I was 9 SMTV: Live started showing Pokemon, and that was kind of a big deal, so I was a bit busy to be getting moist over the Sugababes, OK? Heidi is a good member, both in the fact she had a nice voice, and the majority of the songs she’s worked on have been good.
There can’t be any doubt the Sugababes Mach II – that’s Mutya Keisha and Heidi – was actually kind of amazing. Freak Like Me, Round Round, Stronger (ehh) but also Too Lost In You and Caught In A Moment. It was an amazing time to be in a girl band because you were honest and innocent and didn’t have to compromise your sexuality because most the time you got to wear Adidas in some form (or, see Mutya’s schexy puffa jacket in Too Lost In You).
People are yearning for the original line-up more as an act against the current, regurgitated, recycled, redundant crop than anything else. Heidi, Amelle and Jade haven’t done anything exciting. Their music isn’t particularly interesting; it sounds inspired by 2007’s Timbaland craze and considering the band were originally quite open, honest and un-sexual it’s a shame the brand has gone on to re-record ‘Here Come The Girls (Girls, Girls, Girls Girls)’ and a song which talks about wearing your kiss all over your body with the defeated spirit and lacklustre confidence one may find synonymous with sporting an STI (all over your body).
The appeal in the new line-up might come from two things. One, a hark back to older, less sexually aggressive ways. And another that the artists working with the OrigiBabes are trendy, forward-thinking and less perverse than previous writers. MNEK is all about the MUSIC, man. He wears geek specs. He’s YOUNG. Young people aren’t perverse save for Tinchy Stryder, who recently rapped about Holly Willoughby running him a bath. Which is a bit weird, and childish, and weird again. You get off on someone mothering you? .
Also quiff-bearing Emeli Sande is not pandering to overly-sexual things, which is really awesome for the original redone Sugababes. She’s a real wimmin. I know this because I saw her perform at a Samsung gig and she wore comfy clothes instead of a crop top and stilettos. Sensible, sensible Emeli. She will guide the new-but-original-Sugababes wisely.
What is appealing is what these new producers and thinkers bring to a brand that has grown weary with intense over-thinking and deflating opinions on female sexuality. GONE are the belly rings and suggestive dancing. REVOKED are the flirty glances and applying-lipstick-in-the-car pouting. REVIVED are the sitting on shag carpets, thinking about bigger issues and writing in diaries.
So basically, the new old redone Sugababes are exiting because they’re working with fresh talent and amazing song writers. This could, in theory, make the current line-up of the Sugababes exciting, too, because they’ve proven to be as malleable as a jacket potato left under a radiator. HOWEVER part of the huge appeal of this reform is of a band of rejects being reassembled into a new, but familiar, pop outfit. Like The Avengers, if the metaphor wasn’t clear enough. They are cool. Comparatively, the current crop, despite being able to hold a tune, were all brought in at some point at the behest of producers to ‘spruce things up’. Heidi was an Atomic Kitten, Jade was a Eurovision ‘star’ and Amelle ran a successful crime syndicate in Wood Green.
It will be very exciting to see the new, old, redone ‘babes release music because despite the fact people are gooey-eyed and stuff about the Sugababes, unless they’re way older than me they’ll probably have the longest, most stable memories of a band that had already chucked Siobhan out for being a bit mental. Listen to Overlord. Listen to Siobhan singing. It sounds weird, although not bad.
So yea. Apparently they sound amazing. But think about THIS. Someone has to have a strop or a fall our or quit eventually. It is probably going to be Mutya, if you’d like my unpaid opinion.