Sugababes - The Lost Tapes (Deluxe)

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Life has been a fever dream since first learning about this release in the Madonna thread (kii) just over a week ago. Realising that I was due to visit my grandmother and then attend Christmas Eve mass and didn't have my headphones on me was my personal Vietnam.

Even if the material didn't live up to its own mystique, getting these songs out after so much time and so many setbacks is a triumph in itself. But the material is fantastic. There's certain feelings and sensations that only a really good Sugababes song can provoke within me. Now I have over a dozen of them that cover a wide emotional spectrum. It's surreal and beyond expectations.

I remember hammering the maddeningly short snippet for Boys back in 2013, knowing it was that classic Sugababes bop, so I can't quite believe it's sitting pretty in my library in HQ.
 
I've been trying to work out the best words to say how I feel about The Lost Tapes. I've listened to it a few times now and it really does get better each listen.
I had got some of the leaks from years ago, but something always made me not listen to them. Whether subconsciously I knew that one day the girls would be album to release it properly I don't know, but it feels so good to officially listen to the album.
Highlights for me include Drum (I'll admit, I really wasn't struck on this one when I pressed play, but after only a few listens, it's like an earworm. The chorus is so infectious)
Love Me Hard and Today are obvious highlights, since they were performed on tour.
I Lay Down and Back In The Day ends the album perfectly (I haven't had time to listen to the extra tracks on the deluxe version yet)

I echo everyone else and say I'd love them to do a limited run of physical media (CD, vinyl and cassette).

I can't wait to see what tracks they add for the O2 show from the album. I'm hoping for a couple at least.
 

Solenciennes

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Approaching this album from a Keisha angle now, I think The Lost Tapes really show off the range she possesses more than any Sugababes album has ever done. One of the strengths she's always brought is her ability to replicate a studio vocal on stage and often improve on the recording, making the live experience essential. While I'm sure that will be true of this material too, it's nice to have that captured on record, especially after such a long gap in hearing her voice on record. I think some of the earlier discussions focused on Siobhan's songwriting credits because it's only her second Sugababes album but, as was pointed out, Keisha contributed to nearly all of these songs too and it must be mentioned that it's Keisha's songwriting talents that kept the name Sugababes relevant for a decade. Perhaps it's because we have finally experienced an album's worth of the blend of Siobhan's solo career and Keisha's band career and we're all so keen to praise Siobhan finally getting to do it again that we overlook the fact Keisha has always been the most accommodating member of this band, happy to let others get their shine.

So, here's to Keisha! The unsung hero of a band that has always centred around her voice, attitude and commitment to making greatness. The album feels like it's very geared towards the more soulful elements of each of the band's personalities, with lots of lyrics about the passing of time and healing. It's a motif that was there from One Touch through to Catfights and Spotlights, which you can only credit to Keisha towards the end, so I like to think that's her way of righting the wrong of the Sweet 7 album and why it doesn't sit alongside the other Sugababes albums well. I can't believe this is the eighth album, it feels like a fever dream. I feel so fulfilled as a fan. It's nice to be able to talk to other people about how much I love them and have an album to point at to demonstrate why I feel the way I do. I'll be back with a post about Mutya when I've got the time. Full of appreciation for all three of these incredible talents!
 
Too In Love is stunning and anyone who calls themselves a true Siobhan Donaghy solo fan will know it's got her fingerprints all over it - lyrically speaking.

I sincerely hope it isn't this post above that is making people defend other band member's songwriting contributions on this album.

As a solo fan, I can hear times when I believe it's Siobhan's writing. She can go abstract/poetic at times whereas I see Keisha and Mutya as a little more literal or direct on lyrics. It's not a favoritism, it's just something I think I can spot.

Without all three we wouldn't have this album, this beauty of a creation.
 


Oh this came on shuffle awhile ago and fuck do I love this cover.

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There is something full circle about watching the girls do songs from other lineups. Like watching Geri on stage for tracks post her leaving. Doesn't bother me in the least. Its more like an acceptance and preservation of legacy.
 
I was getting really into "I Lay Down" while driving on NYE, only for the GPS to interrupt right as Mutya's "I wanna stay. I wanna go 'round again" vocals come in the second time.
 
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