Ooh, y’all have been calling for this one’s head for a long time now. I’m not sure it deserves much vitriol, but it feels like this placed a little too high perhaps? Aided no doubt by the Taller stans coming through (if y’all haven’t noticed, Taller has been doing especially well in the rate, pulling up tracks like these quite a bit)
As a cover, and especially one they chose to feature on an album (with the only other instance of such being “Freak Like Me”, which is in a special class of cover altogether), it’s a bit of an odd one. A jaunt into 80s synthpop seems like a perfectly sensible endeavour that fits the album’s remit of exploring different angles of capital P Pop. The question of why this does strike you though. For a cover, their take on this is pretty standard, and it doesn’t deviate too much from the Animotion original. What makes it stand out a bit are the vocals. Mutya’s slight boredom works especially well here, and Heidi – who originally recorded the demo for this before it was turned into a full track – gives her best smoky, sucking-teeth smoulder here. Their vamping on the blaring synthesisers on the chorus somehow really works.
My basic gay ass didn’t cotton on that this was a cover for many years. In thinking this was an original, I didn’t find it to be a particularly ill fit on the album, and I still don’t. There are some bad cuts on it, but a pretty proficient cover is not among them. Most of the commenters agreed on the cover not being especially necessary, but the more positive among you still appreciated it for what it was.
Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. The first bottom up is Solenciennes (3) who is not on board. Oh, at all. “I find this to be quite tacky more than anything else, it sits with “Joy Division” in that bracket of songs on the album that don’t really appeal to me. That 80s synth pop simmering in the background should hark back to “Freak Like Me” in a good way but it just fails on that front for me and I’ve never warmed to the track.” “This isn't a good sound for this group,” observes Mina (4) wryly. HRH (5) finds it “pointless and unnecessary”. “Useless cover,” bleats Deborux (5). PCDPG (5) is right on one count but not another, “This song, along with “Bruised”, isn’t necessarily a bad song. However they both scream album filler and are nothing special.”
Ironheade (7) is liking most parts of the song, “Oh, look, we've done the time warp again. I can't help it, even if they're super-corny, the stuttering bassline and blaring synth fanfares put a smile right on my face, with blasts of guitar impressionistically smeared across the back, in the sort of sound that encapsulates the era it came from in a very enjoyable fashion. Dig the funky guitar chords leading into the outro as well – those and the New Romantic synth leads would have made for a fine backdrop for the song by themselves. Problem? Mutya sounds a wee bit flat and off here for some reason. Don't know what's up with that, and it's a real problem when she sings so much of this song. Oddly enough, it seems to be Heidi who's more equal to the task of tackling this one. A little too basic, but it's fine enough.”
Filler (7) sorta has the same questions with the song, “The Animotion original could have been a great choice of sample, or even the basis of a “Freak like Me”-style mashup, but I'm not sure they needed to drag the entire song along with it. Clearance issues, or failure of imagination?” why_not_both.png? “I'd rather listen to this version of the song obviously, but I'll probably just go back to listening to no versions,” which is enough for a 7 from DJHazey. Standards! Constantino (7) bops accordingly, “C’mon 80s instrumentation! This is cute.” mrdonut (6.5) “[adores] the original but I don’t really need this version in my life.”
Voodoo (8) muses about hip Aunt Margaret, “Didn’t Heidi record this as a solo song first or something? I’d like to hear that.” Epic Chocolat (8) curtly puts that it’s “a good cover version”. “One of their more inexplicable covers,” begins londonrain (8.5) before going onto ask, “why do a random '80s hit and then still make it sound so '80s? Heidi originally did this as a demo and somehow it ended up being a Sugababes track. For all that, it still sounds good on them and their voices actually work well with the song.” Chanex (8.5) just wanted to hate it in peace. Instead they pressed play, “Logically I know my score is absurdly high as I hate nothing more than a cheap copycat cover, but they sound SO good and especially getting to hear Heidi say "stranger beware" and Mutya redefines the "consume my soul" line... ugh amazing!” acl (8.5) is also on board, “Again great production, Heidi voice works so well and Keisha sounds wonderful sinister. A bit repetitive at the end.”
Lost In Japan.(9) also fell back in lurve, ‘My biggest re-discovery of the rate. All about the way Mutya sings “there’s no alternative”.’“This shouldn't work at all. But it does!” exclamates VivaForever (9). uno (9) is pleasantly surprised, “Listening to the original, I would've never thought "Wow, the Sugababes should cover this!" but I'm glad they did, and did it well enough to make it their own and not sound like a cover.”
Sprockrooster (10) loves this so much that they wanted it as a single, “This one was tragically never released as a single and that hurts even more as the chosen singles were not that strong. But even worse, this song will always have to stand in the shade of “Ace Reject” for being the best album track.” I mean, I’d probably give that honour to “2 Hearts”, but that’s just me. kal (10) makes a confession, “I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never heard the original, and I have no idea whose idea it was to cover this, but it is FIRE.”
Blayke has a crack at justifying another of his 10s, “It’s a good cover. I think the 80’s feel was appropriate for this album. That’s pretty much it. Heidi in particular shines on this Animotion track. I do also find fun in the “who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?” line. Mutya’s “I feed you I drink you my day and my night” is particularly good.” Finally, we have CasuallyCrazed (10) who is full of praise, “Spot on cover choice for them, this improves upon the original and is sexier than anything on Sweet 7. Mutya being checked out and disinterested was frustrating during the Taller era, but it actually works perfectly here.”
I'm glad Taller is doing well in this rate (it's among my favourite pop albums of all time) but I'm okay with this elimination, given that I've accepted that "Ugly" is going to overperform in this rate. I always liked this song but I still have no idea why they chose this song, of all things, to cover.