The Sugababes Discography Rate

londonrain

Staff member
I appreciate the compliment (though I probably skew toward the top of the age distribution of voters here).

But I think I feel most comfortable with Taller/Change because that's when I started routinely listening to the Sugababes. I delved back into their catalog and enjoyed Angels and Three, didn't really pay attention to the debut, and didn't like the new sounds of Catfights or Sweet 7 (except for a few tracks here and there).

Angels and Three are the only Sugababes albums that I didn't buy when they were released (even though I did like the singles from both). I suspect this is probably why I don't have as much emotional attachment to the album tracks on those two compared to how I feel about One Touch, Change or Taller. (And I say this as someone who has given very high scores to some of the album tracks on both albums.)

Then again, I also don't have that much emotional attachment to the album tracks on Catfights or Sweet 7 - and I've made my feelings about "Ugly" very clear already.
 
I don't get this love for Taller in More Ways to be completely honest. Sure, it has some highlights in it but seeing it as a package I think it's their weakest album after Change.

Completely agreed, only I actually prefer Change. It's very... underwhelming, especially after Three.
 
I know this is always a question of personal taste in the end but, whilst I'd rate Taller has a bunch ok tracks with a few gems here and there (and 2 'Hearts' is a gem I don't care what you say), I feel that Change is mostly on the lower end of mediocre with two or three tracks that are actually good enough, one or two that are actually bad and the only actual gem being 'Never Gonna Dance Again', which, frankly, feels a bit out of place there.

PS:
I don't get this love for Taller in More Ways to be completely honest. Sure, it has some highlights in it but seeing it as a package I think it's their weakest album after Change.

I obviously forgot about Sweet 7 there, though I'd invite everyone else to follow my lead.
 

londonrain

Staff member
It depends on how much you like glossy mid-2000s pop, I think.

This is probably an oversimplification, but there seems to be a general divide in this thread between the 'real girls' who prefer the grit and imperfection of Three and Angels (and the darker sound on singles like "Stronger" and "Freak Like Me") and the full-on pop hunties who prefer Taller and Change (and the full-on glossy brightness of "Push The Button" and "About You Now").
 
I feel the divide is more One Touch & Angels VS Taller & Change, with Three & Catfights being the outliers. Three due to being THE quintessential Sugababes record and the one that is in 95% of people's album trinities for the babes, & Catfights being so different from the other 5 (yet still so amazing)

& none for Sweet 7 bye.
 
Better and 2 Hearts are two of the only 2.0 abominations.

Abomination? 2 Hearts? Not No Man No Cry but 2 Hearts?

hXGtYfh.gif
 
Perched for the next batch of eliminations.

@beyoncésweave , if you're crazy-busy in your non-forum endeavors and finding it hard to compose the writeups (which you clearly put a lot of care into!), I'm sure many of us (myself included) would be happy to guest-host an elimination or two.
 
@beyoncésweave , if you're crazy-busy in your non-forum endeavors and finding it hard to compose the writeups (which you clearly put a lot of care into!), I'm sure many of us (myself included) would be happy to guest-host an elimination or two.
Aw, thanks for this offer, darling. I've considered this a lot, but basically my elimination schedule is a convoluted mess of commentary, artwork and elimination 'ideas', which would take as much effort to describe to someone else as it would to do the damn elimination in the first place.

I will definitely consider this if things get too overwhelming, though! I really want, and like, to go a bit in depth into a song and all of your thoughts on it, which prevents me from being able to churn the results out at the level some of the forrem girls manage to. I hope the writeups are nonetheless interesting and worth reading, and that the slow but steady pace is acceptable.

As a reward...





































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Now You’re Gone
Score: 7.365
Highest: 10/10 x 7 (@etienne, @Voodoo, @marie_05, @londonrain, @Mr.Arroz, @chanex, @Blayke)
Lowest: 3/10 x 1 (@scottdisick94)
My score: 7.5/10
––

Oh, this was such a surprise to me when I discovered it, as it seems to have been for so many people. This was the only original track to feature on the Taller In More Ways reissue following Amelle’s entry into the band (the reissue retained the original Mutya recordings save for “Red Dress” and “Follow Me Home” which would become singles).

The vocals work here very well. Heidi doing both verses in her wind-swept glower and Keisha on a pretty great bridge and leading the chorus (though in a somewhat cold-ridden nasally register). The best bit might just be that middle eight, where they all add their voices into some sort of stormy gale that swirls, stops for the chorus in breakdown before nearly tearing itself apart in wind-ridden fury at the end. Amelle kinda makes herself known with some great adlibs that are perfect for her best register, but it’s a bit disappointing that she’s not more of a presence, especially since she wrote the damn song. The production is torn between being somewhat basic (that drum machine I_CANNOT_USE_REAL_WORDS_PROPERLY_) and rather epic, with those ominous piano chords and strings creating this swelling, nervious energy. It sounds quite persistently like a classic from the 2.0 days.

I really think that instead of of wasting it on the completely unnecessary Taller reissue, they should have hung onto this for Change (if you were keeping count, I’ve said this to at least three extras and B-sides from the Overloaded and Change eras – e.g. “In Recline”, “Good To Be Gone”, “3 Spoons of Suga” – which would have made Change a good to very good album indeed). Even more than those tracks, this is less experimental and more classic sounding, which could’ve rounded out the slower/ballad-y track on the abum really well. It’s such a neat little track, and again, one of those lovely discoveries that really justify this deep dive into their discography.

Filler (6) thinks she’s being cute by bringing up fucking BASSHUNTER in my rate, “Don't know why they rewrote this, I preferred the original Boten Anna” acl (6) cannot stop ha shady ways, “I’ve forgotten it already but somehow feel like it deserves a 6.” HRH (6) finally clocks the Amelle-deficiency (Amellenesia?) of this, “I will never understand why their "first song written with Amelle" features almost no Amelle.”

“Pleasant but not memorable” says Mina (6) also apty describing Solenciennes (8) who laments the loss of development opportunities for Amelle, “this is so dramatic, I feel like Amelle was denied the chance to create an album that would have housed this kind of song on it. It’s very good and reminds me of “Run For Cover” somewhat, the same sort of melancholy to it. The chorus is great, it feels like a classic Sugababes track to me, which is a great first impression for original material featuring Amelle. It’s a shame it all went to shit after this!”Shady Bulgarian kal (8) notes that it’s “a surprisingly decent addition by Amelle.” Constantino (8) is watching the Sunday_Rain.mp3 to this, “It’s all a bit bleak and melodramatic, which I LOVE. Yas give me that bop to watch the rain hit the window to, Queens.” DJHazey (8) wonders “like how in the world is this not on an album?” “A lovely ballad but definitely not one of their best,” is enough for an 8.5 from PCDPG, “I remember listening to this song when I was young and watching some awful youtube montage along with it. I absolutely loved it.”

For mrdonut (7), it “does its job perfectly well”. Runawaywithme (6.5) lays down some pleasantaries, “a nice midtempo, I really like the production on this one, it creates a nice vibe and reminds me of a sister to “Stronger”’. I mean, it’s more like an adopted sister twice removed to “Stronger” but werk. Ironheade (6.5) is middling on this, “Another fairly standard downtempo number, with an opening taken from the Big Grab Bag of Clichéd Pop Lyrics to boot. Again, we have percussion over melody, with a thin piano line, and while the swells of electric guitar and strings could have been something quite good in a "Change" sort of vein, they're a little too sparse to really have the impact that they should. For all I've bagged on it so far, though, this is alright. Keisha's vocals are well-executed, for one thing, and Amelle comes through quite nicely too. Not bad, especially with its good vocals, but quite forgettable.”

“This should have been the track to properly introduce Amelle and the 3.0 era,” declares CasuallyCrazed (9). Sprockrooster (9) somehow forgets “2 Hearts”: The best ballad on this album with the absolute perfect dramatic ending. Glad to have this end my CD-version.” ssa (9) gets a bit tew freewheeling with the references, “This is the Sugababes’ version of R.E.M.’s “Leaving New York” to me. They’re not bald though.” But you are after this song! Epic Chocolat (9) is also snatched by this, enthusing “My kind of pop.”

Chanex (10) breaks free off ha leash, “OMG an immediate classic 3.0 midtempo ballad I've never heard before? 10! 10! 10! I think I'm going to cry. They all sound flawless. Queen H leading things off, the way she says "self" with the crack, Amelle with her classic "yeaAAAyyuuh" and Keisha on the breakdown! Her "WHY CAN"T I SEE???" right after it ends... I think I've cited enough examples to prove that we have unearthed a priceless artifact.” Speaking of priceless artifacts, Blayke (10) once again layers his praise of 3.0 songs with disdain of Amelle, “This song’s brilliance is down to Heidi’s haunting vocals of despair and Keisha’s yearning (for Mutya). I love the instrumental for this song, it’s so dramatic. Amelle is a non-entity on this and really should not have been on it at all. She contributes nothing to the song.” Finally, “I love this. The harmonies and backing instrumentation are great, and Keisha's solo chorus works so well. This was in the running for my 11,” admits londonrain (10). I personally only really had two tracks in the running for my 11. You’ll find out which two, soon.

 
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Im surprised this song lasted this long. Its not anything super outstanding but at the same time its a pleasant little gem. Very cute. Wish Taller re-release had more new songs as this proved they were able to deliver. Also its nice to hear more Heidi than usual.
 

londonrain

Staff member
Aw, thanks for this offer, darling. I've considered this a lot, but basically my elimination schedule is a convoluted mess of commentary, artwork and elimination 'ideas', which would take as much effort to describe to someone else as it would to do the damn elimination in the first place.

I will definitely consider this if things get too overwhelming, though! I really want, and like, to go a bit in depth into a song and all of your thoughts on it, which prevents me from being able to churn the results out at the level some of the forrem girls manage to. I hope the writeups are nonetheless interesting and worth reading, and that the slow but steady pace is acceptable.

As much as I admire the writing of lots of the other forum members, I'm enjoying the specific style and consistency of this particular rate so much that anyone else coming in would either be a jarring departure or would be desperately trying to keep up with what you have in mind, @beyoncésweave. I would rather have a slightly slower elimination speed than have a line-up of guests playing the Amelle to your Mutya.

Although I could have done without you responding by eliminating one of the best Sugababes album tracks. Fucking hell.

The vocals work here very well. Heidi doing both verses in her wind-swept glower and Keisha on a pretty great bridge and leading the chorus (though in a somewhat cold-ridden nasally register). The best bit might just be that middle eight, where they all add their voices into some sort of stormy gale that swirls, stops for the chorus in breakdown before nearly tearing itself apart in wind-ridden fury at the end.

From the intro this is instantly a classic ballad in the icy-cool style of "Caught In A Moment" or "Follow Me Home", but I also think it's a clever changing-up of the usual Sugababes formula of having Keisha on the ad libs and Heidi on the middle 8 which makes it an interesting song in the context of the lineup change.

I am not a particular fan of Heidi (and generally I tend to prefer songs that don't have very much of her vocals in them), but one thing she does incredibly well is her restrained, clearly enunciated, icy-cool style, and the choice to have her carry both verses was inspired. Her voice brings out the lyrics in a way that, say, Amelle's wouldn't have.

I think Amelle's vocals are used judiciously and well here - the bits where she comes in ("but there's nowhere left to turn" / "am I stronger now you're gone") fit so well with the song as they're basically being used to shift the song up a gear for the chorus or down a gear for the next verse (which I think is generally something she is better at than Heidi).

Basically, the song just goes OFF for me at all the right points and is the easily single best thing about a reissue that otherwise didn't bring me much joy. As I've mentioned before, Taller is one of my favourite pop albums of all time, but I could easily have lived without any of the Amelle re-recordings. I basically bought the reissue for "Now You're Gone". When the initial crescendo builds to the initial repeated crotchets in the instrumentation at three seconds in, it just does something to me, and somehow by the time we hit the Keisha solo chorus at the time and the repeated crotchets come back, followed by that "Why can't I see..." ad lib, the whole thing is tugging at my heartstrings in a way that no other 3.0 ballad really achieves.

"Tell me who's gonna make it better when there's so much going wrong? Will I feel this way forever or am I stronger now you're gone?"

At the time it was pretty difficult not to see this in light of Mutya leaving, which added an extra poignancy - and frankly I wish they'd released this as a single instead of re-recording "Follow Me Home" (which is a beautiful song but was always slightly too low for Amelle).
 
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Yes, this should have definitely been a single, rather than Follow Me Home.
I do like the thought of them keeping all these good songs for the Change album, but I can't help think of Mutya when I listen to it. I think ending the Taller era with this would have been perfect.
 
A very underrated song and possibly my favourite 3.0 track. It has that classic Sugaballad vibe, as stated before.

How did Change (the song) get this far? It's quite bland, isn't it? A lot of the eliminated songs are so much more interesting.
 

londonrain

Staff member
Change is one of those songs that I actually like more after having to listen to it again for this rate. I think the first time around I just sort of skipped over the fact that it can quite easily be read to be about death rather than just a breakup.

The production is a bit extra, though (what are all the sound effects before the chorus?). Now You're Gone is polished without going overboard.
 
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