The Sugababes Discography Rate

You know what? About A Girl is exactly the type of song I'd normally loathe, but somehow I have a soft spot for it. It's immense! For a second it even looked like Sour 7 wasn't going to be a complete disaster. That middle eight reminds me of an early 90s Whigfield song for some reason.
Oh, what could have been.

Loving Keisha-Amelle looking like Tatiana from Drag Race in this photo.
These graphics keep getting better @beyoncésweave!I do love a good box & whisker plot

This collection of tasteful individuals. Sleigh.

#38 really is a perfect spot for it. It cracked the top 40, actually made it in a ways and bowed out gracefully before it overstayed it's welcome.

Now time to get down to About A Hunty!

You don’t know about a girl,
I’ll take over the world,
and I’m gonna party like oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
You don’t know about a girl
The meaning of the word,
‘Cos we just wanna party like oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Engine's running hot baby can you come and check it

As long as I'm not home too late we can even catch a movie it starts around 8

What good is an unbreakable heart?



One Foot In
Score: 7.756
11 x 1: @stopthestatic
Highest: 10/10 x 12 (@etienne, @marie_05, @berserkboi, @HRH, @Solenciennes, @Voodoo, @Robert, @SmashHitter, @CasuallyCrazed, @cryctall, @acl, @Blayke)
Lowest: 4/10 x 2 (@Terminus, @roux)
My score: 9.5/10

When a pop album is anchored by a massive lead single, the strength of the album lies in how well it can accommodate such a single, but also prove its own worth as an album. When such a lead single is the first track off the gates, the immediate subsequent track has an unduly heavy burden on them. All the Sugababes albums lead off with massive lead singles, but “One Foot In” may be the one that leads into the album the best of all (give or take “Whatever Makes You Happy”).

It continues the formula of the immense “Overload,” establishing the latter’s sonic palette and its thematic leanings as the overarching aesthetic of One Touch. So, there’s the beautifully understated production, reliant on a simple lilting synthy instrumental and shuffling bass-laden beat, leading into vocals that are a masterclass in understated delivery, verses being shot down in an almost-quick fire fashion. This is before it glides into harmonies which fuse with the beat and then onto choruses that add just the right touch of force to the insistent pulse of the song. Siobhán and Mutya trade lines with what seems like the slightest hints of rivalry, trading jibes over an afternoon cup of tea.

And then there’s narrative, a simple story of wanting commitment from a lover, and exposing all his (and it’s a he, of course) behaviours that exhbit that lack of commitment. And the LYRICS! Dismiss them all you want as teenage drivel, but how many acts are able to make observation, of both fact and emotion, seem so matter of fact but with such cadence? The entire song is a master class of lyricism such that singling a few lines out seems like doing the song a disservice. “Not just a fling you see, I’m not your fashion accessory”, and then following that up with “it’s time you started to think of me, as more than just your girl baby”. Like, the simplest rhyming scheme, yet so evocative. As is everything that goes unsaid – “No need to call me friend, I understand what you meant back then” and “ All your times into suspend, Between half-past seven to quarter-past ten” – capturing in wonderful allusion that frustrating hesitancy from a partner which could be genuine uncertainty but is far likelier to be them just taking you along for a ride. The essence of the song, in rejecting all of that in a calm and collected manner and politely laying out the terms of engagement, comes across as this quietly confident personal statement. Either commit, or back off – I won’t be used while you decide.

“One Foot In” is all the more notable because the band set the bar for a brand of self-assurance right at the start. It might have evolved along feistier, angrier lines later on, but the core of not wanting to take any bullshit, and equally importantly, recognising the bullshit, was innate to the band. It’s all there in crystal clear shots across the bow like “It's time you started to think of me, Of more than just your girl baby”. Pushing back on being objectified and possessed, and putting forth the idea of yourself as your own person within a relationship? As a message, and especially considering the source, that’s … power.

Belgium’s finest Remorque (7) finds that “This song followed “Overload” and that’s enough to make it sound less brilliant than it actually is. But it’s a nice little pop with some nice guitar and garage-y elements thrown in for good measure. The girls sound cool as fuck on this one too.” mrdonut (6.5) likewise notes that “This suffers somewhat in the shadow of the mighty “Overload” preceding it although to be fair, with the exception of “Run for Cover” what wouldn’t sound lesser in the album’s sequencing?” londonrain (8) felt the contrary “I bought this album on cassette when it came out and I was really happy with how consistent the sound was. This is a great song to follow ‘Overload’”.

“I like the moodiness of this song,” observes PCDPG (6.5). Mina’s (6) “pleasantly bland” seemingly describes a mid-tier 2014 vintage Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s own Central Otago region, where the silky plum notes can quickly disspite leaving only vaguely bitter tannin note. Speaking of bitter, Chanex (7.5) cottons on that it’s “Undeniably cool and so representative of the 1.0 aesthetic.” Constantino (9) is running out of c’mons, “C’mon twinkling synths! C’mon prominent guitar strumming! C’mon harmonised vocals! This is very Katy B before she discovered the club and I live for it.” Not Miss Kathleen Brien! Sound the Island batsignal!

Ironheade (8) breaks down exactly what’s great about the song, before getting a bitsy annoyed at the end, “Yep, I think it's clear who the star was right at the beginning. Mutya blossoms straight away, with her disaffected yet tender vocal muscling Siobhán off the stage quite thoroughly. But really, it's all about the harmonies, with the 1.0 lineup's worth as a tight unit proved by the chorus, with some cool slow distorted guitar chords to back them up. The echoey synth elements in the background and choppy guitar accents have a nicely seductive sway about them, and there's another sweetly melodic bassline to enjoy. No classic, but a strong tune all the same. So it's a shame about THOSE PISSING CYMBALS. They sound like an ultra-pitched-up 808 cymbal and intrude at the worst possible times. The hell is that?!”

Bitter Bulgarian kal (7) tries to argue that it’s dated, “The production of this is very R&B and of its time. I remember it was supposed to be the lead single but they made the right choice to skip it. It sounds like it was recorded quite early on in their career because the girls' vocals are very Alvin & The Chipmunks. I still bop but it hasn't aged very well.” Robinho#1 (8.5) finds that time has been a bit kinder to it, “At one point I preferred this to their debut single but it has lost a bit of its shine. Nonetheless, it’s an outstanding album track.” Runawaywithme (9) is here to argue that it has not aged at all, “A nice catchy bop, I really like the little production twinkles and echo’s in the background that add a sense of darkness. I love how this still sounds fresh and intruging all these years later, it has a bit of a timeless quality to it and its quite ironic how they made some of there best aged music so young.”

CasuallyCrazed (10) finally makes a TLC reference that’s not used to shade the Babes, “Absolute classic, that chorus gives me TLC vibes while remaining distinctly Sugababes.” acl (10) is quite complementary, “Nice intro, the sound encapsulates the sound of the album for me somehow. Great lyrics, i prefer the verses to the chorus but then I generally prefer verses.” Solenciennes (10) finally shows us that he has taste, going straight for one of my other absolute faves, “duking it out for favourite One Touch album track against “Promises”, for me, is “One Foot In”. It’s more attention grabbing than anything else and is distinctly more up tempo than most of the other songs so feels like an anomaly to some extent. The chorus is great, satisfyingly sassy and the storytelling in the lyrics works because it feels realistic. Blayke (10) meanwhile “never quite understood the sound aimed for in the intro but this song is incredible and probably one of the most “pop by numbers” song on the album. I have complete nostalgia with the chorus of this song. I love purring to it. I also LIVE for that one off performance that could have been their music video. Actually this would have been a good single, but then again there are much better options.”

Hmm, real talk but this really was a great bet for a single, and I’d have definitely gone with this over “Soul Sound” and before “New Year” as well. There just aren’t enough uptempo tracks that do a good enough job selling the band on the album, which rather obstinately defies being compartmentalised into singles. “Real Thing” is the closest I can think of as having single potential besides.

Filler (8) is triggered by some bad PlayStation 1 memories, “Mixed feelings about the instrumental, which sounds like it could be a stem from a space station level in one of the lesser post-Naughty Dog Crash Bandicoot games, but that chorus screams "SECOND MOST OBVIOUS SINGLE ON THE ALBUM". P'NutButter (9) also laments that it “Should have been a single, shame”. Which I totally agree with. HRH (10) is enchanted, “An underrated classic. So magical, Mutya sampled it NINE YEARS LATER.” She did! cryctall (10) goes all in, “Favourite song from One Touch on first listen. Favourite song from One Touch still. Simply perfect. And don't you just love how the girls sound together on the chorus. Classic midtempo Sugababes song. Would love to hear it live.” Voodoo (10) also has the same deathwish, “Always been my favourite on the album since I first heard it a few years ago. I had kinda hoped they’d perform this on the 2013 tour, but alas they didn’t. Stupidly, I thought they’d perform it on the next tour, after the album came out. Remember when we were optimistic about that.” Yeah, I remember alright.

Finally, I’m so very glad a song I love so is being honoured with an 11. stopthestatic is here to very endearingly take it away in a flurry of sassy emojis, “I'm most likely going to be the only person giving this song the coveted 11, but it's always been a big favourite of mine. It's not the most polished track and almost sounds demo-like in it’s production and mixing, but the lyrics feel like a meal to me and the line delivery is spectacular ('cause I'll be occupied with something else…’). It just has a lot of the raw teenage attitude and sentiments that ground this entire album, and I love singing along to it with my eyebrows raised, finger wagging along the way. Essentially feels like the 2000 equivalent to the eyes emoji with a tiny bit of the nail polish emoji thrown in for good measure. Hands down a highlight of their discography.” Very much so.

This live version with 2.0 is possibly the only reason I’m downgrading the song by a 0.5, because it proves that it was meant to have a (pretty great) middle eight, which puts it a touch above the merely instrumental middle eight of the album version. Also the Mutyalibs and Keishalibs on this are fantastic, despite the sound quality.

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Staff member
First(able), I love One Foot In and I'm sad that it's out considering some of the shit that's still here, but we're now at the point that there's only a smattering of those sorts of tracks left in and we've probably lost about the same number of really great tracks so far, so, all things considered, I'd expect One Foot In to be vacating around now anyway, even if I gave it a 10.

Secondly, I didn't really go into much analysis in my commentary which I perhaps could have, but even so, the amount of thought provoking analysis from @beyoncésweave and others commenting on the song have managed to make me consider things I never really had before, so hats off to everyone who submitted commentary!

Thirdly, this song is one of the most attitude packed songs on One Touch and is definitely one of those template songs that 2.0 modelled later albums on, so to anyone questioning Siobhan's impact I'd point at this song as prime evidence for why she, and her input, are so necessary to the band's essence (at least until the wheels fell off). It's also where Mutya and Keisha get to prove their worth, following on from their minimal roles in Overload, yet Siobhan doesn't shy away either, showing off vocal qualities that Heidi (going by the live recording linked above) was unable to copy. I think it's one of the most instantly likeable, memorable and important songs on One Touch. I think it's better than New Year and Soul Sound, and I think it's joint best album track with Promises. For me, the only other songs 1.0 did on that level of excellent are Forever (raw talent and charm), Flatline, Overload and Run For Cover (more on those whenever they leave the rate).

Fourthly, that Mutya interpolation on Falling - I never really know what to make of Mutya's personal songwriting capabilities, what her thoughts are on her back catalogue, because she's never really been one to explain herself on those things, and when MKS reformed, it was Keisha and Siobhan who did most of the talking. So, on Falling, I've never really known if that was a knowing nod to Sugababes and One Foot In or if it was someone else's choice to throw it in there, or if it's a total coincidence. But assuming that it was Mutya's intention to include it, I marvel at that. Her teenage self had that line in a song that paid dust to fuckboys; Falling is a straight up declaration of love set to a bop beat, so it's an interesting reinterpretation of the line and I think it's probably a triumph, even if I'm not totally clear on the motivations for its use. More than anything, it was nice to know that Mutya had a soft spot for One Touch and maybe even planted a seed about the eventual reunion that would follow a couple of years later.

Fifthly, and I know I have a tendency to blab on longer than anyone cares for, this song is in my personal top 20 Sugababes tracks and it's my hope that they might wheel it out on a live performance (if they ever return) because I think their single choices for One Touch portray that the album is a deep but plodding snoozefest by way of New Year and Soul Sound being 2/4 of the singles. I think that might even be how some of the voters here see it. One Foot In should have replaced one of them (probably Soul Sound) as a single, or perhaps Promises could have fulfilled the same purpose. I think it's a criticism that followed the song Flatline when it debuted, that it somehow wasn't pop enough, and it bothers me that there's this... weird criticism of their sound that some people insist on throwing at the original three, because between them I think they're a very accomplished set of individuals with many strings to their bow that they can all bring together to do just about anything, musically.