The Sugababes Discography Rate

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- You.

Wait @ Catfights actually being done decent! Yas come through etc.

I dont think it'll crack top 10, but I do think it'll end up with the second highest album average (after the godly Three) so thats a win all its own <3

Oh, and In The Middle >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Change, but Change is a lovely song!


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I know 'Flatline' is all the MKS fans have to show for their support, but bloody hell people. Surely, that's one of the next to fall?

I mean, I'd call it top 20 but I'm simultaneously shocked it's still here. I'll be stunned if it makes top 20, though I'm rooting for it!
Sugahennies, just a small update that the number of 10s will start ramping up with about each set of five, and 11s will start falling at an exponential rate (for those of you playing at home, a mere 12 of 85 have fallen so far). Which means ... send me your commentary, at the very least for the love of god for your 11.
Here we go!

These words fall out my mouth and nothing feels the same

I was in the wrong, but it doesn't really matter

Don't say it no, please wait til it's over

I’ve documented before how it took quite a while for Catfights to grow on me. “Sound of Goodbye” was the first instant hit for me, long before the rest of the album came around. It is obvious why since it is an an out and out classic Sugaballad – it comes the closest to sounding like something from their back catalogue, being unwedded to the retro neo-soul palette of (most of) the album. And yet, this doesn’t cause as much disjuncture as one would expect since it contains a number of beautiful continuities that tie it not only to the band’s past but to the new direction undertaken by Catfights. At its heart, “Sound Of Goodbye” is a weary, knowing sigh of defeat; all its elements come together to enliven that in the most beautiful of ways.

The production, being one of the few songs to stray from the album’s remit, is all reverb-heavy basslines and strings; the opening bassline has such an understated sheen to it that it was instantly a hook for me. And when the light rushes of wind and strings get layered on, there’s a bulletproof foundation for the song. Later on, additional piano chords are added for greater drama, particularly on the single note sounding over “the sound … of goodbye” in the chorus. In this sense, the production recalls the trip-hop infused orchestral direction some of the very best 2.0 Sugaballads took (see: “Stronger” or “Conversation’s Over”). It just has this timeless quality to it that could place it in a number of decades. That provides a nice little contrast to the rest of the album which is more time-specific in its references. And yet, neither of the approaches result in the sound feeling dated, speaking to the album’s strengths.

Vocally, of course, it’s superb. If there was any sign of how far 3.0 had come as a group, contrast this with “Change” from a few eliminations back, which was largely the Keisha show. She still turns in an amazing performance here (the final chorus being a series of exhilarating, centre-of-a-maelstrom Keishalibs), but it’s buttressed by some beautiful work from Amelle, no longer reedy-voiced and emoting the song with quiet tenderness, and Heidi, whose voice has gained a number of intriguing grainy edges by this point. The little flourishes added in – Keisha’s “I die/no lie” interjections in the second verse, the descending background vocal line in the chorus, the harmonies spilling out of every spore, and Amelle’s stunning little falsetto flutters in the chorus and middle eight – are all evidence of a unit operating at peak confidence, recalling 2.0’s peak capacity but charting a new course for themselves as well.

And finally, there’s the songwriting, which knocks it out of the park in the most resounding way. It catalogues the narrator preparing to end an already-dead relationship, but from a wary, knowing and empathetic perspective. The magnificent lyrical turns here are too many list, among them “this is the moment that you smile before you cry” and “how can the silence scream so loud”, all ranking amongst some of the band’s best work. It’s most impressive in the sympathetic regard it has, in identifying that continuing the relationship is deceptive not just to the narrator but to the song’s subject as well (“If I say that things can change, I'd be leading you astray”, ”But I can't keep on faking I'm constantly making you wait”). And in diagnosing the relationship as essentially dead – in the spectacular “I don’t wanna fight with you but I don’t wanna fight for you” line – the song contains multitudes of the exhaustion that comes after fighting for so long with no result. In sum then, it recalls the mature, multi-layered prowess of the classic 2.0 Sugaballads which were so lyrically watertight. More specifically, it provides a series of lovely contrasts with some of the band’s earlier songs, such as the angry, righteous simmer of “Conversation’s Over” (“Now the conversation's over, And there's nothing more to say”), and especially the more hesitant wariness of “Promises”, wallowingly pleading an abrupt end to a relationship (“Don't whisper in my ear, You gotta learn to say goodbye”).

Through all this, “Sound of Goodbye” is the most beautiful anchor and beacon on Catfights, tying the band to its storied past and pulling it forward. When the “These words fall out my mouth and nothing feels the same” refrains falls out, it all comes together as this glimmeringly elegant, classy sign-off. Long after the rest of the album clicked with me, it remained as my first love, its remote glimmer brighter yet.

Runawaywithme (8) labels it “another lovely ballad moment. The chorus lyrics are just wonderful yet very relatable and the way they are sang gives them that extra bit of magic. I like the soft rock feel here, one of the best things about this album for me is the way it plays with a lot of different genres and styles yet still sounds cohesive.” PCDPG (8.5) correctly judges it “beautiful but very overlooked in their discography. A lovely song.” The song “features some gorgeous Bacharach-style chord progressions which is a bonus since the lyrics are earth-shatteringly gloomy” for mrdonut (8) who is probably not into wallowing in despair like the rest of us.

Ironheade (7.5) is somewhat measured on something he should be stanning harder for, “Nice ballad, not too special, but leave it to the Sugababes to elevate that kind of song into something greater than it should be by all rights. Very nice drum production, for one thing – love the way it sounds processed to be so distant and echoey, adding a nice poignant edge to the song, even if the strings and piano sound a bit too schmaltzy for comfort on this otherwise pleasant melody. And, as standard for Sugaballads, great and richly textured vocals from the girls, Heidi especially. She's really grown as a singer by this point in their career, and it's a joy to hear.”

Filler (6) betrays not only me but (blast from the past!) D_ni! “I seem to recall this is former Popjustice member and rate abandoner D_ni's favourite Sugababes song. We had so much music taste in common that I feel a bit like I've failed him in remembering absolutely nothing else about “Sound of Goodbye” but that fact. I don't get it. I mean it sounds nothing like Nine Inch Nails for a start.” londonrain (6) needs to clean his damn ears out, “Keisha's ad libs and the harmonies in the chorus are the best thing about an otherwise meandering song.”

kal (10) is about to have his smile wiped off, “‘This is the moment that you smile before you cry.’ That line gets me every time.” A lazy ass Solenciennes (10) also singles out the same line but thinks posting the entire chunks of lyrics counts as commentary, “this is great and I’m glad that the end of the album picks up in quality after the dip from “Every Heart Broken” through to “Nothing’s As Good As You”. Keisha’s “this is the moment that you smile before you cry” is too real. The chorus is magnificent, I mean… “the stars in the sky are all burned out, nothing to guide us back home now, these are the words I’ve kept inside, now this is the , lost in the darkness, can’t turn back, everything starts to fade to black, how can the silence scream so loud, and all you can hear is the sound… of goodbye.” It’s just so elegantly done, I feel like this album is packed full of clever metaphors and imagery and the chorus of “Sound of Goodbye” is up there with the highest highs on the album.”

xondus (10) entitles it, simply, “A heartbreaking masterpiece.” Constantino (10) gets his lighter out, “The back-end of this album is packed full of emoti-bops and I am getting my LIFE. ‘Lost in the darkness can’t turn back, everything starts to fade to black.’”. Mina (10) deems it “The best representation of the mature Sugababes sound.” CasuallyCrazed (10) goes the furthest until climax, “The crowning pinnacle of Catfights & Spotlights, it’s dark and cold and heartbreaking, but also a sonic, emotional orgasm of a song.” Sprockrooster (10) is also quivering and writing some Suga slashfiction while he’s at it, “Queens of hiding fantastic powerballads at the end of an album. I strongly wish this was released as a final single and Sweet 7 never happened, because how their career ended now is just plain sour. This works perfect as a goodbye anthem and it would have been totally amazing if Siobhán and Mutya would be featured on this goodbye single. If only.”

Chanex (10) screams not very silently, “Sound of goodbye? More like the sound of my soul being wrenched out of my body every time I listen to this. This song makes me freak the eff out no joke. HOW CAN THE SILENCE SCREAM SO LOUD? And this is all before the verse picks back up with Heidi and the dissingist, most amazing backups ever "NO LIE" and then Amelle and Keisha get to finish the same verse, it's so seamless. These are the words I've kept inside: I should have given this my 11.” Well, that certainly would’ve led to an interesting outcome.

Blayke (10) obviously lives in and for the past, “This is the first and last time we hear 3.0 sing a traditional yet amazing Sugababes ballad. I particularly enjoy Heidi’s verse on this. I love the higher harmonies/background vocals she also provides on the chorus and Keisha’s “goodbye-eye-eye-eye-eye-eye”. What a gorgeous song!” acl (10) recalls a time when life wasn’t beset by gay ennui, “I don’t have a heart but I remember when I did and this song speaks to that memory.” uno (10) brings back a little soupçon of a memory from his gay past, “Oh man, this song made me cry so much when it first came out. My 15 year old gay self sobbing after my first ever boyfriend broke up with me, thinking my world was over. I laugh about it now, but this song had me sobbing more than once. I still love it. Full of emotion. "I don't wanna fight with you, but I don't wanna fight for you" – genius.”

This is late into the night, heels in hand and legs curled underneath, unfinished drinks too watery to finish off, random street sounds ringing out, and that silence hanging in the air in between; thick, almost impenetrable and so damn heavy. A silence that oppresses, and which draws the end of it all inevitably nearer. And damn, doesn’t it feel too real?​

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