The Sugababes Discography Rate

Just adding some random two cents here: "Catfights and Spotlights" was a shit album name and should have been replaced by "Truce". Far more effective and striking.

to ashes





Fuck the haters; “Side Chick” is an amazing song. It sets a clear high watermark for 3.0 and for the band overall, being one of the hardest to ignore cuts on the album. It does so by cashing out fully on the songwriting stepup Catfights represents and by pairing that with a sonic palette that is different to the rest of the album but no less distinctive.

Lyrically, this is remarkable. It spells out who a side chick and rejects that for themselves, in the process also rejecting the reality of being fucked around. In a game of definitions, the song elaborates that the definition of a relationship should be mutual, and not dependent on the whims of just one party. It asks for commitment and reiterates that, should it not be forthcoming, then that’s the end of that. The synthesis of this, “But if your mind's right, Then we just might, Spend some time and we call it what we want”, is just stunning in its simple insight. Further on, the song elaborates that attraction is not the only prerequisite for a functioning relationship (“it’s not not attraction that is missing, the intensity is there”). And this is supported further yet with how the verses end with “we should just be friends” whereas it changes to “we could just be friends” after the choruses, signalling the frustrating and interminable back-and-forths relationships with fuckbois end up being. Moreover, the “you know how that ends” hints at how relationships founded on attraction and sex are as hard to call of as they are to develop into something more meaningful.

To substantiate this, the song goes through a series of conditions in the verses that are dizzying in their delivery, combining alliteration, rhythmic scale and cadence. It comes off as half-rap, half-MCing in the best possible way, with some scorchers amongst it, such as, for example, the ya-ya line and the brilliant “pulling all sorts of trickery to get in my knickers”). All this is backed up by an irressitibale drumline and tinkling piano instrumental, some of that expertly-judged Åhlund magic, and fantastic vocals. and fantastic vocals. It’s mainly the Keisha show, wiith her in full control, never quite going off but commanding in how her voice is on the cusp of it. Amelle also steps through with her verse, being just the right level of playful and insistent. What’s most impressive are the harmonies which may not be so obvious but back up the chorus wonderfully. It’s all done with that sort of effortlessness that was the marker of 2.0’s heyday.

Indeed, the entire package harks a little back to the grimier R&B days of the band. But it does so in a way that feels fresh and not simply like a throwback. Because only this particular lineup could have made this. It fleshes out the sound of the album even more fully – it is a sidestep from the overall neo-soul sound for sure, but it also doesn’t feel out of place on the album, with that piano line being a clever hook to the rest of it. In its terminology, and obvious R&B bent, it also does strike you as particularly American, and this indeed, may be the most American sounding thing they’ve recorded successfully (put aside “About A Girl”s apple pie). This would not have been out of place in any number of the R&B-oriented girlbands that popped up towards the late 00s. The difference here is that the songwriting and vocals fire on all cylinders in a way few of those bands did.

Like “Unbreakable Heart”, “Side Chick” exemplifies the band’s maturity but in a way that demeans neither the previous lineups nor themselves. This is simply these women coming to terms with their older years. It plays out the self-affirmation against self-serving men the band has been developing and refining over its entire existence, from “One Foot In” to “Buster” to “Who”, and onwards. Perhaps there’s more detail here, specificity in how a side chick is treated, but the conclusive effect is the same. Don’t fuck with women. And don’t fuck with these women.

Let’s start with those who couldn’t quite cotton on. “A good solid album track” reckons mrdont (6.5). VivaForever (7) makes a fair point for the unconvinced, “The thing about this album is that most of the songs are memorable even if they're not great, which is kind of the opposite of the others.” Mina (7) is not having one bar of Amelle’s yaya, “One of the better tracks on this otherwise disappointing album. -1 point for the unpleasant mental imagery associated with "He's going la-la try'na get my ya-ya."” acl (8) is also phased by Amelle’s lady garden, but bops regardless, “Amelle’s ya-ya aside, this is a great and worthy 8. Could have been on Three or maybe Taller.” Three yes, probably not Taller teebs.

Premature retiree Ironheade (7) gets his walking stick out, “Damn modern songs, get offa my lawn! Really, this ain't so bad, though, if nothing spectacular. It's got a pretty piano line slightly subsumed under the overloud cymbals, and Keisha adapts to the more rhythmic style of singing with aplomb. The vocal arrangements are pretty solid on this one too, with some nice call-and-response sections, and I do enjoy how a lot of the vocal lines are sung in unison, allowing the group's always impeccable three-part harmonies a good showcase. One serious problem, though. Amelle is not as good at Keisha at doing this style of singing, and her verse comes as quite an unwelcome intrusion. Shame, but then I've never thought she was great on stuff like this. She's better on material like “Unbreakable Heart”’ Jam (7) has some similar production blues, “I like it but feel production wise it kind of just plods along a bit too much.”

“When I bought Catfights, this is the track I played the most. It's a good stab at an R&B bop. It's not quite the pinnacle of its genre, but it's not trying to be - and unsurprisingly it suits Amelle pretty well. Extra points here just for the "all kinds of trickery trying to get in my knickers" line. So British,” exclaims londonrain (9). Lost In Japan. (10) plays Meryl Streep to Amelle’s Patricia Arquette's Best Supporting Actress winner's speech, “AMELLE!! COME THROUGH! I think/hope it is universally acknowledged that this is the peak of their post-Mutya career? Amelle, man.” Well, the remaining four 3.0 tracks say that the hunties felt otherwise, but close! stopthestatic (9.5) is annoyed at the song for being so good, “The chorus is an absolute earworm - annoyingly so, because once it’s stuck in your head it remains there on repeat for hours on end.”

Filler (8) tries to shade the past two lineups, “It's lovely that they're nailing the harmonies three line-ups in, isn't it?” Runawaywithme (8.5) gets a bit nostalgic again, “I love the whole R&B sound that came out of the noughties as a whole as I have good memories of listening to records from that time, I just love slow bumpy midtempos like this and they just make me smile, and the girls sound passionate and the harmonies are tight, and during their solos they all sound like lost late 90’s female stars, Amelle’s moment in the middle eight is possibly my favourite performance she has ever done, I thinks she really vocally shines on this album.”

kal (9) finds that “this is as close to the “old” Sugababes sound as they ever got.” Solenciennes (9) tries digging, “sass in spades, I find with this album the lyrics become quite elaborate and perhaps a little too clever for a pop album at times, particularly noticeable on this song, at points it feels like they might trip over the words they’re rushing to get out but it’s an addictive listening experience and the “we should just be friends” hook is so withering. Trying to get Amelle’s yaya? Ridickaliss.”

Chanex (10) pats their ya-ya enthusiastically, “Probably my third or fourth favorite Suga song ever, I don't even know where to begin to tell you everything I love about it so I won't try, I'll just say I have the whole thing committed to memory, Amelle's amazing "this shit is getting ridiculous/if a boy is meticulous" rap is the highlight of lip syncing it, the chorus is addictive and we'll leave it at that.” Epic Chocolat (10) is having a moment of English lit or whatever, “Full of attitude and sass. I love the alliterations. Such fun.” tylerc904 (10) has ha slumber party playlist set, “The best to sing along to.” PCDPG (10) continues that it’s “A true highlight on the album. A lot of personality in the vocals in this song and everybody plays to their strengths.”

Blayke (10) welcomes Quiche back to the dancehall DJ booth, “Sheer brilliance. It was about time MC Kiki came back to us. The harmonies work so well on this track and I was so surprised by Amelle on the track. She sounds so good! This is yet another Queen Keisha song that could have been a single. I can kind of see it taking off on being catchy.” DJHazey (10) surprisingly comes through for something that isn’t usually in his wheelhouse, “This was one of the first songs I ever heard from them and it helped me accelerate to that moment where I dove into their discography. Audio assault, seriously it just never lets up except when the beat drops off after the chorus; a part that I consider my favorite anyway. I love Amelle's speed-singing, especially near the end. Would be one of their best album cuts if my 11 didn't already exist.”

LE0Night (10) pricks their ears up, “I don't know why I'm asking this but did Robyn have anything to do with “Side Chick?” Because if not it’s the most Robyn not-Robyn track I’ve ever heard.” Constantino (9) also has a flashback to the Swedish electro-pop-R&B chanteuse before she started making restroom playlist music for alt-rave clubs, “Ooh I like this one (phew)! It reminds me of self-titled-era Robyn (probably a B side) with the twinkling production and melancholic vocal melody. EDIT: OMG this is SO Robyn. Well FYI hunties, Klas Åhlund did produce nearly all of Robyn (and later on, most of all three Body Talk parts) as he did half of Catfights.

Actually, let me go listen to some Robyn to get over this elimination.

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Eh, I'm not too sore about this one. Especially because it means "Can We Call a Truce" is the last Catfights song remaining, and that is an AWESOME result that I never would have predicted, so thanks you guys!
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TOP 20


111. Miss Everything

99. Get Sexy
98. Don't Wanna Wait
97. No Man, No Cry
96. No More You
95. Groove Is Going On
94. This Ain't A Party Thing
93. Crash & Burn
92. Sugababes On The Run
91. Forever

90. Twisted

89. Hanging On A Star
88. Thank You For The Heartbreak
87. Little Lady Love
86. 3 Spoons Of Suga
85. Back When
84. Wait For You
83. It Ain't Easy
82. In Recline
81. Girls

80. Surprise (Goodbye)
79. More Than A Million Miles
78. Down Down
77. Look At Me
76. Sometimes
75. Freedom
74. Same Old Story
73. We Could Have It All
72. Nasty Ghetto
71. Better

70. Virgin Sexy
69. Mended By You
68. Good To Be Gone
67. Just Don't Need This
66. Just Let It Go
65. Switch
64. One Touch
63. Disturbed
62. Undignified
61. Supernatural

60. Joy Division
59. Who
58. Beware
57. Colder In The Rain
56. Someone In My Bed
55. Nothing's As Good As You
54. Open The Door
53. Spiral
52. Buster
51. Real Thing

50. Lush Life
49. Breathe Easy
48. Obsession
47. Now You're Gone
46. Angels With Dirty Faces
45. Bruised
44. My Love Is Pink
43. Like The Weather
42. Sunday Rain
41. Blue

40. Ugly

39. Gotta Be you
38. About A Girl
37. One Foot In
36. Soul Sound
35. Easy
34. 2 Hearts
33. No Can Do
32. In The Middle
31. Change

30. Sound Of Goodbye
29. Promises
28. You On A Good Day
27. Shape
26. Maya
25. Situation's Heavy
24. Every Heart Broken
23. Million Different Ways
22. Unbreakable Heart
21. Side Chick



#30-#20, or the chronicle of Catfights getting decimated, and some of the band's best album tracks ("Promises", "Maya"...) being shunted. The Catfights massacre was to be somewhat expected, given that the album had clung on, amazingly, for so long (recall that half of it was remaining by the Top 30). It deserved to have a few more tracks remaining going into the Top 20, as One Touch, Angels, Three and Taller do, but for a late-coming album with few notable singles, that's a great result at this stage of a rate.

Despite that, y'all got so much right, including "Can We Call A Truce" as the last remaining Catfights track, and a still stellar top 20 (bar "Never Gonna Dance Again" wtf). The proceedings from here on out will be brutal.
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Staff member
Now I'm distracted by the thought of Robyn doing this song. This is possibly the best performance Amelle has turned in, however - so I doubt even Robyn could have beaten this.

(Also, @beyoncésweave - this is another one where you've still got my old commentary instead of my updated version.)

Whats wrong with Never Gonna Dance Again?

It's good but not brilliant. Every other song remaining is brilliant.


Staff member
Whats wrong with Never Gonna Dance Again?

It's average. It's beige. It's background music. There's nothing to analyse as far as I'm concerned, there's no depth to the lyrics, it's just a polished pop production that sounds like a Girls Aloud cast off. I'm mad it's made top 20, the point when they veered to recording Girls Aloud rejects was a low point for the band.
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It's average. It's beige. It's background music. There's nothing to analyse as far as I'm concerned, there's no depth to the lyrics, it's just a polished pop production that sounds like a Girls Aloud cast off. I'm mad it's made top 20, the point when they veered to recording Girls Aloud rejects was a low point for the band.

How is there no depth to the lyrics? What about songs Round Round, Push The Buttoon or Red Dress then? Not to mention Sugababes sounded similar to GA since 2.0 days (even NGDA was 2.0) because of their work with Xenomania.