The Sugababes Discography Rate

Now I'm going to have nightmares about Heidi doing the ad-libs on Too Lost In You.
At_last.m4a, the evil is defeated, etc. etc.



Never Gonna Dance Again
Score: 8.565
Highest: 10/10 x 11 (@etienne, @Voodoo, @JamesJupiter, @xtophermorrison, @lalaclairi_, @Sprockrooster, @MrJames, @Lucas, @Mina, @CorgiCorgiCorgi, @stopthestatic, @Shockbox, @Reboot, @supersoon, @AllSixSugababes, @Conan, @Remorque, @Epic Chocolat, @Mr.Arroz, @HRH, @Black Topanga, @Uno, @cryctall, @Petty Mayonnaise, @Consideration, @Blayke)
Lowest: 2/10 x 1 (@PLUTO)
My score: 7.5/10

Yeah, this one overstayed its welcome far too much. Before the rate, I would have pegged this as a Top 40/pleasant-surprise-in-the-Top-30 type of track, so having this steadily make its way further and further up into the Top 40 was extremely frustrating. Do I need to do a call out of what should have outlasted this? Looking over my own scores, the last nine eliminations (from “Truce” to “Maya”) at the very least. And throw in “Spiral”, “Just Let It Go” and “Who”. I had no idea this was so well loved, or conversely, that basically no one had an active distaste for it (like each of “Truce” to “Maya”). Barring everybody’s least favourite dwarf planet and Filler, no one gave this a score below 6 (and without those two, this would have shot up even further).

It’s a bit unfair that this unmerited placement colours the song, because on its own it’s a fine effort. The dancefloor melancholia thing is carried out very competently here, with this glittery, fizzing tempo married to its very pleasant beat. I also love the broken telegraph machine guitar riff that leads to the middle eight, though that and the piano line are elements that could have been made more prominent instead being allowed to be swallowed by the synths. This is almost like Xenomania on autopilot though, and you get the distinct sense that their well had run dry for the Babes by this point, with this coming nowhere close to almost all their earlier work with the band – lest it be forgotten, “Red Dress” and “Ace Reject” were on the album just prior, and this was originally intended for that album (cue a chorus of hysterical Sugastans’ cries for the Mutya version).

The lyrics are also rather good for a song of this kind, with some choice turns of phrase (the opening “circles” bit especially is lovely). Vocally, it hits the range of capability with early 3.0; the register being perfect for Amelle and Keisha and Heidi pulling her across the line with some nice work (especially Heidi on the middle eight). All in all, it’s a very comptent package, and kicks off the sugar rush at the start of the album nicely. And yes, this would have made for a for a much better third single, had “Denial” gone second and “Change” saved for fourth.

However, as accomplished as it is, dance-pop, particularly the extremely polished and glossy kind, can veer quickly into seeming faceless. That’s fine for bands for whom faceless was in their wheelhouse (like the Saturdays in a mediocre sense, and Girls Aloud in a very accomplished sense). But the Sugababes’ prior oeuvre made a point of being particularly personalised, both through the songwriting and the genres they predominantly used which enabled that expression, so the faceless thing just doesn’t wear well on them. In a lot of ways, that underscores how Change, even when it was technically good, was perceptually bad.

For the first (and hopefully) only time, I’m going to do a commentary dump. I hear some rate hosts do it all time. Party!


Filler (4): Bold choice to have the song only start getting good like halfway through the fucking fade-out.

Runawaywithme (7): I love a good crying on the dancefloor anthem as most of you probably do as you’re on this forum. I find this to be a good example of a sadbanger, the icy cold vocals with the upbeat and inviting disco melody is a winning combination for me but I gave it a 7 because anyone could have sung it and maybe some even pull it off better than the Sugas, it’s a good song but not very them, a problem that a lot of this and some of Sweet 7 faces.
ohnostalgia (7.5): They're clearly going for the sad crying on the dancefloor anthem, but "Never Gonna Dance Again" doesn't have the necessary bite. There's no conviction, no drama, no passion- it's completely ambivalent. An I Could Never Dance Again But I Probably Will (Tomorrow).

Ironheade (8): Chalk this one up as being another one where I don't quiiiiiiite get the gushing praise, but it's far from bad. This has a lot going for it with the big wall-of-sound synth backdrop, but it maybe tries a bit too much. I feel like the acoustic guitars and tinkly keyboard notes don't quite have enough impact, and get lost in amongst the rest of it. But it does have a very well-written lyric, providing plenty for the girls to sink their teeth into. Amelle (who I think frequently struggles to stand out on this album) does very well with her lovely softer delivery of the first verse, while Keisha and Heidi stand strong on the chorus harmonies. Plus… yeah, The Heidi Middle 8. (Why can't we rate that middle 8s megamix, again?)​

DJHazey (8): I'm not big fan of Heidi's middle-8 legacy, but she is a highlight this time. The rest of the song is bit sleepy, but pleasant enough.

kal (8): There’s just one thing that could improve this song and that would be Mutya.
Constantino (8): This is probably the closest they’ve ever gotten to sounding like Girls Aloud but I’m not mad about it at all. I especially love the way the chorus is produced – it’s so light and uplifting.

P'NutButter (8.5): Pop brilliance
londonrain (8.5): This is a solid song and a good use of Amelle's voice.

xondus (9): Almost up there with the best Xenomania + Sugababes productions. Almost. Amelia’s husky tone suits this brilliantly well, and Heidi once again steals the show on the middle 8. Those acoustic guitar strums followed by the handclap before the last chorus is obviously a Brian Higgins stroke of genius.

Robinho#1 (8.5):The best song on the album. I really dislike Amelle’s opening verse for some odd reason. She doesn’t sound dreadful but the deliver misses its mark for me. Keisha second verse, particularly, ‘as we dance you know our feelings show, you oughtta know you got me, as we dance we know my heart exposed, now I’m alone you lost me baby’ is my favourite part of the song besides Heidi’s middle eight.

PCDPG (8.5): Amelle’s intro is like a living nightmare. Heidi’s middle eight is beautiful and really elevates the song to another level.
tylerc904 (9): Taller could have really used this to boost its average from me, but I'm glad it found a home on Change nevertheless. The elusive Mutya version is forever intriguing but Amelle does a fabulous job.
Blayke (10): Fabulous song. It should have been on Taller In More Ways. Xenomania delivered well on this song. It’s beautiful and vulnerable at the same time. An album highlight for me. Heidi’s middle-8 is brilliant. Keisha’s verse is fantastic. Mutya’s version needs to be shared with the world.
[Ed: I kneeeeew it! Why don’t you share it then, love?]
acl (9): Good job.
berserkerboi (9): Loved this track from the first listen despite it not being as lyrically strong as other heartbreakers of theirs such as "Ace Reject", "Stronger", " Run For Cover". The instrumental is so lush and gorgeous, it is arguable any song would be beautiful with such a melody. Amelle does her best Mutya here by having an edge to her vocals and it sets off against the more mainstream sounding instrumental beautifully.

Chanex (9.5) My crying-on-the-dancefloor fave of all time I think. Well up there with “Dancing On My Own” [Ed: NO!] at the very least! Amelle's opening "circles" is mesmerising. OK this is my one pet peeve, but I'm so obsessed with and unnerved by it that I literally took off .5 because it nags me every time I hear it. Bear with me: I mean Heidi even says "the record goes around" in her freaking flawless middle 8? All I'm saying is that this an outrage. Spin not play. Got it?
Lost In Japan (9.5): Proves they could go toe-to-toe with Girls Aloud on the perfect wistful Xenomania bop they had perfected.

mrdonut (7): I have a mixed relationship with this. It’s pretty formulaic and makes me want to dig out Careless Whisper instead (tune) but I can’t resist its chorus.

VivaForever (9.5): I was expecting this to be some sort of Careless Whisper pastiche when I first got the album. Thank GOD it wasn't.

CasuallyCrazed (9): This should have been the second single instead of “Change” - it’s got a certain “Call the Shots” vibe to it.

HRH (10): They could have “Call The Shots”'d Girls Aloud before Girls Aloud “Call The Shots”'d, what a wasted opportunity.
Voodoo (10): I imagine a lot of people are saying “missed opportunity” at this one.
uno (10): Nearly got my 11 – such a perfect song. Heidi queen-of-middle-8's Range kills it, once again. In a perfect world, this would've been the 3rd single after “About You Now” and “My Love Is Pink”.

Sprockrooster (10): Not an instant fave during its release, but in time it made it's way to be in my inner circle.
MrJames (10): I can't listen to “About You Now” without singing 'Circles on the floor I'm getting down low' at the end.
Epic Chocolat (10): One of my favourite songs in one of my favourite pop subgenre: dance melancholia.
cryctall (10): I want to hear original Mutya version so badly, you have no idea.Another perfect example of classic midtempo Sugababes song. Love the sad mood of the song.

The tl;dr:
Solenciennes (6.5): I’ve never been too big on this; it’s a very mellow mid-tempo that feels a bit faceless, I don’t feel like it has a Sugababes stamp on it and just feels a bit soulless ultimately. Heidi has the best bits – I do feel that in Mutya’s absence that the way the songs were constructed became a lot more interesting, that much 3.0 have in their favour. Keisha most noticeably emerges from Mutya’s shadow as an impressive vocalist in her own right, something that was slept on for the first four albums to some extent. It’s okay, I don’t hate it, I don’t love it, it’s just lacking an identity – a problem that this whole album suffers from.

Turns out all the Change stans are holed up in Germany ΝΝΝΝΝ

@fancygreen made me and @Mr.Arroz do this:

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OK my comment makes no sense because you cut out the lyric quote @beyoncésweave which I really can't blame you for because it would have been a book but still I feel passionately about this so I'm going to put the whole thing here, and now I can even bold for emphasis to help make my point so thank you.

My crying-on-the-dancefloor fave of all time I think. Well up there with Dancing On My Own at the very least! [ed: absolutely agree!] Amelle's opening "circles" is mesmerizing.

OK this is my one pet peeve, but I'm so obsessed with and unnerved by it that I literally took off .5 because it nags me every time I hear it. Bear with me:

"I'm never gonna dance again, I lost the rhythm when you said it's over
And as the final record start to play, I feel the dance floor turning colder"

Why "play" instead of mother-effing "spin" which would have rhymed?!
I mean Heidi even says "the record goes around" in her freaking flawless middle 8? All I'm saying is that this an outrage. Spin not play. Got it?