The Sugababes Discography Rate

Oh, y'all ready for a twist?


C'mon Sugarate, let's get SICKENING!!!
Last edited:
"Conversation's Over" and "Caught in a Moment" seem out of place on this list.
I second this, even though they're both 10s from me. (I think.)

Flatline is still my preferred song to be eliminated next, though. But I don't think it'll go any time soon.
When your stare in my face, you're messing with my brain

Don't let our last kiss be our last

I know my hidden looks can be deceiving

“About You Now” was an emphatic statement to the world that the Sugababes had gone basic. It was most noticeable in the production, with that tinny, Casio keyboard instrumental and the lo-fi guitars and synthetic strings so redolent of American nu-pop-rock production at the time (which was indeed Dr Luke’s entire wheelhouse). The lyrics are also entirely standard, laying out a basic romantic regret narrative with nothing standing out as uncohesive but not particularly notable either. The vocals are the only element that goes beyond just basic; Amelle and Heidi turn in adequate performances on the verses plus lead chorus vocals, and the middle eight, respectively, but it’s Keisha who takes the reins. The last minute of the song with her adlibs detonating spectacularly just light the song on fiyah, and easily bumps it up by at least a point. It’s also a vocal turn that, inadvertently, highlights how the song’s remaining elements definitely do not compare in quality.

But as with the best basic bangers, “About You Now” works precisely because of all these elements, basic or otherwise. It’s just a high fructose corn syrup rush that becomes sweeter as it goes along. After all these years, I still can’t figure out whether the Casio CTK-3200 beat #24 instrumental is a stroke of genius or just lazy and cheap as fuck. To a large extent, the song nullifies those wanderings by being such a giddy concoction. However, as with most empty calorie bangers, after the song is over and the thrill has dissipated, the double-edged sword nature of the basicness becomes clear – what provided sensory pleasure during becomes an intellectual flaw afterwards.

The song’s basicness is not bothersome on its own, it’s just noteworthy precisely because it came from the Sugababes. Among the band’s poppy lead singles (and the albums that they led), if “Overload” was ahead of the curve and “Push The Button” was on par with it, “About You Now” signals the band falling behind for the first time. The other side of the basic coin is genericness: it was possible for the first time to imagine a Sugababes song coming from another artist. That is not something you could say of any of the band’s singles preceding, lead or otherwise. The reign of 1.0 and 2.0, diverse as they were in their sonic range, did not appear to have a specific ‘sound’ per se. It took the arrival of this to confirm, through absence, what that sound was: a certain idiosyncrasy, a hard-hitting vocal turn, a deft and unexpected phrase, a bit of chemistry, fire you could – basically everything missing here.

Despite whatever intellectual quibbles about the basicness, it worked as a commercial proposition. It is the best selling single for the band in the UK, spending four weeks at #1, being the last girlband single to top the charts for more than a week (until Little Mix’s “Black Magic”, for three weeks in 2016) and the first by a British act to top the charts on downloads alone. The song also did the heavy lifting in propelling Change to be the band’s second consecutive #1 album. Internationally, the song did less well, not matching the success of 2.0’s earlier efforts, particularly during the Taller era, indicating perhaps the difficulty in selling the band’s continuous changes overseas.

The song’s video is a further microcosm in what the song represents. There’s a half-baked ‘narrative’ that for the first time does not feature the band members, having a couple parkour-chase each other across London while trying to get reception on their Nokia 7500s. Putting this aside, there’s the matter of the band’s presentation to consider. On the one hand, the girls look frikkin’ fantastic; styled to the gods, and looking very much like a centrefold come to life. On the other hand, the band appears not only coordinated to previously unseen degrees (accelerating a trend made obvious by Taller), but for the first time, colour coordinated. The band had, by necessity, presented as a visual whole before, of course, but there was an endearing offhandness in the mall chic outfits of 1.0, or intriguing intimidation in the grunge goth of early to mid-2.0, both fairly singular styles on the music scene for a girlband. The matching yellow dresses and the perfectly coiffured hair styles appeared as uncomfortable and not very unique pastiches of the by now ruthless Girls Aloud machine and the nascent robotry of the Saturdays. Again, it’s a perfectly fine video to enjoy on its own; put against a playlist of nearly all their other videos, and it appears almost unrecognisable.

The commentary captured a lot of this great song/not a Sugababes song disjunction really well. Let us commence with Jam (10) who thrilled at watching right to the end of the Top Of The Pops countdown four weeks in a row, “I was so happy when this got to number 1. I love it. Especially Keisha’s adlibs at the end.” On the other end of the scale, lowest scorer cryctall (1) bleats “I know it's a hit, Number 1 for 4 weeks, but I never liked it and still don't. I hate it. I don't know, it's just off, especially the melody, instrumental, the chorus.” So everything then.

Chanex (5) it must be noted, spreads ha hate equally, “Just never got it. It seems like boring mainstream like...guitar-pop or something? I don't know how I'm trying to differentiate it from what I normally like which is pop LOL hey I tried it's just boring tbh! hehe!” kal (6) is rather withering on this, “This is an infectious song, but I’m lowering its score because it’s incredibly faceless and a cheap shot at scoring a hit. It also doomed the subsequent singles from living up to their potential.” I mean I get that, but it’s a bitsy like saying it was too successful.

Filler (2) once again has me gasping on the floor, cos honey this is a drag, “No melody could survive a production as ugly as this. I hated the Dr Luke guitar-sample-skipping-on-a-frozen-computer big pop sound in 2007, and it's only aged like a forgotten jizzrag dropped down the back of a radiator since; as palatable and relevant in 2016 as Stock Aitken Waterman. I only hope that this is one of the sounds of the 2000s that nobody bothers giving a nostalgic revival in the 2020s. (I mean, Dr Luke might be in jail by then anyway, so...)” NOOOOOOOOOO

Meanwhile, VivaForever (10) bops guiltily, “I always feel dirty because this is a Dr. Luke co-write, but... Dame Cathy Dennis. What a legend. What an icon of pop. What a splendid writer of bops.” tylerc904 (10) stans for the summer, “An undeniable, massive tune. Always destined to smash, I'm so glad they got their hands on it. Keisha's adlibs, Heidi's middle eight, that unbelievable chorus... it is a perfect track. The acoustic from Catfights is utterly gorgeous as well.” londonrain (10) is on the same buzz, “One of their best, and a great opener to a solid album. The acoustic version would get a 10 on its own if I were rating it separately (although it's not long enough!)” Honestly, less said about ça the better teebs. It’s just so drab and unnecessary?

Robinho#1 (7.5) is also rather disappointed, “Gave the third line up some time. However, it completely overshadowed everything else. It ain’t bad but definitely not what the group was known for.” xondus (7) agrees that it’s “A good song, but not a great Sugababes single to me.” uno (7) repeats the sentiment, “Like my score for "One Touch" - I'm probably going to seem psychotic for giving this less than an 8 - but it's definitely one of my least favorite singles. When it first came out, I was all about it, but it’s very shallow and doesn't feel very "Sugababes" to me. It's like a whole other band made this song. I still give it points for helping me re-discover them, as it was the only song besides “Hole In The Head” to ever get play in the US.” Queen ohnostalgia (7.5) meanwhile makes me feel the same type of ways as the assorted Cylons gathered around President Roslin when she delivers her iconic "I'm Coming For All Of You" speech to the mutineers on the human fleet in Battlestar Galactica, “Okay, it's catchy in a generic teen pop way, which somehow encapsulates all my problems with Change in one neat little description. When I think of the music these ladies put out as actual teenagers, “About You Now” feels like a disposable painful regression.” I am basically Caprica Six at 0.56.

Epic Chocolat (8) exhumes the departed spirit of X-tina ever persistent in this rate and fuses ha with Julian Casabalanciaga for a fantastic reference, “It's an efficient first single but it reminds me too much of the mashup ‘Stroke of Genie-us’.” Shockbox (8) gets shady, “Probably their worst lead single besides “Get Sexy”. It's a great song but it's so unoriginal and generic” “Too "clean" for Sugababes, brilliant pop track though,” asserts a succinct P'NutButter (8). PCDPG (8.75) says about the same, “A bubblegum, simple, good pop song. When compared to the other Sugababes songs it feels a little basic and beige. To me they were edgy, feisty and full of character, which isn’t showcased in this song. However it is a nice for them to grow and change up their sound.” Change up, yes. Grow? Nah.

Ironheade (8) as ever, cuts the bullshit, “Good song, yes. The Babes adapt well to the indie-pop trends of the day, and manage to crank out a good solid radio tune with them. Even if the chiptune-y drums get a bit annoying, I do like the light-distortion guitar riffs, the distorted synth breakdown after the second chorus is wicked cool, the girls deliver solid vocals (if lacking in something of a "wow" factor), and of course that chorus is an ohrwurm for the ages. Overall, a great piece of work, nothing more to say. But nevertheless, it represents an unwelcome milestone – the first Sugababes lead-off single that could have been done by another artist. And that will never not be disappointing.”

With time, Solenciennes’ (9) tea has only gotten stronger, “a tour-de-force pop song that somehow feels like the antithesis of a Sugababes song, and yet I’ve only ever heard the Sugababes pull off convincingly (I shudder when I think of that cheesy Miranda Cosgrove cover). I suppose that speaks to the combined vocal talents of Keisha, Heidi and Amelle; but as we all know, this song represented the start of the band’s identity crisis – the period of emergency transition from the hole that Mutya left was over and they needed a hit, so they were given one and were probably taken aback at the level of success it had and had nothing suitable to follow it up with. Keisha utterly wipes the floor with her adlibs and at least emerged as a vocal powerhouse at this point in time, properly stepping up to the plate in Mutya’s wake, but I think that’s still rather unappreciated even now. Anyway, it’ll probably always be their bestselling song but it will never be their best.” Contrarily, DJHazey (9) is here to blasphemise my rate by declaring that he loves the Nickelodeon grinch-child’s cover more, “I'm the only person in the rate world that was loving the Miranda Cosgrove version long before hearing this one. Yes, I still love Miranda's more but this is an undeniable bop. It's the perfect way to start an album that I know is going to be one of their most 'poppy' efforts.”

Let’s ease into some unabashed love with Runawaywithme (10) who is so sweet that I can’t help like the song more, “Again I couldn’t help but give this song a 10 mostly because of the very happy childhood memories I have connected to it, and the fact it’s a fucking great pop song. The winter of 2007 was a very happy time for me and this song reminds me of Christmas shopping, watching cartoons on sunny but cold mornings and even playing in the snow as it was on repeat when I did all those things, I get such a buzz whenever I listen to it. I also find it to be an irresistible song with the fizzy backing and the sad but optimistic lyrics with the sense of “give up on us”. A truly great pop moment.”

I haven’t figured out if Voodoo (10) is talking about ATRL or Exhale, “On another forum, quite a lot of people literally don’t know this song which kind of baffles me – this song was everywhere in 2007 and a lot of 2008. Even some girl from Nickelodeon covered it [Ed: get her, Jade!], and it was kind of a hit in America – how can you not know this song??? Also, Keisha’s adlibs on this are life changing.” berserkerboi (9) also hollers at the Keishalibs, “Love this song! I know it has found many haters over the years but it was a great blueprint of what Amelle could bring to the band. I have to also say - I cannot picture Mutya doing this song as well as Amelle's slightly disengaged intonation and hold of 'then' towards the beginning of her second verse. Also - Keisha ad libs for the win!! Nothing sounds better than that last minute with her taking it home. Heidi is the weak link here with the lyrics of her part a little on the silly side... Did not deserve to flop and miss the top 40 in Australia at all!” I think it was a sign of the band’s international appeal that after Taller, it rarely bothered the charts overseas, especially in the Australasian territories.

I hadn’t even given the comparison a huge lot of thought until recently, but a lot of you brought up how much this sounds like a Kelendria Clarkson banger, which … of course it does. CorgiCorgiCorgi (10) opines that “This is very Kelly Clarkson, but in a good way.” Blayke (10) throws 3.0 some love, “No doubt this song is a pop monster. I always imagined Kelly Clarkson singing this song originally. It was nice to hear Sugababes go full balls-to-the-wall pop as it definitely presented itself as a new lineup of Sugababes. Keisha’s adlibs at the end are life-changing. I can’t believe the producers didn’t want them in the song initially. It makes the song for me.” CasuallyCrazed (10) adds new words to the chorus of “Supernatural” with, “An undeniable, universal, stone-cold classic. It feels like a #1 Kelly Clarkson record.” mrdonut (8.5) introduces the circus chanteuse into the mix as well, “This Pink-meets-Kelly Clarkson electro/rock stomper is not their finest lead single but I still get my life to that pulsating backbeat as well as Heidi’s heart breaking “Not a day passed me by” line.

Meanwhile, ectoplasmic globule PLUTO (10) fondly recalls a time when xe was a wee biosac orbiting Earth and absorbing all the sound waves being emitted by Capital.FM abd Nokia N7500s, “About You Now’ is...​

dunno if its met with groans and cries of basic or whatever... but it really is amazing. Flawless melodies and production everywhere. Has lots of good personal connotations for me from back when it came out, and I'm still not fed of it after all these years. Worthy of an 11.” Which of course means that xir's 11 did not go to this.

Baby Constantino (10) is also on that nostalgia/almost-11 buzz and makes a strong case for the song actually, “This fucking song. This is so nostalgic to me; I used to get my life to this on the way to primary school when it was on the NOW CD compilation. FUCK Blur and Oasis, this is British pop at it’s very best; light, fizzy, catchy and smart… it takes me back to the mid-to-late-noughties, A.K.A. the pinnacle of British chart pop… this would NEVER be number one in 2016 and that makes me sad. Bonus: As an obsessive-compulsive freak, the cohesion of the outfits from the video with the album artwork is SO satisfying. This very nearly got my 11 because it makes me feel all nostalgic and fantastic and the iconic screengrabs of Keisha being a dick to a guy on set.” Since you mentioned it:


Which turns out to be the perfect cue, finally, to give the floor to the one person who did give this their 11, Queen of Thorns Mina, “This might be my favorite song of 2007 from any artist; this one was an instant love, like GA's "Something Kinda Oooh." Ten years later, this is the Sugababes song I still listen to most. The ballad version sucks though.”

And none for that lil gremlin!

Last edited:
Mate, you don't diss the iconique School of Rock chanteuse like that. (Let's just ignore the singing career, a'ight?)

Anyways, a bit of a surprise, but not an unpleasant one. I kinda hope "Denial" can hang on a bit longer, though.


Staff member
Yaaaaaaaaaassssssss come through Denial, the little bop that could, last track standing from Change! I could have done with losing Red Dress first but I'll take this too, About You Now is a great song but it's not in the pantheon of greatest Sugababes songs.