So the first non-Sweet 7 album track to go is this. The verses on this are okay, and it’s nice that each of the girls gets a section, but the chorus is quite grating due to its vocal arrangement and the song just plods on for a bit. Even though it’s meant to be a fun and sexy attempt at being a pseudo-reggae bop, I just think the girls have a hard time selling this. This is the sort of thing that exposed the band’s weaknesses in the immediate aftermath of Mutya’s departure; their range, at least for a short while, became a bit more limited in terms of the genres they could traverse. As a result, what could have been pleasant fodder in the days of 2.0 turns to average filler here.
Speaking of, let’s start with Filler (7) who forgets about a good quarter of the album, “The only song on this album you could have a half-decent strut to, like a slightly less obnoxious Gotta Be You. Particularly like the fuzzy synth rhythm in the chorus. Yes this is a song worth dissecting to its constituent parts shut up.” Someone who won’t shut up dissecting this is Ironheade (7) who is blinded by his love of a good drum beat “ONE LOOOOOOOOOOVE. ONE LOOOOOOOOOVE. C'mon, it's obvious once you've noticed it. A decently fun basic reggae-infused bop, if lacking in that certain je ne sais quoi. The percussion is very, very well-arranged here, the layered hand drums giving it a cool beachy sway and stopping it from sounding too naked, and the languid "back dooooooown" harmonies on the chorus are a great touch. The lyrics are a bit silly, but the girls sell it with enough attitude that I don't mind. The big problem here comes with the synth production, which is weirdly squelchy and doesn't quite fit in with the sunny, laid-back groove of the rest of the production. Fix that, and we'd have a better song for sure. Not bad, though.”
Moving on, Blayke doles out another 10: “I know a lot of people hate this song but I love it. Keisha delivers and really gives it on the track. I like that the girls have a verse and chorus to themselves. When this was performed live on their Change tour, the backing track sounded like wet farts which added to the fun of the song.” Most people would be put off by something like that, but dear Blayke is a trooper! uno (8) is also on board: “Took me a while to warm up to the song, but I quite love it now. Amelle's backing voices on the chorus really do it for me.” londonrain (8.5) is also loving the Amelle bits, but gets it a little twisted, “The Amelle sass on this is brilliant. A great example of what Amelle could do when she wasn't just consigned to resinging parts written for Mutya.”
acl (8) says … something “I’d forgotten this, the beats make me wanna fuck dance. I think it’s getting marked up because the last few tracks gave me bipolar.” Epic Chocolat (8.7) also … reciprocates “Perfect for a pole or lap dance, no? There is an hypnotic element...” Anyway.gif, Runawaywithme (6) gets a bit pensive, “this point when the album gets a bit lost, like @beyoncesweave stated in the commentary wondering if Mutya took something with her when she left as for me the charm that I found with the band and on the singles here seems to have gone.” Chanex (6) “expected to give it a 4 but they sell it, better than I remembered. Especially Amelle, I have to admit Heidi's the weak link on this one it's just not her forte.”
“Everyone knows how highly I rank lyrics when it comes to grading a song” says noted Demi Lovato stan DJHazey, “but good Lord. I can't at these verses. It's not just that though, the song just seems slogs along forever and I'm bored as fuck.” Sprockrooster (4) finds it “Dumb and pointless.” “This is terrible,” spits Deborux (3). “Awful,” cries Mina (0). PCDPG (5) confuses the meaning of urban but at least judges the song correctly, “The Sugababes aren’t really good at urban sounding songs. This song is cringe worthy.” Jam (3) likes the vocal duties but that’s it, “I like how they each get their fair share, and a proper ‘section’ to themselves, but it’s not that exciting as a song.” Constantino (5) is similarly disappointed, “On an album full of some of the best-produced tracks in their entire discography, this ends up sounding flat and demo-like. Not good.”
Let’s call it that then. Catch the song being performed on the Change tour below. It definitely works much better in a live setting, and settles into a more of an enjoyable groove. The girls are also on point here, especially Keisha and Heidi, which substantially helps matters.
Back Down is definitely the worst album track pre-Sweet 7 so good to see it go. I actually quite like most of Change even if it is a bit saccharine; if the Babes had to have one ultra polished pure pop album the results could have been far, far worse.
On a good day, Back Down is a 6/10. On a bad day, it's a 4/10. It's average and its worst offence is being a bit clumsy, lyrically, but it's at least packed full of tight harmonies and they all get a chance to shine.