Sugababes – Change

August 27, 2010 at 8:17 PM | Posted in Sugababes | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Sugababes – Change

1. About You Now
2. Never Gonna Dance Again
3. Denial
4. My Love Is Pink
5. Change
6. Back When
7. Surprise
8. Back Down
9. Mended By You
10. 3 Spoons Of Suga
11. Open The Door
12. Undignified

♦ ♦ ♦

This is the fifth album by English girl group The Sugababes, and the first to present new member (who is replacing original member Mutya Buena) Amelle Berrabah. The album was released on October 1, 2007 and debuted at #1 on The Official UK Charts Company. It was certified platinum in England and Ireland and sold 370,000 copies in three months time.

The first song, About You Now, is clearly a very catchy pop song with great vocals from the girls. Amelle’s lower voice suits pretty well for the verses, while now lead singer Keisha is taking over the chorus. Heidi can, as always, be found in the bridge with her more sophisticated vocals. The beat, together with an acoustic guitar and some synths, is really appealing and it’s actually one of their best singles, also from this era.

Then Never Gonna Dance Again has something to it that I just don’t feel. It’s a little monotonous to me, the lyrics aren’t all that and it’s just… Gee, I don’t know, it leaves me kinda bored! This is more of a pop/dance song, featuring more synths and a beat on every count. In the beginning I thought this song might work, but then the chorus comes along and it’s just bland. The vocals are good, true enough, so that makes things up a bit. For the rest, nah, I don’t know.

But Denial was already one of my favourites before it was even confirmed as a single. The verses have a nice bounce and rhythm to them, and it has this kinda rocky effect because of the electric guitars. In the verses the girls sing beautifully in harmony with each other, and the second verse is all about Amelle. It’s just really hers.

My opinion-device was going crazy about My Love Is Pink, another song quite like Never Gonna Dance Again considering the overall pop/dance sound, because I just don’t know what to think of it. It’s like the bridge is too boring this time, even for Heidi. The vocoder on her divine sophisticated voice just doesn’t work. But then again, this has a little more spice to it than Never Gonna Dance Again.

Change is like a breath of fresh air, and it gives me goosebumps everytime. This must be the best Sugababes ballad ever. Led by a piano, soft percussion and strings, this is, no doubt, the best song on the album. People can easily identify with the pretty lyrics, and the higher notes by Amelle (and killer notes by Keisha o.o) are such a surprise. Yeayz for Change!

Back When starts off with a little humming and chanting, and then the percussion accompanies Amelle when she sings the first verse. The percussion rhythm kinda reminds me of the army, yet it still sounds very modern. I like the bridge in this pop song very much, but the transition from the chorus to the bridge doesn’t flow that well. It wás good the other way around afterwards, so no complaining. The lyrics are very heartfelt and the girls belt them out lovely!

This next song has a little bass in the back, Surprise. The percussion rhythm is very smooth and and this makes this track one of the best uptempo songs on this album. The music transitions well into new parts of the song, and I love how Keisha sings in harmony with herself in the second verse. The lyrics were kinda weird once I really started to listen to them, though.

Finally a real R&B/reaggae vibe with Back Down, a 180 from Change. The melody and rhythm go very well together, and it surprises me Heidi found her way into this genre as well. I love that ‘uh!’ in the background during the verses, it’s so… I don’t know, it kinda makes me go like ‘yeaaah’ while listening to this track. Love this song!

Mended By You is a ballad with strings and a piano, and it’s very laid back compared to the rest of the album. The lyrics were very deep, and sounded like they actually had a message (that came over, it really did). It’s not the best song on the album, but I still like that relaxing aspect. Maybe it’s because of Heidi’s soothing voice, that starts the song. During the second verse, Amelle’s part, a bit of percussion drops in, and it adds that extra flavour to the song.

I had to download 3 Spoons Of Suga since it’s a bonus track and it’s not on my CD version, but it was worth it! It’s more of an Amy Winehouse vibe with little elements of pop/rock, and it’s Keisha written all over it. Amelle has a verse as well, but in the chorus Keisha is heard most of the time. Is it just me, or does the title of the song refer to the Sugababes themselves?

The song Open The Door starts off with only a percussion beat and some adlibbing by the Sugababes. I like this song, it gives this kinda tingling in my tummy. Reminds me of a car ride to Brussels, Belgium in October 2007, early in the morning, when I was on my way to the airport. This album was blowing out of the car speakers, and it still reminds me of that today. But back to the song: I love the music, and others may think it’s bland, but the different parts of the song flow easily into the next and they’re playing each other off very nicely.

Undignified is a ‘dignified’ way to end this album (har-har-har). It’s like a full circle feeling, you know you have to enjoy this one last song, and every second of it. It’s more of a midtempo pop song, with a little bit of synths in there somewhere. It’s really getting to me, and the few seconds of silence near the end of the song makes me scream for an encore.

Since the moment it was released, I instantly loooooved this album to death. I’ve been listening to it for almost three years straight now, and I know the track list and all the melodies of the songs by heart. A big advantage of this album is that it’s playable on multiple occasions: during doing your homework, lying in the sun or even on a rainy day. In my case, it gives me that boost I need to face the day’s toils. Another advantage is the way the Babes played off the different genres on this album: pop, R&B and dance. Lucky for me, the first two overrule. There’s something here for everyone, and to me it’s definitly their best album to date.

Favorite tracks: About You Now | Denial | Change | Back Down | Open The Door

OVERALL RATING

4½ stars

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