Rather predictably, Sugababes follow up their debut single Overload with a debut album, One Touch. Usually, releasing an album so soon is indicative of a
soon-to-be-forgotten artist looking to cash-in while they can. Listening to the album, though, proves the group still ooze talent.
The album includes the excellent Overload as the first track. A fantastic up-beat start that unfortunately gets a little tarnished by the perfectly sound, but not too exciting One
Foot In. The upbeat staccato of Same Old Story is a pleasing look back to the innovation that is the catchy melody of Overload. The song sounds reminiscent of TLC in
some ways, and verges on R'n'B artist Pink just a little.
The album is a mixture of ballads and R'n'B/pop songs, with a smattering of Soul. Whilst the rhythm and pace of Overload really carried the song, the girls' voices are far
more prevalent on the album. Many tracks have less than imaginative backing tracks, which whilst allowing the voices to really shine, makes for a slightly monotonous feel to
the album. There's undoubtable talent in the girls, especially considering their age, but 12 tracks of them can be a bit much all at once! The faster-paced tracks New Year,
Same Old Story and Promises are a refreshing break from the smooth R'n'B of the others.
The Sugababe girls are unbelievably talented, and snapping at the heels of hugely successful acts like Destiny's Child, TLC and Pink. Sadly the breath of fresh air that was
Overload hasn't been carried across to every track, but the album is certainly varied and a showcase for real vocal talent, which is it's own reward in a chart full of
Often all it takes is just one record and with "Overload" The Sugababes have made that record. Shouting from the rooftops: Leagues O'Toole.
Britney, pack your bags. All Saints, your pensions are in the post. Spice Girls, time to hang up the platform trainers. Clear the way, make some room, step aside, hold the
front page, it's... Sugababes.
So what's all the hoo-haw about? Well, this is pop, so just one song will do. And what a song it is. "Overload", the début single, is quite simply the pop song for 2000. Yes,
Sugababes are an all-girl group. Yes, they're from the same stable that brought us All Saints. Yes, they're sultry, funky and destined to be on the front cover of every teen
mag on the shelf of your local Spar.
But this is sass personified. Attitude that makes the Spices look like a bunch of school disco wallflowers. Youthful cool that makes the Appletons look like a gaggle of
hen-wives. With no fuss and no blanket marketing, "Overload", a tune co-written by the girls themselves (whatever that means), seduces with a fresh melody, an understated
R&B groove and three drop-dead Class A singers. Imagine Luscious Jackson's younger (much younger) pop-kid sisters bingeing on Destiny's Child records in the
Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena and Siobhan Donaghy were all born in London but are of Jamaican, Filipino and Irish descent, respectively. They've been together since
they were thirteen years old. Keisha and Mutya are both fifteen but Siobhan has now hit the grand old age of sixteen. Placebo's Brian Molko likes them but that's really not
their fault. They're going to be BIG, BIG, BIG. They may even turn out to be utterly crap. But Samantha Mumba could already learn a thing or two from them. Whatever the
outcome, they've already achieved more than 90% of new pop acts - they've made a good record. A really, really ace record. If there's even one more this good on their
début album, due for release in early 2001, then we'll love them forever.
"Overload" is out now on London Records.
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