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Sugababes - Taller in More Ways


Review: Jack Foley

AFTER the hiccup that represented their comeback single, Push The Button, it's pleasing to be able to report that the Sugababes return to form with their new album, Taller in More Ways, which finds them re-establishing their position as one of the best pop acts of the moment.

Unfortunately, the album opens with the bland Push The Button, before entering crunk territory with the wonderfully sassy Gotta Be You (which ought to give Ciara a run for her money were it to be released as a single).

The rest of the album is a similar mixture of styles - some pop-driven, others distinctly R'n'B; some bright and breezy, others dark and whispery.

There is the odd slip, such as the unnecessary cover version of Animotion's Obsession, but on the whole this is a pleasing collection of tracks that suitably cater for any mainstream mood.

What's more, it includes the presence of some of the best writers and producers on the mainstream circuit, from Dallas Austin (Madonna, Pink) to Guy Sigsworth (Madonna, Frou Frou, Britney Spears) and Cathy Dennis (Kylie).

Aside from Gotta Be You, highlights include the rock-driven Joy Division, with its spiky guitars and reggae-lite beats, and the effortlessly catchy Red Dress, which evokes memories of the easy-going style of past hits, Round Round and Hole In The Head.

With Taller in More Ways, the girls also deliver some of their most grown-up lyrics to date, with tracks like Ugly serving as a pertinent reminder that 'people are all the same' and 'only get judged by what they do'.

There's a quasi-Goth guitar riff accompanying It Ain't Easy that flirts with glam-rock as well, while the emotive Bruised is all about lost love and rejection ('I wanna hurt you like you're hurting me').

The very best is left to the end of the album, however, and arrives in the form of the acoustic-driven slice of sunshine that is the hopelessly cheesy Better (with its catchy 'woo, woo, hoo' chorus and Natalie Imbruglia-style sensibility) and 2 Hearts, which feels like the Madonna of the Music era but delivered in the Babes' own breathy, infectious style.

For a pop album, Taller in More Ways really does deliver the goods, providing a mainstream effort that's not afraid to dabble in styles, get experimental or just provide something that's easy to enjoy.

It's another excellent effort from the Sugababes.

Related review: Three - Sugababes

 

Track listing:
1. Push The Button
2. Gotta Be You
3. Follow Me Home
4. Joy Division
5. Red Dress
6. Ugly
7. It Ain't Easy
8. Bruised
9. Obsession
10. Ace Reject
11. Better
12. 2 Hearts

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