* Prices may differ from that shown
Angels with Dirty Faces was girlband Sugababes second studio album, it was released in 2002, at this time the members in this everchanging group were Heidi, Keisha and Mutya. This album has a real pop/rnb vibe to it and is one of my favourite Sugababes albums so far. Track Listings The track listing on this album is as follows: 1. Freak Like Me 2. Blue 3. Round Round 4. Stronger 5. Supernatural 6. Angels with Dirty Faces 7. Virgin Sexy 8. Shape 9. Just Don't Need This 10. No Man, No Cry 11. Switch 12. More than a Million Miles 13. Breathe Easy (Acoustic Jam) 14. Freak Like Me (Remix) Favourite Tracks Round Round This is a really sexy and confident song about going out and having fun and being happy with yourself and being by yourself. I really like this song because it has quite a dance/electronic feel to it. This song is really catchy and light hearted and definitely worth a listen to. Freak Like Me This is a darker, more intense song with an electropop/rnb feel to it. This song is about going out and letting go of your inhibitions and just going a little crazy. This is my favourite song on the album and usually the first song I listen to when I put on this album. Stronger This is a slower, more emotional song that is about overcoming your fears and hardships in life and getting on with your life. I think that the vocals on this song are very powerful and also that this song is really easy to listen to and gives a good message of independence and being happy with yourself as a person. The Rest of the Album I can honestly say that there are no songs on this album that I dislike, I do not really even skip through any of the songs on the album, they are all great and I think that there is a nice balance on this album between fun/sexy songs and slower more emotional ballads. Price and Availability You can buy this album on Amazon for £4.66, I think that this is quite a good price for this album, I paid around £10 for mine a few years ago from memory and I thought it was worth every penny. Overall I really love this album and even though I have owned it for years, I still like to take it out and play it every now and again. This album is my favourite Sugababes album and I would definitely recommend it to their fans. Overall I would give this album 5 out of 5 stars. *also on ciao under lorrainek90
The 2002 pop album, Angels With Dirty Faces released by the record label Island introduced the Sugababes to much wider audience. There were many things about this album that attracted people to it. The perception of the Sugababes being moody but intelligent teenagers was almost trashed when Siobhnan Donaghy was replaced by a former Atomic Kitten member named Heidi Range. She seemed to really stand out as the sweet one. Ironically Heidi Range still remains in the band today, although some believe that the Sugababes died with the departure of Mutya and the nail in the coffin was placed with Keisha's dismissal. But like phoenix's the original members of the Sugababes rose from the ashes and now the entire fanbase of the Sugababes is being teased with the potential of new music from the past and future line ups. It has come to the point that the media focus on the drama of the group instead of girls' music. With a discography of exceptional albums, I think that the sugababes and the originals can change that. Although it wasn't much of a problem in 2002. This was one of the group's finest hours. This is one of their most classic, best and popular albums and I agree with it's popularity because I think the album is wonderfully produced with a surprising amount of variety. The main themes of the album contain self motivation, clubbing, relationship dilemmas and love. It's really club inspired and highlights a sharp confident attitude. The electronic usage makes the album feel like it's worlds away from the dark urban music of One Touch, but it still has the nice urban, R&B and garage flavour as their debut album, but it just goes up to the next level. The sound is a lot more polished and grand. I'm glad that they didn't lose the rawness that was featured in their previous album because it gave them a strong identity. To be honest, I love Three a lot more because I think it has something that makes it superior to all the other Sugababe albums, although I think Angels With Dirty Faces has some of the band's best singles on this album. To be fair, the Sugababes have had exceptional singles and their album tracks are just as awesome. Freak Like Me was their first number one single in the UK. It's a clever mash up Adina Howard's Freak Like Me and Gary Numan's Are 'Friends' Electric? The lyrics already had a sharp tone that would be perfect for a club anthem and this cover/mash up gives the song real justice. It's energetic and intense. Blue is quite fast paced and deep. It has a very mysterious ring to it. The electronic beats make the song sound really industrial. The vocals are low and deep and the lyrics sound really threatening at the beginning and also confronting. Makes me think of a fake friendship. It's a nice song, I think it's got a unique baseline. Round Round was another number one hit for the Sugababes. This is a lot more rock orientated in my opinion with the riffs and addictive baseline. It sounds really intense and energetic. The song makes me want to go round round on the dance floor. It's beautiful from start to finish and it's truly a classic track. The next track Stronger is also another one of the classics. It's also one of my favourite songs of the Sugababes. Stronger has a slow rhythm which contrasts with a lot of the fast paced songs with the album. I think the song is so amazing because the string arrangement and vocals make the sound sound really uplifting. Stronger contains some of their best lyrics in my opinion. I can imagine the song being played live backed up by a huge orchestra. Supernatural The girls sound really flawless on this track because the vocals sound so clean and edgy. It has some really cool vibes and it makes me feel quite cool. Listening to this song has made me realise how much Keisha has improved vocally over the years. Whereas in the title track Angels With Dirty Faces we learn that Keisha is an awesome rapper. The title track reminds me of the Power Puff Girls because of the music video released all them years ago that was made in the same art style as the Power Puff Girls. Virgin Sexy is so much fun. It's suggestive and really packed with attitude. Loud and really stands out. The out of time shouts and squeals makes it evident that the group really had fun recording this track and I've seen them having a great time performing the track live. Heidi seems to really like the word sexy. She always says sexy in such a really enthusiastic way. Of course she's not all as sweet as she appears to be vocal wise. It's beautiful but also icy. Shape samples Sting's song Shape Of My Heart and borrows it's dark acoustic chorus and rhythm. It feels so raw and deep. The vocals work together with the samples and for me it's an instant grabber. Mutya, Heidi and Keisha have very different voices but they all contrast in a lovely way. When they harmonise, it's like it's one voice. This quality is also shared with their first album One Touch too. I love the sound of the harmonica to this because it makes the song feel more homely and British. Just Don't Need This will remind people of Stronger because of the strong orchestral feel with the cinematic production. I've always liked this song, but lately this song has been sticking by me for it's strong impact. No words can really accurately describe how much I adore the track. Mutya's solo in the middle eight sounds so intense and the instrumental sounds like something that plays in a battlefield. No Man No Cry seems to be inspired by their appreciation to Bob Marley, SWV and The Rolling Stones. It's beat is strongly influenced by reggae and has a pure R&B flavour with the strong riffs. This sounds like a very freestyle song that represents pride of the single life. It's rightfully followed with Switch. Switch's upbeat and somewhat eerie R&B rhythm reminds me of the early days of Destiny's Child. The song is about switching boyfriends if they are unsatisfactory. It does feel really filler like because the lyrics feel a bit weak but on the other hand I love some of the ad-libs and the chorus is really catchy and the vocals are still up to scratch. Very groovy. It sounds a song that should be featured on a compilation album dedicated to speed dating. More Than A Million Miles is a lot more mature and personal than the personal track. It's got a little bit of an acoustic vibe with the string arrangement and the instruments sound a lot more organic. I love this song because it feels really realistic and can apply to real life. I think the lyrics on this song is really strong and that the girls really portray emotion in the vocals really well. I can believe the stress and doubt of the relationship breakdown. This song also features Keisha's awesome rap and Heidi's lovely falsettos. An acoustic version of their B-side, Breathe Easy titled as Breathe Easy (Acoustic Jam) slows the mood down nicely. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a really lovely song and I think it's just as good, if not very similar to the B-side version. Mutya, Keisha and Heidi really excel at live performances like these and it gives me goosebumps because the lyrics are so simple but deep. It's a true Sugababes song and during the middle eight I felt like I could hear Siobhan's voice in the song. The album ends with an extended and alternative mix to their song Round Round which is lead by the daring and striking Mutya. Heidi dosen't sing much in this version although it sounds like Heidi was singing over a demo that Keisha and Mutya had recorded. It's still just as good as the original version although it's a lot more raw and grungey. I love the extra verses. If you're wondering which Sugababes album is the best to listen to first, then I would say this would be a great album to start with because it has their most popular songs and is one of their best selling albums. It can appeal to both kids, teens, and adults although the younger audiences will be it's more stronger audience. It also includes their best line up in my opinion. From start to finish it's a great album and one I've owned for a long time. You should try it some time! I'm sure you can get it pretty cheaply nowadays.
Was this album really released ten years ago? Wow, time does indeed fly! The reason why I like this album is because it still sounds fresh and funky ten years on. The album is a more mature sounding pop album from the early 2000s and it features Heidi, who replaced the original member that left early on in their career. The album is a pop album with a touch of RnB. The album focuses on the usual theme of the Sugababes, heartache, releationships, love and inner strength. The album is a very well produced album and I love their "cover" of Freak Like Me, a mash-up of two songs before mash-ups were even popular. The song is a great pop tune with a belting chorus. The girls all sing this really well, especially Keisha who has a strong and powerful voice. I also love Round Round which is another fantastic pop song. Heidi has more of a chance to shine on this song and it's when I began to notice her as a performer. The song is just as impressive as Freak Like Me and no wonder it was a Number One single for the girls. It was also featured in a film. The album does contain a couple of fillers but I still listen to them. No track is worth skipping on this album. It's very focused and very much an independant album. It's worth a listen. I still can't believe this was released ten years ago...!
This was the first Sugababes album I ever bought and was the one that got me into the group. I was still in sixth form at the time and this album brings back lots of memories. I believe that when an album holds such a lot of good memories you tend to be more biased towards it, however I genuinely believe this is a quality pop album with or without associated memories! The album mixes retro pop, RnB, garage and ballads to create a mix of varied tracks. Freak Like Me is the standout track on the album, great to dance to when played in a club. Round Round is another such track. There are a number of laid back songs such as Blue, Supernatural and the more uptempo Angels With Dirty Faces, the song which gave its name to the album. Shape is a slower ballad sampling Sting; Stronger is one of my favourite tracks on the album and is another slower song. The girls' voices all work well together, contrasting nicely. Heidi has a very sweet voice, Keisha has a RnB voice and Mutya's voice is full of character and adds a streetwise element to the album. This is a great album generally - it's not my favourite Sugababes album, but I still enjoy listening to it and it's going to go down as a pop classic. Track Listing 1. Freak Like Me 2. Blue 3. Round Round 4. Stronger 5. Supernatural 6. Angels With Dirty Faces 7. Virgin Sexy 8. Shape 9. Just Don't Need This 10. No Man No Cry 11. Switch 12. More Than A Million Miles 13. Breathe Easy 14. Round Round (Alternative Mix)
I felt compelled to review this album as the Sugababes seem to crop up in the charts all too often. I have always been indifferent to their music, finding the odd gem amidst some rather wishy washy numbers. This album does have a few highlights though. Who are they: The line-up seems to forever be changing, but at the moment they comprise Keisha Buchanan, Heidi Range, and Amelle Berrabah. Ex members are Siobhan and Mutya who left to pursue solo careers. Sugababes specialise in pop music with an r and b and soulful twist. On this album: Off to a brash start with the storming 'Freak Like Me' which makes effective use of an old Gary Numan sample. The track is feisty and allows the girls to purr their way through it. The song might be a cover of an old Adina Howard number but they make it their own and it became their first number one single. Highlights: Head for 'Round Round' which had an infectious chorus will literally go round and round in your head! It is a subtle blend of pop and r and b which works very well. I found that they excel on the slower numbers, the haunting 'Shape' is the kind of song which gets under the skin and lingers like a fungus. 'Stronger' is the kind of track to play after a break-up where you need to feel empowered again Poor Tracks: 'Virgin Sexy' is weak in comparison, relying on saucy lyrics to add spice, when the girls' voices sell the song alone. Overall: This was a confident album, showing the girls getting to grips with their sound and adding a touch of flourish to whatever they touched. Soulful voice combine with good harmonies and catchy melodies to result in a strong followup album.
The Sugababes have come quite a fair way since they burst onto the scene back in 2000 with their debut single ?Overload?. Since then, they?ve had a few more hits (and flops), a line up change and, two years later, they unleashed this album upon us, following two number one hits. ?Angels With Dirty Faces? had a lot to live up to, following its preceding singles ?Freak Like Me? and ?Round, Round? ? both number ones and both classy, catchy r&b/pop tracks. So does the album live up to expectations? After some initial doubt, I can now safely say, it does. 1. ?Freak Like Me? ? the first track and first single. This #1 is a bootleg of two other tracks, cleverly put together for the Sugababes to strike back from being dropped with their new line up and direction. A light rocky-vibe comes through the catchy track which set their careers back on track. The vocals are good, and it becomes the perfect upbeat opener to the album. 2. ?Blue? ? this was, obviously, the first track I heard from the album that I didn?t already know on getting it, so naturally I was excited at this point. Sadly, this is actually the second weakest track on the album, put right up here at track two. While certainly not a bad song at all, it just plods along at a bland pace. Just a forgettable pop song, sandwiched between two real winners, which doesn?t help its case. Still an alright effort, but you can do much better, girls! 3. ?Round, Round? ? another single, another #1! One of the catchiest tracks of 2002 by far. After the disappointing previous track, it sounds even better than ever. Traditional Sugababes territory here ? memorable, classy pop tracks that stick in your head all day long. One of the, if not, the best track on the album. 4. ?Stronger? ? the first ballad on the album comes in the form of their third single (half of it, anyway), the chilled out ?Stronger?. A real grower, although I did quite like it from the start, this really is a highlight. Easily the best ballad on the album, it mixes a catchy chorus with some good harmonies from the girls. The best thing about Sugababes is how their voices match each others by creating nice contrasts and combining to make strong choruses, and this track shows it off. May have ?only? made #7, but pushed the albums sales majorly and was a #1 airplay hit. 5. ?Supernatural? ? certainly not single material, but this catchy, upbeat track dabbles with some light electronic sounds ? jumping about a bit like a scratched CD! This is a nice album track, not quite as strong as the singles, but still deserving to be here. Different, and original, another winner. 6. ?Angels With Dirty Faces? ? the overshadowed A side from their third single is the title track of the album. Frequently accused of being dull, I personally love it. Mid-tempo, very ?typical? Sugababes here ? a mid tempo version of ?Round, Round? or ?Hole In The Head? I guess. I?m glad it was at least released and not wasted as just being an album track, but ?Stronger? taking the spotlight may have been for the best to show variation. Still, this song is another one of the strongest on offer here. 7. ?Virgin Sexy? ? could?ve easily been a single, this is the best non-release track on the album. A catchy little number in the usual style, lyrically we are aimed at the teens here ?If you want me, just text me, cos I?m virgin, virgin sexy? which is fine as it fits well with the song. A beat that gets in your head! 8. ?Shape? ? featuring Sting, this was the fourth and final single from the album, just missing the top ten. That doesn?t reflect its quality, as it is a classy little song. Quite different to everything else on here, it is a mid-tempo, soft kind of tune that takes a while to grow on you. Once it does though, it becomes a firm favourite! Strong vocals here all round. 9. ?Switch? ? after the slowing down of the album with the last track, we get struck again with a Sugababes-style upbeat party track! All about moving around from boy to boy when you?re bored! Not single material, but a solid album song all the same that keeps the party going. 10. ?More Than A Million Miles? ? a more chilled out track here, not a complete ballad, but a slower track. Still has an infectious chorus though, and is another good, strong tune. Once again, not single territory, but still a strong album number. 11. ?Breathe Easy ? Acoustic Jam? ? the only song on the album I don?t like at all. Acoustic (obviously) is the style, making this slow ballad rather boring to be honest. It isn?t offensive or stand-out horrible, but I just end the album at track 10, content with what I?ve heard! All in all, this is a brilliant album. Out of the 11 tracks, 10 deserve to be here (even if ?Blue? isn?t strong enough to be track number two, I was probably a little harsh. It is still a nice enough song.), and the dud is at the end, so it doesn?t take away too much. The tracks that deserved to be singles were released, and spaced out between them are some funky tunes, eclectic enough to be interesting, but still all have the trademark Sugababes sound. Recommended to anyone who likes solid, catchy pop r&b songs with a bit of funkiness and plain out fun thrown in!
So in answer to the challenge I have been set I have finally got round to writing this op on the Sugababes. So first off I have to state that I didn't actually buy this album but in fact was given a copy free by a mate who had 2. Cheers mate. I'm sure everyone will know by now that I am an Indie, Rock kinda guy and definitely know what I like and what I don't. Following their debut album the girls found themselves as a 2 piece with Mutya and Keisha hoping to keep the band going after Siobhan left to pursue other musical interests. So without a record deal and as only a 2 piece the girls finally found that new 3rd member Heidi a former member of Atomic Kitten. A record deal feel into place and the girls were soon working on this there second album, Angels with Dirty Faces. Releasing this album on Universal Island Records this album has gone on to give the girls more success than they could ever have imagined. Having released 4 singles from this album, they have probably gone back to the studio to record their third album. My gut feeling after hearing the singles, was that this may be an alright album, so if you want to know what I thought read on. The album kicks off with a decent enough song, "Freak Like Me". The first single released, the song samples Gary Numan's "Are Friends Electric?". This single went to number 1 in the charts and to be honest is quite an easygoing relaxing song. It opens with a similar beat to the aforementioned Gary Numan song, with the vocals coming in quite quickly. The beat stays pretty much the same with the girls vocals really taking the lead on the song. I think the lyrics are probably the weakest part of the song though and to be honest thing it?s the synthesised beat that actually makes the track what it is. Of course the girls voices really bring something out of a mediocre song that makes it not too bad to listen to. Quickly moving onto the next track "Blu e" we find one of the poorer tracks on the album. It starts with something that could almost be considered a slow drum beat before the girls come in. The song has an R&B flavour to it and although it has quite a catchy chorus it gets very old very quickly and soon you are fed up with the song. An annoying instrumental mix in the bag ground is made worse by the quiet vocals. All the music is all over produced and this is something I feel brings the tone of the album down. The rapping elements of the song just sound wrong. "You are a fool because you lost me, I thought that we were cool" The next track is another of the singles and was used on the soundtrack to the Guru. The song is of course "Round Round" and again is another of the better tracks on the album. It opens up with a quick beat building nicely out of the silence again heavily relying on what appears to be either drums or some sort of synthesised beat. The vocals pick up the track nicely accentuating it nicely in the right places. The beat doesn't get as annoying as on other tracks on the album. The backing beat and to a lesser extent the rest of the musical accompaniment actually fits in really well with the vocals. After 4 tracks into the album we have already come to the 3rd single of the album so far. "Stronger" was a fairly decent track the first few times I heard it but after the mass overplaying it has received my opinion of it has changed. Again it opens with a similar drumbeat to the others with the vocals again coming in quite shortly afterwards. Again I don't think it's the vocals that put me off this song, but the repetitive beat that really doesn't seem to change for huge chunks of the song. Then we have another filler track, "Supernatural". The most part of this track is a rap starting straight from the opening beat with the girls not so much singing and not exactly rapping either. Again the beat is far too repetitive and lets the song down in a big way. The girls have had a team of writers help them with this album and to be honest they may want to think about changing them for the next album. The lyrics are weak for a track that becomes so annoying by half way through it, you end up reaching for the skip button. The next track is the albums title track and again it appears to have been let down by bad writing. The song "Angels With Dirty Faces" starts as an alright song with the girls names being introduced over the top of a drumbeat. The verse is good and the chorus the first time sounds half-decent. But the same beat is used far too much and hardly changes throughout the song. The main changes in the tempo of the song is actually within the girls voices. The rap towards the end of the song just makes matters worse and to be honest they should stick to singing and leave the rapping to the rappers. "You don?t know where we go, You don?t know, That We're angels with dirty faces in the morning." I know a lot of people who would say that "Virgin Sexy" is their favourite track on this album. However I am not one of those people. Again we have a similar sort of backing beat to the track and again the vocals add something to lyrics that again are sadly lacking. The beat carries on throughout again not changing much at all. The main tune comes from the vocals with the instrumental section of the song coming mainly out of a drum machine. Another one to be skipped quickly. Then we come to one of the worst ideas Sting has ever had. Getting involved on this album was actually a bigger mistake than appearing on Craig David?s album. The track "Shape" samples large sections of Stings Shape of My Heart. The whole track actually has a harmony to it starting using the into to the original Sting track with the girls vocals in from the start. To be honest this is one of the better s ongs on the album. Sting provides the main chorus on the track and he must have been laughing when the Sugababes and Craig David released a track with his vocals included in almost the same week. However like a lot of the songs on this album it is dragged out far too much, which takes away a little of the quality the tracks could have had. The next track up is ?Just Don?t Need This?. The track opens with a slow drum beat over various other sampled sound before a stringed backing comes in. Again though it quickly settles into the same pattern as a lot of tracks on the album, with that one beat carrying on throughout. It alters slightly for the chorus but not by any significant level. The vocals sound alright, but again they really don?t have the lyrics to work with as a large part of the song is just words basically spoken over the backing track. The beat alters for a short part, where the vocals take over during a silence before it starts up again. All in all it?s another repetitive offering that that the album could have done without. So here comes a reggae feel to the album and another really bad idea, ?No Man No Cry? is probably the weakest track on the album. It opens with the vocals sampled before the drum machine comes in and guess what, yes the backing beat is exactly the same for the rest of the track, speeding up a little for the chorus but very little variation. The vocals aren?t even that impressive during this song, but I think again that?s down to a poorly written song. For the chorus you imagine the Fugees singing no Woman No Cry and drift off into a decent track before realising your actually listening to the Sugababes. The next track has a funkier feel to it than a lot of the other songs on the album. ?Switch? although sounding just the same does have a few good qualities to it. The intro isn?t one of them. A totally machine processed sound kicking off the track before the vocals come in, which again if they weren?t that gr eat would have let down the song and the album. The lyrics again I?m not impressed with but then again there aren?t many songs on this album that have lyrics that do impress me. However again the mixture of the lyrics and repetitive beat make the track another that becomes annoying very quickly. The 2nd to last proper track on the album, I?m not including the bonus track, ?More Than A Million Miles?. A better track than the last few and a song that could have been a possible single. It opens with a guitar for a change before the drum machine comes in to take over. The vocals are strong and bring out a hidden quality in the track. The beat stays almost the same again throughout the song, speeding up a little for the chorus, but again I think most of the actual harmony and tune is being created in the girls vocals. The song ends up like a Misteeq style near the end and this I feel takes away from the good elements that they built up during the rest of the track. The last proper track on the album, ?Breathe Easy; Acoustic Jam? is a very mellow track that drifts along nicely. This is probably my joint favourite track on this album. It opens with a guitar and one of the girls coming in on the opening line. This is a lot like the singles released from the first album with a relaxing guitar riff and the girls just singing along to it. Even the lyrics on this track seem to be a bit better . A nice finish to an otherwise mediocre album. As I mentioned there is a bonus track but it?s only a remix of Round Round, and as I?ve already done that I?ll leave this one for you to find out about for yourself. Obviously a lot of people wont agree with me about this album but musical variety is always a good thing and unfortunately this album really isn?t for me. However if it is your sort of thing then swing by CD-wow.com and you can pick it up for £8.99.
When the sugababes first burst onto the scene in 2000 it was quite obvious they were something different in pop music.However after a few singles and a great album they began to descend into oblivion.First Siobhan Donaghay leaves the band to become depressed yet return two years later with a solo album,then the remaining two,oriental beauty Mutya and her school pal keisha,are dropped by their record company.Oh dear. However,the two babes weren't going to give up there.So,with a little help they began searching for Siobhan's replacement,only to recruit Heidi Range,a blonde,pretty scouse lass who nearly made it to atomic kitten.Then they are signed to island records,and by 2002 release their single 'Freak like me'. But wait a minuite.Is this real?what won the babes' the credibility and notorioty they had is the fact that they were the pop band it was ok for adults to like.Yet they recruit an ex-member of atomic kitten?And they release a cover of 'Freak like me'?Well,they seemed destined for failure,then one hears 'Freak like Me'... Although it is a cover,the sound clash of Dina Howard's 'Freak like Me'against a backdrop of 'are friends electric?'(yes I'm telling the truth)with the babes'sultry vocals(even atomic kittener Heidi manages it)turns out to be the best record of 2002.So does 'Angels with dirty faces',the album it spawned from,do the trick?well,for a start,Richard X,the man responsible for 'Freak like Me',doesn't do any more knob twiddling on the album,so it may just not be... However nothing could be further from the truth.Once 'Freak like Me' crashes out of the sound system track 2 emerges with a swirving garage-esque beat.Oh god,not horrible garage music.Then the ex-attomic kitten member starts to sing about 'seeing through someone'.And it's all uphill from there... The new addition to the clan is undoubtebly the best singer in it.No sweet yet weak chirp like that of the kittens present here,which could explain why she didn't go for it,instead there is a rich,velvety and very grown up vocal resenating from Range's vocal chords. But anyway,back to the song.'Blue',as it's titled,is my favourite song on the album.The build up to the bridge,which then even's out with the other girls chanting 'Bluuuu'while Heidi acknowledges a subject by calling them a fool for losing them then smashes into an unbelievably brilliant chorus.Sassy harmonies ride on a catchy,strumming guitar and when it finishes the listener is left wanting it back,and you have to wait for the next verse & bridge(sung just as well by Keisha,the black babe)till it returns,this time armed with Heidi's beautiful backing vocals.Then it's back to Keisha for the rap,which is just as vindictive and accusing as the rest of the song,which is about a two-faced b***h(hmmmm,ms.donaghey?).Then it's back to the wonderful chorus again till the end of the song.Wow,if the second song's this good,as is 'Freak like Me',what about the rest of it? 'Round Round' is on the same vibe.Sassy vocals,catchy beats,a very catchy chorus(which after a while sends you insane),so there you go,a number 1.The best bit of the song is the bridge sung by Heidi where it all slows down,not just because we don't have to hear 'round round round' again but her beautiful voice shines through.Then it's back to the chorus,and more rounding.Oh god. After all the upbeatness of soundclasher 'Freak like Me',strumming catchiness of 'Blue' and neverending sassy repetition of 'Round round'predictaclty comes a slow song,but what a slow song it is.The intro draws you in,a dark,almost submarine like noise,then Mutya takes to her throne,singing about being stronger,which is the title of the song.An excellent song,one of the best,with great synths and again,Heidi stopping the record to have her say on the bridge.The song ends well,with the girls wiggling their voices in unison. So,what now?well,we come up against an irresistably funky beat,the opening of 'Supernatural'yet the rest of the song is abit of a filler.Then there's 'angels with dirty faces',another filler.Oh no,such a brilliant start,now it's all polished filling pop(unmistakably sugababes though).Then you get to 'Virgin Sexy',a typically sassy sugababes song with attitude.It's the middle of the album,anything else interesting? Well,yes.A guitar leads you into 'Shape',but it's a very familar guitar.That from a sting song,of which 'Shape'is a cover.Although it is a cover it is one of the best songs on the album.The harmonies all hit the spot in their typical sugababes fashion,and the wonderfull lilting guitar never leaves the record giving it a slighlty exotic feel. The next two tracks,'Just don't need this'and 'No man,no cry'are nothing special,nothing memorable like other tracks,although 'Just don't need this' has good lyrics,with Heidi singing most of it about being stalked in a club by a sleazy old man. We then come to 'Switch',and,just like 'Supernatural'it relies on a funky electronic beat to keep it going,although it has more substance. By the end of 'Switch'one is exhausted(if your dancing to it like I am)yet no slow song is coming for relief.Another winner emerges in the form of 'a million miles'.A less uptempo song then others,it includes a decent rap by Keisha and many melodical warblings from each member of the band. The album then rewinds to terriotry of 'One touch',the babes' first album.A simple guitar and vocals are all that are needed to create a breezy,chilled yet thought inducing song.The album ends with a remix of 'round round'and af ter all the repetiton of it before the only worth it has is to not make a track listing unlucky(14 songs instead of 13). Overall the babes have produced a very good second album.Bar some filler tracks they manage to maintain a sassy,sophisticated more grown up style of pop.It will be interesting to see what they'll have to offer next time...
A year is a very long time in music. Just over twelve months ago, Keisha Buchanan and Mutya Buena were without a record contract, and had suffered the sudden departure of their band-mate Siobhan Doherty. As a trio, they had enjoyed success with the Top 10 smash 'Overload', and looked to have fulfilled their promise as being the next big thing. However, diminishing return from their following singles and a poorly selling album despite rave reviews meant that London Records waved goodbye soon after their vocalist Doherty went AWOL in a Japanese toilet. However, following the introduction of one cheeky Scous lass later (the ex-Atomic Kitten Heidi Range), a new record company and a brand-spanking fresh look, the band were back on the road to success, and 2002 brought them record sales which were beyond belief considering their problematic history. Their second album, 'Angles With Dirty Faces' was released at the end of last Summer, and just narrowly failed in reaching Number One. A mixture of sounds to appeal to both their younger fans, as well as the older ones (they are arguably the most credible pop band amongst the music press), it opens with one of the best tunes of this decade so far with 'Freak Like Me'. Originally a bootleg, the idea was sold to the 'Babes record company, and it was deemed the perfect song to relaunch them into the mainstream. Splicing together the dirty synth sound of Gary Numan's 'Are 'Friends' Electric?' with the saucy vocal of Adina Howard's RnB hit 'Freak Like Me', the track went straight to the top of the charts. Whilst some remixes sound contrived, but this combination was a stroke of genius and creating something fresh that still stands the test of time despite excessive radio play. It also came with a fantastic video, which showed the girls as vampires in a club. Little bit more inventive than sauntering toward the camera in a chorus line a la Atomic Kitten, don'tcha think? Next up is 'Blue', who's intro leads you to believe that you're going to get another deep and dirty slice of pop in the same vein as 'Freak Like Me'. Despite a promising chorus, it fades out with its bog-standard chorus that's very much run-of-the-mill. Catchy, but ordinary, we get back on track with 'Round Round', which also zoomed straight to the top of the charts. Another slab of dance-pop, it combines a sing-a-long chorus with biting, bitchy verses and even a solo bit from Heidi. Revolving around the chorus of 'round, round, baby, round, round', it sounded naggingly familiar the first time you heard it, although it was actually an original piece. However, despite co-writing it, they're unlikely to have made much money from it - a total of twelve songwriters appear on the credits! The pace is slowed down a little with 'Stronger', the third release from 'Angels With Dirty Faces'. A reflective song about growing up, it does take a few listens to get hold of every element. Like 'Round Round', it has a brief solo interlude from Heidi, demonstrating that she has become the focal centrepiece of the band. One of the better songs on the album, it wasn't quite up to the standard of the masterpieces that were 'Freak Like Me' and 'Round Round', and yet it's still extremely catchy and hummable. 'Supernatural' takes the album back into squelchy bass mode, with an effective if ultimately unoriginal ditty about love. A bit more catchy is the title of the track of the album, which was released as the flip-side to 'Stronger'. Despite a misplaced Powderpuff Girls animated video, the song is well crafted and polished without sounding too mundane, although it is one that sounds even better live than it does at home on the stereo. However, the namecheck of the band-members in the lyrics is something th at should not be allowed in any pop song post-'Wannabe'... The slapped bass is an instrument that was left back in the 1980's, along with VW badges and ra-ra skirts. However, 'Virgin Sexy' sees a triumphant return alongside some saucy lyrics about teenage experimentation. It also namechecks Freddy Kruger, which completes the retro feel of it all. You might know this song unwittingly, as it was used on the Rimmel advert, the one where Kate Moss is in a taxi and looks all jaundiced thanks to her trowelesque application of copious amounts of yellow eyeshadow. Like Phil Collins, Sting is not cool, no matter how much contemporary artists interpret their songs. 'Shape' is a mishmash of Sting's strings and chorus from his dull song of the same name, and some new verses sung by the girls. One that's best skipped, it is unfortunately been chosen as their next single, and is out in May, complete with a free guide to Tantric Sex and a Yanoname child. Probably. Sweeping aside the mediocrity of 'Shape', we get to the sassy 'Switch', which should be the new single. Funky and more dynamic than some of the other album tracks, it has some beautiful melodies as well as an attitude-laden chorus that makes it one of the album's highlights. One of the slower songs off this collection, 'More Than A Million Miles' does sound a little bit like a filler, and doesn't really carry much of a tune. Altogether more interesting is the last track, the acoustic 'Breath Easy' (which incidentally was the B-side to 'Freak Like Me'). Whilst a touch pedestrian, it has a nagging chorus that really does get imprinted into your brain after a few listens. It also is the track that shows off best the fact that their voices really compliment each other in harmony. Mutya and Keisha aren't gifted with operatic voices, although their performances are filled with attitude and raw dynamics of the band seem to work much more effectively than the sterilised mush of other girl-bands. Whilst Siobhan gave the band a touch of class with her porcelain looks and poise, Heidi has more than adequately filled her shoes with her superb voice and stage presence and has helped give the band the more mature look. However, whilst the production is pretty much faultless and then tunes are generally high in their constistency, lyrically some of the tracks leave a little bit to be desired. It's in looking at their mostly self-penned lyrics, mostly about boys, fashion and growing-up that you remember that they are still teenagers, and still lack the maturity that 'Freak Like Me' had hinted at having evolved. Mutya has also written her 'thanks' credits in text slang, which is extremely irritating to say the least. That said, 'Angels With Dirty Faces' is a fine pop album, and their next effort is sure to be an even better demonstration of their talents at straddling the awkward tightrope between teenybop idols and cool club favourites.
Since the reformation of the girl group full of sugar, spice and sexiness, The Sugababes have been the most talked about girl group of the year with their comeback number one single another follow up number one and also a number two album. Mutya, Heidi and Keisha have returned to the music scene all mature and full of energy. The Album ‘Angels with Dirty Faces’ has only been out this august but it is getting noticed as a great album as the number two chart ranking portrays. I must say they were up against stiff competition from Coldplay who have had the biggest selling album in the UK. ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ has also showed huge popularity in America and around the world also, so the girls have done well to get a high charting rank especially since their first album ‘One Touch’ only managed top 30 status at best. I always said that the girls would do well but felt they were strongly restricted by their label and their age. It goes to show how much a new label, a more raunchy image and a new sound can do to one persons success which is also reflected in the comeback of Atomic Kitten. Over the last year or so, I have moved more from the pop side of music and more to urban and r n b music. In my view, I find the Sugababes to be a fresh girl group who deflect the usual stereotypical view of a girl group as much of the album is co written by the girls. They are also not so governed by their label as they seem to have more of a unique image and attitude which is older than their years. Before I do a breakdown of the songs on the album, I must warn many of you as you are probably aware not to expect One Touch mark 2 as you will be rather surprised as I was. The album is a huge leap from their fresh sounding debut album which is not a good thing or a bad thing. When I first listened to the album, I was completely disappointed as many of the songs sounded far too similar and dull but I gave it time and since then h aven’t stopped playing it. The album is more urban and soulful in sound and more experimental with more computerised effects such as flange, distortion and loops such as drum and base effects. The album is much more upbeat from the first and there are few slow songs on this one which evenly balances out the previous album. Tracklisting Freak Like Me (3.15) This song claimed the Sugababes first UK number one. The song is a cover/remix of 2 songs, the lyrics and melody adapted from a song called ‘Freak Like Me’ from Adina Howard which has been covered once before into a garage track. The background riff and such was taken from Gary Numan’s ‘Are Friends Electric?’ Which was a past hit also. The bootleg was a great new start for the girls as the elements from various sources culminated in a fresh, modern and polished song which was immediately used for a Rimmel advert thus reinforcing the songs success as a UK hit. The video to this song was also very effective in creating the girl’s new image, it was way sexier than before and more thought out and much darker than ever before helping to emphasise their new-found maturity. 8.5/10 Blue (3.16) What I heard when I first heard this track was not what I was expecting. As it was the first new track on the album, I was quite surprised to hear the darkness of the track, sounds such as drum and bass riffs, warps effects more effects engulf the start of the song. The verses focus on the lyrics while the bass line rumbles along simplistically highlighting the importance of the words in the background. The Bridge into the chorus gathers pace and rhythm as the song leads into a more upbeat and lovely song with a guitar strumming along. At first I didn’t like the way the song worked overall but I always did like the chorus. The songs use of mood changes help emphasise a cloud being lifted over a person who finally sees somethi ng su ch as a relationship clearly “That’s all you do, play with peoples minds. Two faced, I was so blind”. It has undoubtedly grown on me as time has gone on. 8/10 Round Round (3.57) This was the Sugababes second consecutive number one for them during august and is still in the top 3 currently. The song once again is more mature but at the same time rather ‘happy go lucky’ and upbeat. The catchy chorus is what got me listening but surprisingly the song was unappealing to me and to be honest I hated it but it really did grow on me and I love it to bits, its just a happy song although the cool video depicts otherwise. The intro to the song is effective as it emerges from the silence of your speakers and leads straight into the chorus. Good vocals are evident here with a good use of harmonies, the base beat is continuous and maintains interest. The middle eight of the song is good also as the song suddenly slows down to an almost halt and moves into a slow melodic section with guitars and simple drum beat with the girls accompanying Heidi in harmony. I enjoyed the way the song then leaded back into the chorus with use of repetition heralding an inevitable return to the chorus that the video also demonstrates. 9/10 Stronger (4.00) This song is one of the slower ones and was tipped to be the girls Christmas single although no song will have a chance this year with the Christmas number one due to the obvious popularity that Popstars The Rivals will create. It got into the top 5 as a double A-side single with the namesake of the album. The song even being slower and melodic has strong bass beats with echoing tones in the intro along with a string section as the vocals of Mutya emerge. The lyrics are rather emotive and work well with the mood of the song which is of triumph “I’ll make it through the rainy days, I’ll be the one who stands here longer than the rest”. The s ong is ful filling an d the vocals, with use of harmony work well in the song demonstrating the girl’s voices well. This song is more in line with something Dido herself would produce which is somewhat reminiscent of Here with me with the uplifting feeling. 9.5/10 Supernatural (3.37) This song was one not written by the girls. It’s not a favourite of mine and on times I do really like it. It is a strong beat stomper as I call it as it quite grungy and catchy at the same time. You do have to be in the right mood at the time to listen to this song though, it is quite repetitive thanks to the chorus and it has irritated me on times. There is a nice experimental section during the middle eight of this track which is highly simlilar to Britney’s Slave. The middle eight has the pitch bends and slurs in the voice and the exotic sound in the back which makes the song much more interesting and aids in the listeners interest. Not one of my favourites on this album though, but still good to listen to every now and then. 7/10 Angels with Dirty Faces (3.48) The namesake of the album is rather fast paced with a fast moving melody and great vocals. I would really like to love this song but feel that the chorus spoils it beyond belief as the chorus is very repetitive and tends to drag. The song was really catchy but the constant re-occurrence of the chorus tends to grate. There is a slight element of rock into this song thanks to the electric guitar adding chords here and there. The beat is catchy as well as the riff and especially the bridge into the chorus which I really enjoy listening to. Although the chorus irritates me I still like this song and there are many factors of this song which make it more than playable. 8/10 for the verses, bridge bass beats and riff 4/10 for the repetition of the chorus. Virgin Sexy (3.44) This song tends to remind us of the girl’s ages. I have heard a live version of the song on MP3 bef ore I heard this one so I knew what to expect and quite enjoyed it. It was very catchy with strong beats, again a rather grungy sound as well as pure funk to accompany sultry voices with “oohs” being sung here and there as well as screams and a reference to Freddy Krueger emphasising the frightened feelings that one might encounter when considering going ‘further’. “How will I know if I’m ready to take it there, just thinking about it really scares me like Freddy”. I really like this song and the bridge again lends a new idea to the song adding contrast. The song at first was weird but gradually it really grows on you. 8/10 Shape (4.10) Here is one of my favourite songs on this album, a very Spanish sounding song, the track features Sting singing the chorus with the Babes. “Shape” was sampled from Stings song “Shape of my Heart”. The sample is taken from the chorus whereas the Sugababes have added unique verses to the track similar to what Atomic Kitten have done to ‘Tide is High’ although this song is done much more uniquely and surprisingly it is really appealing. The song is uplifting and at the same time a ballad type song which progresses nicely with each verse being sung by two of the girls in harmony (backing each other) with strong beats and a rhythmic MC type vocal being used to sing the verses which are very syncopated. These effects work well and provide a polished track worthy of number one status. The accompaniment is greatly helped by a Spanish guitar being the main instrument used ascending down the notes of each string. I really enjoy listening to this song as it is emotive thanks to the lyrics, vocals, instruments and various musical techniques which help maintain interest as well as modernising the track making it playable to all ages. I cannot stress how much I love this song, as I don’t think it is poss ible to express. A u se of a harmonica is also used near the end and the introduction is a nice addition to an album full of female voices. Seeming that this track is the longest one on the album bar the remix at the end, I find this song one of the most entertaining and hope that such a collaboration no matter how surprising, gets released as I think it could do well depending on when its released. 9.9/10 (always room for improvement though!) Have just heard this is the next release off the album and I am pleased as it is a great track! Just Don’t Need This (3.30) This song is very clever, it reminds me of something like a massive attack or garbage track which incorporates a dark mood along with various computerised effects such as distortion, flange, tunnel as well as incorporating a string section into the song. The song is very experimental, soulful and urban in sound. I love the middle section in this track. Whilst drumming the album into my head to get familiar with the new sound of the Babes, I was gobsmacked by what I heard in this track. The song suddenly breaks from the chorus and with a few bars of riffs the song suddenly leads into a rather emotive and melodic harmonised section which I thoroughly enjoy listening to. The part is simplistically accompanied whilst a stronger beat gets introduced in the second part of the harmonies. I found it very funky and really effective and it was a shame that this part of the song wasn’t expanded on. The part reminded me of the previous album on such songs as ‘Run for Cover’ and ‘Promises’ which use a lot of harmonies. I liked this song as the usual musical conventions (what works well with what) were once more broken to appeal to a wider audience and modernise the track. Another possible single release? 9/10 No Man No Cry (3.32) This is the worse track on the album in my view. When I saw the title I just had the idea of a reggae infl uence in my mind and I wa sn’t far wrong. The song begins with a reggae sounding drum beat but then progresses into a more modern song with heavy beats and electric guitar. I don’t know why I dislike this song but I just seem to switch off when it is played as it is not very imaginative and is far to repetitive and as I dislike the chorus that’s not a good thing at all! There are no big discoveries in this track the most you will get are strong beats and a metal drum sound which is different but I think this song will be smothered by the others which is a good thing as its just boring. 2/10 Switch (3.37) A rather electronica sound is used in this song, its quite funky, the song is very computer game like in sound and the chorus is quite catchy although simplistic in some aspects. The beat of the track overall is what is of main interest as it is very rhythmic. The middle eight of this song is also effective adding contrast including the bridge. In my opinion, this song goes on for too long as once again the chorus plays on for too long and outstays its welcome. I have been irritated by this song and also have enjoyed it on times but this really needs an acquired taste. The beat in the chorus, although needing to accompany the lyrics, keeps a too rigid pattern for my liking as it gives the song a harsher sound which is does not need although it does tend to portray a constant change in direction as what the song might suggest/want. 7/10 Million Miles Long (3.23) This is another grower, the song is like a garage track at start it is fast pace in terms of vocal rhythm and the accompaniment is drum and bass like with various computer generated sound effects. There is a nice use of acoustic guitar in this song and the vocals by Mutya work well in syncopation with the bass riff and beats. Again there is a bridge in this track which all the girls sing and when the chorus enters, the song gains more pace once mo re. The chorus is very ‘ fuelled’ with a string d rum and bass influence. Once more the Babes experiment with their music and the middle eight in this song is furthest attempt of experimenting I have heard. Keisha takes to the microphone in a Alesha from Mis-teeq style attempt to MC and as her first attempt, it isn’t that bad. The girl has the rhythm and syncopation to do it and she just sounds like a younger version of Alesha as her voice is less mature. This addition to the track urbanises it more and provides more of a crossover between the various music styles, while sounding garage like it still is poppy and also urban. I enjoy this song as it is very catchy and the various styles work well each blending well together to sound very polished. 8/10 Breathin’ Easy (3.58) This is the only song that really sounds like the old Sugababes we knew. It is an acoustic version (better than the polished one) with an acoustic guitar being used as the main instrument. It is very slow paced and relaxing, it’s very melodic with great accompaniment. I really like this track, again it didn’t sound as good as some of their other tracks possible boring but give it time and it is a real grower. Once you have listened to such as range of styles on one album, this song is a nice simplistic chillout track which gives the girls the opportunity to demonstrate their vocal skills which are truly amazing. A bring down from the energetic styles is just what the music guru ordered for a satisfying album. 9/10 Round Round (alternative mix) (6.04) The longest track on the album, which is obvious, as it is a remix. The song is not dissimilar to the number one hit, it is more of an extended version with some effect dumbed down and the vocals being made more ‘drier’ to add atmosphere and to emphasize the darkness of the remixed track. New additions to the effects include a reverb used on the chorus whi ch is more ‘vocal’ focu sed. The second verse begins about 3 minutes into the track it is much more haunting. The lyircs have been altered to create contrast to the original as well as the echoes and a dry sound is added to contrast with the fatter chorus and middle eight which is much more uplifting than before. This remix is much more atmospheric rejecting the upbeat sound of the original often creating a new mood entirely. The remix is a worthwhile addition to the album although on times it would be better if the previous track was the final one as it left on a light and airy note which to me was more sufficient as a final song on an album. 8/10 I truly do enjoy listening to this album now, there is a song to suit everyone here and many are from all spheres of the music world which culminate in a much textured album than before which often would stick to the desired and tried and tested method. Like I said, this albums songs might sound too similar to begin with but please give it time. Listen to the lyrics and go where each song wants you to go, it truly is a satisfying album which I am sure I will play for years to come as I still do with their debut. This album demonstrates the girl’s talent to sing as well as write songs which most is of a high standard. The album has already spawned 3 separate single top 5s! The girls have done well for themselves and it finally looks like they will get the recognition they have been deserving of ever since they came onto the music scene. Thanks for reading, Mike.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Freak Like Me
3 Round Round
6 Angels with Dirty Faces
7 Virgin Sexy
10 More Than a Million Times
11 Breathe Easy; Acoustic Jam