I’m a latecomer to the Sugababes party. I’m not sure I was initially resistant to their pop charms; maybe I’d got them confused with the Atomic Kittens, or I found their early we’re-so-urban-and-grimy videos off-putting. Whatever. I was dumb, I was wrong, I let myself down, but I know everything about them now.
Catfights and Spotlights is marvellous album. I got it for Xmas. Hopefully, at my current reviewing rate, I’ll have reviewed all the albums I got for Xmas by the time next one comes around. It’s the Sugababes spin on this current make-everything-sound-like-the-late-60’s thing that’s everywhere right now; you know, Duffy, Cilmi, Adele, that skanky horse-faced woman who takes drugs, the Girls Alouds. Basically, if it hasn’t got sleigh-bells and sound like it was recorded in Wookey Hole, we’re not listening.
Catfights opens with Girls, a song based around that advert, and possibly the result of a last-minute cynical ‘we need a hit single’ record company directive. Track two You On Good Day seems to have been intended to open the album; beginning, as it does, with the Sugababes introducing themselves. You On Good Day troubles me; it’s a great song, an obvious single, but the relationship it describes is so dysfunctional, and the boyfriend depicted is such an arsehole, that the feminist in me wants to scream at the singer, ‘sister, ditch the waster, you're worth so much better’.
Elsewhere, highlights are Beware – which should’ve been the theme to the latest Bond – the equally epic Sunday Rain, Sound of Goodbye which is a Too Lost In You Part 2, and the totally poptastic Nothing’s As Good As You and No Can Do. Only Side Chick annoys – too r’n’b’ – and track 12 suffers the misfortune of having the same verse melody as track 8. Howdthathappen?