Sunday, December 17, 2006

Artist of the Week: Sugababes

This week, my Artist of the Week is Sugababes. I started getting into them back n 2002. In 2004, I bought their third album, "Three," and took it on my trip to New York, that summer, playing it for my friends, there. A girl group formed in London, in 1998, they have been going for as long as I have lived in the UK. Their current single, "Easy," earned them the spot as my Artist of the Week and it's my profile song for the week. This also fits with the final week of my Iain Lee dedicated "top friends," as Iain has stated that he finds them the sexiest girl group.
Founding members Keisha Buchanan and Mutya Buena were friends since age 8. They met third founding member, Siobhan Donaghy, at a party, when they were 13. The young girls decided to form a group. At age 14, they signed with London Records. Their first single, "Overload," made the UK Top 10. Their first album generated three more UK Top 40 hits, but the album peaked at 26 on the UK Albums Chart. Sales of the album were less than London Records had been expecting, so the record company dropped the group in 2001. Also that year, Siobhan decided to leave the group.
Heidi Range was brought in to replace Siobhan and they signed a new recording deal with Island Records. A second album, "Angels With Dirty Faces," was recorded and the first single from it was "Freak Like Me," was their first number one single. The second single from the album, "Round Round," was the one that got me into them. When I saw the video for it, I was particularly taken with Mutya. All the girls are good looking, but they have been repeatedly plagued, in their videos, with poor choices in wardrobe and make-up. For example, Heidi's hair in the "Round Round" video detracts from her looks. It wasn't till later that I realized how beautiful Heidi looks. In the video for "Hole in the Head," the groups' third UK number one single and the first hit from their third album, Mutya's hair looks awful and she has unflattering make-up. In the video for my favorite Sugababes song, "In the Middle," also from their third album, "Three," Keisha's costume and the camera angle she is shot from, make her look a bit fat. She's not, by any means, but she has big thighs and the outfit accentuates that, rather than downplaying it.
"Three" was released in late 2003 and the third single from it, my favorite, "In the Middle," was released in 2004. I so loved it, I decided to buy the album. It takes a lot to make me part with hard earned cash. The second single from "Three," the slow song, "Too Lost in You," featured in the soundtrack for the film, "Love Actually." In March, 2005, to my heartbreak, Mutya gave birth to a daughter. The child wasn't sad. In October, 2005, the Sugababes fourth album, "Taller in More Ways," became their first UK number one album. In December, 2005, it was announced that Mutya was leaving the group, leaving Keisha the only original member still active.
Amelle Berrabah joined the group as a replacement for Mutya. Amelle is a good looking gal, but her voice sounded so different to Mutya's, that, at first, it seemed an imperfect fit. Some of the songs from "Taller in More Ways" were re-recorded, with Amelle. I watched the group's first video with Amelle, "Red Dress," and wondered if they would survive long without Mutya. The last single from the album, "Follow Me Home," only reached 32 in the singles chart, the lowest of any Sugababes single, ever. Last month, the Sugababes released their fifth album, "Overloaded: the Singles Collection." While it contains a best of collection of their past hits, it also has new material. The first new single from it, "Easy," peaked at 8 in the charts, and is more significant because it works well with Amelle. It's a good song and the video is excellent. The girls have persevered and have found a fit with Amelle.
The Sugababes have had more Top 10 UK singles with original songs than any other girl group since The Supremes. You can check them out on Myspace, at: . Add them as friends and leave them a comment. Tell them I sent you. I'd particularly like to see them get more attention in the USA. They are sugar sweet.


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