It must be hard being the latest member of the Sugababes especially in light of this new greatest hits album conveniently pushed under the noses of the public just in time for Christmas. The revolving door of pop has seen fit to get shut of the scary looking one in order to bring in the similar looking but less scary looking one who hasn’t sung on a lot of the material that is on here.
Still that’s of no consequence in the grand scheme of things. The odds of a duff single from this lot has always been a surprisingly rare thing and that’s what makes Overloaded: The Singles Collection such a fine prospect.
Fifteen neatly trimmed and packaged portions of pop goodness with nary a flaw anywhere to be seen in the whole package. It just seems this lot have a knack of sorting the wheat from the chaff when it comes to picking the best tunes (or at least someone up in Sugababes central does).
Everything you want is here, the Numanesque Freak Like Me kicks things off and from that point onwards it’s a proper A to Z exercise in how to write and deliver good pop tunes. Hooks a plenty and radio friendly to the extreme offering proof that a good tune will have a demographic defying appeal.
A shameless mining of all the best influences that contemporary music has to offer. At times the way they drop hit after hit can be almost machine like. However there’s no denying there is a talent at work here no matter what any ‘serious’ music rags might proclaim. Sugababes both past and present can hold a tune, cop the sultry vocal smoulder laid across the pop/soul crosser Round Round if you need evidence.
They successfully tap into the chart friendly model of dance music with tracks like In The Middle with its subtle electro tinges (never shy of nicking an existing dance track and bending it to their purposes).
They’re not scared of tackling the slower end of the market either. Stronger, Too Lost In You and Shape show they have the ability to hold a tune without the need for gimmickry to back them up. Alright the latter track has Sting on it, but nothing’s perfect.
Some of the latter stuff like Run For Cover and Good To Be Gone might not have the strength of tracks like the debut Overload but even with a slight diluting of the formula over time this collection still sees them ahead of the game.
It seems that while we’ve not been looking Sugababes have made themselves something of a pop force to be reckoned with. Suitable stocking fodder for the upcoming festive season.