In theory, 2010 should have been an easy year for Sugababes. While the queens of credible pop Girls Aloud take at least a year off and non-entities like The Saturdays splash around in the shallow end, the trio had built a solid reputation on the back of a run of fantastic singles and none too shabby albums. The problem is that, of course, that their golden period ended with the departure of Mutya Buena in 2005. Even so, there have still been enough bright moments since to suggest that they could at least make a decent showing.
That hope took a huge blow when lead single -Get Sexy’ spluttered into life last year, seeing the once mighty -Babes reduced to a song based around a Right Said Fred tune. It was followed by the news that the final remaining original member Keisha Buchanan had departed, to be replaced by ex-Eurovision contestant Jade Ewan. Such is the nature of pop music these days – and this band’s history in particular – that such events shouldn’t necessarily make that much difference but, even on those terms, Sweet 7 is shockingly bad.
Those bright moments of recent years are now completely gone, leaving a record with no redeeming features. The music is woeful, a succession of bland, manufactured dance pop and r&b tunes created with neither guile or emotion. At their helm are this week’s current vocalists, their characterless voices swamped in effects and auto-tuning. The lyrics mainly concern matters of the flesh and being a party girl in a party world, apart from the aptly titled -Crash & Burn’ and its apparent history of the band – sung in part by a person who joined Sugababes without ever having actually met them. It’s all staggeringly depressing stuff.
Perhaps though there is an upside to this disaster, proof that you cannot make great pop music by simply putting anybody in front of a microphone with a song written by a committee. A band that once brought style and intelligence to the genre has gradually had the heart and soul ripped out of it until it has become a worthless, meaningless brand. Yet this is surely the end of the road. Or possibly not, with the news that the three original members are suing to regain the name. So maybe this bizarre story has will have one final, thrilling twist….