, the follow up to their debut, Lickin' on Both Sides
, isn't as straightforward as it could be for Mis-Teeq. Their debut had the world at its feet--they were simultaneously the garage act with the most crossover appeal and the most credible pop act around; with their mixture of garage vocals and traditional R&B making them a very exciting package.
For Eye Candy, however, things are different. With the garage scene having lost some of its sparkle, and the Sugababes pushing them hard on the cool pop side, it's a tough time for the Mis-Teeq girls. Luckily they've kept Swedish producers extraordinaire Stargate on, plus with their trademark straight forward R&B and a hint of garage courtesy of Alesha's scattergun vocal style. "Scandalous" is a good example, with an evil-sounding bass line welded to the girls' sweetly sung vocals, as is the lively garage pop of "Dance Your Cares Away". This is a slightly more mature work than Lickin' was, though, with tracks such as "Can't Get it Back" showing a sophisticated side that's been missing until now, and recalls an on-form TLC. This is not a quantum leap forward by any means, more confirmation of their rightful place--at the centre of the UK R&B scene. --Chris Blenkarn