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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 30 September 2007
In the old days, before we were all engrossed in a generation of downloaders and MySpace hunters, and when record companies had more money to throw around in the golden age of MP:UK (manufactured pop UK, as the Sunday Times Culture guide labelled it), manufactured pop bands would, more often than not, have to split after three or four albums and a greatest hits - basically, it was a death knell to each individual members' future career - all to release flop solo albums, and then appear in some panto in Worthing with Christopher Biggins and some so called "actress" from The Bill/Footballers' Wives etc or a third rate, car crash reality TV show with David Hasselhoff or similar, dampening their public credibility forever more.

Now, in times when pop bands are few and far between, this doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Sugababes are one such band, and in spite of no less than two line up changes in the past 7 years, they have surpassed everyone's expectations, as now, joining One Touch, Angels With Dirty Faces, Three, Taller In More Ways and last years' best of package Overloaded: The Singles Collection to their albums CV is their fifth studio album, Change. The title, like all the others before it, reflects numerous shifts in the band - they're all in their 20's now, it's their first album with still relatively new member Amelle Berrabah, and more importantly, it just so happens to be the best album of their career to date.

Opening on the record company proclaimed, Cathy Dennis penned "spanking new single" (and it really is) "About You Now", which as I write is set to shoot in at #1 this afternoon on downloads alone, they establish themselves as the new queens of squelchy, catchy electropop perfection - it's a song that has all the makings of their biggest hits, while taking on something brilliantly different at the same time. This isn't the only standout though - as once again, Xenomania pop back up to contribute "My Love Is Pink" (which, on it's title alone, surely has to be a great song anyway, which it is) and track 2, "Never Gonna Dance Again", which, largely because of the paradox of sweet and breezy dance pop and gritty, doomed relationship based lyrics like "I lost the music when you said it's over" makes it one of their most clever efforts to date.

Also worth a mention is the eponymous "3 Spoons Of Suga", which has many similarities between the title track from their second album, "Denial", penned by Novel (Stacie Orrico, P!nk) and which makes more than a passing nod to the Gossip's "Standing In The Way Of Control" while remainingly delightfully hummable, and the album's title track, a rousing, emotive little 60's style ballad which will surely join "New Year" and "Too Lost In You" as one of their finest slow numbers (and it should, after all, this is the next single).

In short, if you're after an album of what British pop in 2007 should sound like, this is it. Keisha, Heidi and Amelle have struck gold again, and have set a high quality precedent many will have to pull their sleeves up for to follow.
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VINE VOICEon 13 October 2007
the new sugababes album dropped through the letterbox yesterday along with annie lennox and gabrielles new cds and they havent had a look in so far!

the album is pretty much the same as all the other albums full of brilliantly sung, written and produced tracks. its full of brilliant pop numbers, dance tracks and big ballads - nothing new - but it has more of a solid flow

track by track

"about you now" went straight to number one. it reminds me of pink for some reason...its rock/pop dance and maybe more sugary than anything they have done before....its not one of my favourites but is a good song 7/10

"never gonna dance again" is outstanding and will hopefully be a single! a standout track on the album 10/10

"denial" is another brilliant has more guitars than we have had on a sugababes track..another possible single! 9/10

"my love is pink" is fast and furious (aka girls aloud who would have killed for this track) a brill pop dance track with a rock feel and all the attitude the girls can deliver 10/10

"change" must be the next single released in time for christmas or ill eat my copy of the cd! its a big! its beautiful! its got a festive backing! 9/10

"Back when" is a strong mid tempo track delivered in true sugababes fashion! 9/10

"surprise" has an electro pop rock feel and is another strong track 8/10

"back down" has a reggae backing and is the weakest track on the album 5/10

"mended by you" is another big ballad the girls do so well 8/10

"3 spoons of suga" is similar to "red dress" its full of attitude with a great dance backing and attitude 9/10

"open the door" reminds me of the fugees! a great mid tempo funk track 9/10

"undignified" is the closing track and a lovely pop rock track!

the album has more of a guitar feel than than the previous albums but it works....the core elements that make the girls stand out in the pop field are still in place! and amelle fits in fact you cant tell the difference between her and mutya!

a brilliant album!
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on 11 November 2007
i wasnt sure whether i would really like this album as ive never been a big fan of the Sugababes but i loved there new single About you Now and cant stop playing it, i also like Never Gonna Dance Again and Love is Pink which are really upbeat pop/dance songs. an all round good buy! 5 stars
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on 2 November 2007
I haven't stopped playing this CD since I purchased it last week. Forget Britney...the U.S. is definitely missing one of the best pop CD's of 2007!

Track by track:

1) About You Now - A textbook lesson in how to take a 1960's sound and bring it into the 21st century. A great choice for a first single! 10/10

2) Never Gonna Dance Again - This song's a good listen...breezes right along. 8.5/10

3) Denial - WOW! A song I could listen to over and over again and never get tired of. Hopefully this will be the third release! 10/10

4) My Love Is Pink - Very Madonna-esque...Causing a Commotion? In any event, a solid song throughout. 9.5/10

5) Change - The last 52 seconds give me the tingles. 10/10

6) Back When - Aside from the do-da-do-da-do at the beginning, a very pretty song. Not exactly Wilson Phillips pretty, but close. 9/10

7) Surprise - It sounds like an early 80's punk riff that explodes into a pop paradise during the chorus. Seems to work. 8/10

8) Back Down - Salt-N-Pepa, is that you?!? (In full disclosure, I would take one or six of the subject matter at hand). 8.5/10

9) Mended By You - A truly beautiful song, period. 10/10

10) 3 Spoons of Suga - Wasn't feeling this one...but it's still better than most of the stuff in the U.S. right now. 7/10

11) Open The Door - Another song that breezes right a Soul II Soul vibe with this song, though. 9/10

12) Undignified - More acoustic than electric...very likeable. Excellent progression from verse to chorus. 9/10
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on 13 October 2007
I must say that on first impressions, i was not overwhelmed by a lot of these tracks but as i've played and played the album, i must say each track has something special. Lead single About You Now, already a no.1 Single hits you with the chorus which sticks in your head as soon as you hear it. One of the catchiest songs of the year. Never Gonna Dance Again, a favorite of mine, is one of their best songs. Heartache on the dance floor backed with a mid tempo groove, sees Keisha singing some of her best vocals and the song is full of beauty. Denial is another favorite on the album with catchy harmonies and a fantastic beat, i defy you to not turn this up as load as possible and dance around to it. Same goes for My Love Is Pink, the dance track of the album is a great effort and would do well as a single. Change, the next single is one of their best ballads and is beautifully written with an anthemic rocky chorus. Back when, a sweet mid tempo ballad written by Dallas Austin is again full of great harmonies whilst the girls sing about a a past relationship. Surprise has a similar beat to About You Now and has a fantastic middle 8 by Heidi. Back Down again is a grower and sees the girls singing with the attitude that they're renowned for. Mended By You is a lovely ballad, again with great vocal harmonies by the girls. 3 Spoons Of Suga is another dancey number with a soulful feel to it. Open the door is instantly catchy and will have you humming long, whilst closer Undignified is a simple mid tempo ballad with some great lyrics about being stuck in a failing relationship, hoping that the other will change. All in all it's more mature, but hey we all grow up! A great effort that should see the girls ahead of their game for a long while yet and Amelle fits in perfectly. Recommended.
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on 28 June 2015
"Change" is a familiar concept to the Sugababes, of course, aka the 'Trigger's Broom Of Pop'. "When does the ever-changing Sugababe line-up cease to be truly Sugababe?" is a question frequently posed by philosophers in our nation's great seats of learning. The answer is; "When they cease to deliver great pop, that's when!" i.e. their dismal Sweet 7 album. Though if anyone can do me a copy of the original version of that with Keisha's vocals I'd be interested to hear it.
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on 13 October 2007
It's really frustrating reading anybody that negatively reviews this album based on it's apparent "lack of depth". The Sugababes are a pop group. They make pop music. It doesn't need to involve a great depth!

This album is fantastic. I've always been a fan of the Sugababes, but i've never bought one of their albums until I heard 'About You Now' and thought it was amazing and so I bought 'Change' first day it hit shelves and I was overwhelemd.

'Denial', 'Suprise' and 'Never Gonna Dance Again' are probably my favourite tracks on the album and very possible single releases, as is 'Change' although it would be hard for me to label any of the tracks a "weak" effort.

Am I the only one who hears a little 'Freak Like Me' in 'Back Down'? Listen. You'll see.
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on 15 October 2007
The Sugababes are brilliant. It doesn't matter how many times the line up changes, the songs and production are brilliant. The best girl pop band the UK has ever had. They have credibility as well as great pop tunes. Here's hoping for plenty more albums from them.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 30 September 2007
By any standards, the Sugababes have had a tumultuous career. Dropped by their first record company, the loss of two founder members, persistent rumours of trouble within the group... not many bands could survive such a rollercoaster, but the Sugababes have not only survived but appear to be thriving, as their latest album 'Change' is their most consistent and accomplished yet.

As the album's title indicates, there have been some changes to the usual Sugababes formula, and the fabulous current single 'About You Now' is a good indicator of the album's direction. The most striking difference is the addition of guitars on most of the tracks, adding a slightly rock-tinged edge to the music. However, in many ways this is the band's most pure 'pop' release to date: strong melodies and catchy hooks are everywhere, and almost every track sounds like a potential hit single. What makes the difference is that this album is very much 'grown-up pop', both in terms of its sound and its subject matter.

There's a definite sense that the 'Babes are maturing. Some of the old sass is gone; instead a notable lyrical theme which runs throughout the album is the passing of time, leading to loss and regret. That's not to say the album is downbeat, or that the group have lost all their old attitude - far from it. The throbbing, sexy 'My Love Is Pink' is destined to go down a storm on the dancefloor, while there's a dancehall flavour to 'Backdown' and some old-skool r'n'b in the shape of '3 Spoons Od Suga'. However, the prevailing concern of the album seems to be facing maturity and the new challenges it brings, as heard on the storming title track and the touching 'Back When'.

Of course, this is Amelle's first proper album since joining the group, and I'm glad to say she fits in perfectly. Her voice has a similar husky quality to Mutya's, and vocally the group have never sounded stronger, delivering impressive harmonies throughout. As for my favourite tracks - well, apart from the single I'd have to say 'Never Gonna Dance Again', 'Change' 'My Love Is Pink' 'Surprise' and 'Denial' are standouts for me, although in truth there isn't a single track that I don't like.

The reason pop artists tend to have limited lifespans is they fail to grow up with their audience. Only a small handful have managed to evolve along with their fans and find longlasting success, Madonna being the most obvious example. On the evidence of this album, The Sugababes look like they could be joining that select number and prospering well into the next decade.
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on 23 October 2007
the babes, apparently, can do no wrong.

i guarantee that after a few listens you will really enjoy their new album. it's a definite grower.

"about you now": great pop track
"never gonna dance again": pleasant little number with a nice hook
"denial": catchy chorus with nice lyrics
"my love is pink": killer sugababes!
"change": fantastic - a song to die for
"back when": great vocal arrangements
"surprise": great electro arrangement
"back when": filthy track in the same vein as "easy"
"mended by you": lush
"3 spoons of suga": another filthy track, loaded with innuendo
"open the door": probably bizarrely, this is my favourite track
"undignified": a strong ending ...

the sugababes are a music marketing phenomenon. keep up the fantastic songwriting, production, lyrics, vocals, the dirty little looks and the professional in-fighting for the tabloids and the sugababes will go on in perpetuum. thank god.
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