Thursday, 21 November 2013

Sugababes 'Girls'

Chart Peak: 3

'Girls' is the first single to be taken from the 'Babes sixth studio album Catfights And Spotlights... The track is based around Ernie K. Doe's classic soul-funk anthem 'Here Come The Girls' and stormed to No. 3 in the UK chart in October 2008
Although it was a decent-sized hit - and not their last of them either - 'Girls' has been seen in retrospect as the beginning of the end for the group. Of course, officially no split has ever been announced but the group have been inactive for a couple of years now and their last album  - which featured no original group memebers - was a relative flop.

As somebody who's enjoyed little of what's been released under the Sugababes name, I'm probably not best placed to judge this but for a long time the group and their advisors were praised for their instincts, which allowed them to come up with exactly the right single to impress the critics and fans, and somehow be perceived as cool as well as populist. What the sleevenotes don't mention is that 'Here Come The Girls' had been used in a TV commercial over Christmas 2007, which meant that they seemed to be cashing in on a year-old advert. That's not what most people consider cool. Admittedly, the air of cash-in might not have been quite so strong had the song been better - but they slip up a bit there as well, oddly not sampling the funky playing of the Meters on the original (and it's not like nobody ever sampled the Meters) but recreating the brassy stabs on cheap synthesisers. The lyrics don't have a lot to offer either and they don't sound like they're even convincing themselves. Also, whenever I hear Keisha Buchanan sing "stop speculating I'm a regular girl" I wonder exactly who's been speculating about that. Even the video looks cheap, in both senses of the term.

The best thing about this is that it adds Allen Toussaint to the list of unexpected writing credits on Now 71.

Also appearing on: Now 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62, 63, 64, 66, 68, 69, 70, 74, 75
Available on: Girls

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