Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Sugababes 'Stronger'

Chart Peak: 7
YouTube
Sugababes are the British threesome Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena & Heidi Range... They followed their 2 chart-toppers 'Freak Like Me' and 'Round Round' with this emotive "post Mary J [Blige] ballad" at the end of 2002 and went on to win Best Dance Act at the Brits in February 2003
There's a comment on YouTube which describes this as both "super modern for 2002" and "kinda like Massive Attack", which seems slightly contradictory since the obvious parallel would be 'Unfinished Sympathy', a song that dates back to 1991. I always associate this track with hearing it on the radio while I was having my bath in the morning - we couldn't use the shower in the flat where we lived at the time, in case you were wondering. In fact I remember resenting it because I found it so slow and energy-sapping at a time when I needed the opposite.

And I was expecting to think the same now, but I did my duty to listen back to the song and I have to say that on headphones, as opposed to a cheap bathroom radio, the production does actually have a lot of interesting layering to it, enough to make me wish the song itself was anywhere near as interesting. Apparently it has great personal meaning for Range and I can see the direction of the lyrics towards self-empowerment but the song steadfastly refuses to go anywhere and the verses and choruses are too similar.

In the interests of balance I also looked up the listed flipside 'Angels With Dirty Faces'. It's not a Sham 69 cover.

Also appearing on: Now 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62, 63, 64, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74
Available on: Heartbreakers

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