11
Sep 03

SUGABABES — ‘Hole In The Head’

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Edward O was disappointed by this on ILX, making the point that the first singles from the Sugababes’ last two albums (‘Overload’ and ‘Freak Like Me’) were contemporary pop landmarks, and ‘Hole In The Head’ simply isn’t. But polishing the boundaries can be just as fun as pushing them, and this doesn’t dilute the Sugababes’ individuality or their gloriously grumpy brand. It’s hard to imagine another teen-pop group singing ‘Late at night when I’m feeling blue / I’d sell my ass before I think of you’ and making it work.

‘Hole In The Head’ is as catchy as anything they’ve done and works a faster, harder beat than the Sugababes generally do — a ska-tinted stepper built around chopped-up Jaxxian guitars. Perversely it’s a better vocal showcase than another moody slow number would have been — the way the girls dance cleanly and clearly around the beats oozes appropriate confidence. It may well be that this single presents Sugababes as just another pop group, but they’re a pop group with the clout to get the best songs and the skill to make them special.

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