It’s been 22 years since original Sugababes members Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan last released an album together and all I could think whilst listening to The Lost Tapes is “what a shame”. What a shame we were deprived this trios excellent work. One Touch still stands as the Sugababes strongest album (until now at least), despite only really having 1 hit song ‘Overload’ on it. As an album, One Touch was a strong and defiant journey with cool R n B and pop sensibilities, coupled with fantastic vocals and mature lyrics, despite being written by the girls when they were 14-16 years old!
The Lost Tapes is definitely a sequel to One Touch, but at the same time unseats it as the Sugababes strongest piece of work. Opening with the percussion led ear worm ‘Drum’, things start out strong with Mutya’s now iconic husky vocals purring over groovy beats, and the catchy chorus ‘I love it when you beat that drum’ is bound to take hold after a couple of listens.
The albums second track is the already released ‘Flatline’. I will die on this hill, Flatline is the Sugababes best song. Don’t get me wrong I love their mega-hits ‘About you Now’ and ‘Push the Button’, but Flatline is sublime, timeless, rousing. It’s still a stand-out on a very strong album, this song should have been a mega-hit. #justiceforflatline
Other stand out tracks are the MNEK produced ‘Love me Hard’ and ‘Boys’, the latter of which displaying the gorgeous ethereal vocals of the first departed member Siobhan. All 3 girls have such distinctive voices, that each track on the album give the girls their time to shine, but when these 3 sing together, it’s magic! A personal highlight on this album though is the Sia penned ‘Victory’, a storming anthem about overcoming a relationships hurdles, but making it through in the end. The production on this track really enhances it, the drum and bass belts after the chorus give it more of thump than the other tracks lack and the defiant “it’s a victory” refrain is rousing sing-a-long moment. This should be a single if they release any more.
The Lost Tapes is a strong album, there’s no filler here, every track has strong song writing, beautiful mature production and lush vocals. You can tell lots of care and love was put into making this album and despite being written and produced in 2013, it still sounds fresh and interesting.
I want more. Here’s hoping the Sugababes have more to give and I think they do.
Favourite tracks – Flatline, Love me hard, Boys, Victory
Tracks to skip – N/A