"it’s a sexy, saucy record that just begs to be danced to.."
Jenna Churchley-Burton
00:04 31st October 2006
Seems like nowadays everyone wants a slice of the ‘Greatest Hits’ pie. Acts that been around precisely the same amount of time it takes to blink super fast releasing ‘Best of…’ compilations, what’s that all about? No longer the preserve of rock fossils who are calling it a day after like a million years together and a thousand studio albums, ‘Greatest Hits’ efforts are being churned out an alarming rate by acts that are increasingly still wet behind the ears and have plenty of mileage left in them; masterminded, the cynics might say, by record execs increasingly hungry for cash. Kudos must surely go to those cheeky Welsh Hip-Hoppers ‘Goldie Lookin’ Chain’ for having the swaggering savvy to rip it out of this trend and actually dare to name their debut album ‘Greatest Hits’-sheer unbridled genius.

Anyway. The latest ‘Greatest Hits’ offering comes from those perky princesses of urban pop: The Sugababes. They release ‘Overload: The Singles Collection’ on the 13th of November, just in time for the Christmas present buying frenzy (there’s those pesky cynics again). Of course The Sugababes are practically veterans in today’s capricious and difficult to keep-up-with industry-it’s easy to forget that they’ve actually been around a whole six (count ‘em) years. Ok, so there’s only one original member remaining, but that’s beside the point. The Sugababes started out as a group way back in 1998 and released their debut single (the critically acclaimed ‘Overload’) in 2000 and their debut album ‘One Touch’ the following year. There have been three line-up changes since then (Siobhan Donaghy quit in 2001, replaced by Heidi Range and other founding member Mutya Buena quit in late 2005, replaced by Amelle Berrabah) but fundamentally the group have changed little.

The Sugababes’ brand of contemporary urban-tinged music effortlessly bridges the chasm between the bubble gum pop (or, rather: pap?) so beloved of the ‘tweenie’ market, and the more sophisticated, urbane palate of the 20-30s record buying demographic. And they’ve got the statistics to back it up: four Number One UK singles, three triple-platinum albums, single sales of two million, and album sales of five million. They’ve collaborated with some of the biggest (and most respected) producers in the industry. ‘Overload: The Singles Collection’ needs no introduction; all the hits are there, right from the early experimental days of ‘Overload’ and ‘Run for Cover’ through the middle years and funky pulsing beats of ‘Round Round’ and ‘Freak Like Me’ and the beautiful ballads ‘Shape’ and ‘Too Lost in You’ to the more current slinky sassiness of ‘Push the Button’ and ‘Red Dress’. There are a couple of brand spanking new tracks thrown in for good measure too: new single ‘Easy’ sees the girls exploring a darker sultrier sound, it’s a sexy, saucy record that just begs to be danced to. Preferably round a pole.

‘Overload: The Singles Collection’ is pure pop perfection at its very best, it’s destined to be another runaway hit for the one girl-group it’s ok to like. Buy and listen with pride.