Being an indie music snob I love being critical, passionate and pompous about popular music. I believe that also loving cheesy throwaway pop is compatible with such snobbery. The problem comes when the the artists I like from the more the poppy end of the music world make a crap song and I'm urged to condemn. It isn't what commercial pop is about, I'm not the target audience and I should know better but sometimes I can't help myself.
Of all the pop acts of the last decade none has pleased me more than Sugababes. (note it is Sugababes, not The Sugababes – these things are important).
I'd call them a guilty pleasure but that would infer that my adoration is a secret. Anyone who knows me has, at some point, been subjected to my passionate recommendation / defence of Sugababes, not to mention my less than healthy fixation on the divine eye candy that is Keisha Buchanan. I maintain that Freak Like Me and About You Now are two of my favourite songs by any artist of any time, and I don't care who knows it.
To have lasted so long is rare, albeit with line-up changes (Keisha is the only original member). Perhaps inevitably their music has evolved over the decade from semi-authentic r n' b pop, to polished dance soul, mutating with each album towards the plastic pop world. But whatever the style or presentation there have been memorable, catchy tunes throughout. Ignoring some trite album filler tracks, their singles have been consistently charming – even the dodgy ones have some redeeming qualities.
The last album (Catfights & Spotlights) didn't sell that well and even the singles weren't that great. No doubt this has led to the 'management' deciding on a full on commercial direction for the comeback single – Get Sexy.
It's a bit of a stinker and the first Sugababes single that I really don't like. If I find myself singing it at some point (which I suspect will happen) I'll feel even worse. There are no circumstances where I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred should be embraced.
What really bothers me is despite this I suspect it might grow on me. The (unimaginative) lyrics suggest that there might be scope for some cheap thrill titillation in the video, but it doesn't even manage that. The video is one of the dullest they've done.
I'm not the right age or gender for the Sugababes target market so there's no point being precious about them. It will take more for me to give up on them and from what I've heard this may be the first time that Sugababes album tracks are better than the singles. To redress the balance here's one of their finest moments.