Thursday, 4 August 2011

Single Review: Sugababes "Freedom" - Diva Devotee

Thursday, 4 August 2011 Single Review: Sugababes "Freedom"

After the commercial and critical disaster that was 2010's album release Sweet 7, the Sugababes are back with new single, Freedom. Will this be the release that finally helps shift public focus from the joke that is their revolving door membership back to it being about their music again?

Initially, hearing the snippet of Freedom used in the Nokia advert some months back, I'd have tentatively ventured yes it would be. With its choppy vocals, orchestrated noise, and dub-step breakdown, it sounded like a hit record was finally on the horizon for the girls [Listen below]. However, listening to the full length, radio mix of the song just released, I'm suddenly less sure of the future success of the song, and even the Sugababes themselves.

The radio version starts well, with a sombre, and building verse that breaks into a triumphant, epic bridge- that should have perhaps been the chorus- calling on us to "Raise your hand, one fist in the air for freedom". But now enters the biggest problem with Freedom : the chorus.

Whereas the song sounded sonically as if it was just about to reach its zenith with the impending chorus, the song actually takes a nosedive with it being listless, flat and watery. It's a chorus that totally demolishes the momentum, and sense of anticipation that had been established so well by what came before it and it leaves you feeling slightly bewildered and cheated by what you'd just heard.

Freedom isn't a bad song, and could even have been a single at some point, but its missing the impact that a lead single, especially for a band who are trying to reassert their position at the top of the pop world, needs to have. As it is, this feels like a top ten hit that will capitalise and sell on it being the girl's return, but will quickly slide down the charts as the weeks pass. The only thing I can see saving this is going to be a killer video

Maybe I'm being unduly unfair on Freedom but it's because I feel there is a lot of potential being untapped. Despite loving the original line-up, I feel this iteration of the Sugababes has the best set of commercial and harmonically compatible voices -listen to their cover of Florence and the Machine's Rabbit hearted Girl below: with Amelle taking the low, Heidi the midrange and Jade the top notes- and it's definitely not being capitalised on with these generic releases. Just listening to Jades D#5 at 2.22 in Freedom makes you wonder why that voice is being wasted on tracks that the Britney's and Rihanna's- no shade intended- of the world could be singing.

The Singles Bar - Sugababes Freedom - Pop Dust


The Singles Bar: Sugababes, “Freedom”

Posted by on 08/02/2011 at 2:05 PM Reviews Photo: Getty Images

The most-covered crossover artists in the U.K. now are mostly solo female songwriters (the usual names we really don’t have to remind you of), but it just takes a glance back to the previous U.K. invasion of the mid-’90s, spearheaded by the Spice Girls, girl groups. The one you’ve probably heard more about lately is Girls Aloud, after Nicola Roberts dazzled with Diplo, Cheryl Cole ping-ponging her way on and off The X Factor and (to a much lesser extent) Nadine Coyle trying to coast on being “the one who can sing.”
Just as prominent, though, are the Sugababes, who hit big with the excellent “Freak Like Me,” even chipped the U.S. charts and radio a bit with “Hole in the Head” and have dozens of hits besides.
That said, a new Sugababes song this year isn’t quite the event it might’ve been, for reasons that have nothing to do with nationality. All three original members–Siobhan Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan–left the group in that order, sort of like a hypothetical Destiny’s Child situation where Beyonce left instead of Farrah Franklin and Kelly Rowland wandered out after a muddled last album. Speaking of which, the Sugababes’ last album was terrible, and its single was outdone by “I’m Too Sexy” (For My Shirt). It’s perfectly OK to be skeptical, but new single “Freedom” dispels at least some of that doubt. Listen below:

“Freedom” is competent, in every complimentary and backhanded sense of the word. The whisper-gimmick of “Get Sexy” is gone, thankfully, and the Sugababes have reapplied the girl-group gloss to their vocals, touching things up with just enough post-bridge melisma to reassure people that these new members are singers too, y’know. The beat snaps its way through the verses, drizzling on a few chimes for good measure, but it’s a shame that producers The Invisible Men had to go all RedOne and overcrowd the chorus to the point where it can’t burst in so much as tiptoe through.
The operative words in that sentence are “had to”; while “Freedom” sounds pretty good, it’s equally rote. Things dart a few inches away from center with “so raise your hand, one fist in the air, for freedom,” but it turns out that’s just the freedom to say “tonight” a lot as an instant shortcut to the club, where you’re not the same girl because you’re dancing on the edge of the Hollywood sign–except this is the U.K., so maybe not–and saying hey to the soul sisters, and some guy’s lovin’/fuckin’ you in what’s gonna be a good, good night. Enough songs are written about the spectacular things that’ll happen tonight to last us well past all our lifetimes.
Sure, the club’s always going to need songs to hype itself and its patrons up, but to make those songs good, you’ve either got to go big or go weird. “Freedom” is more like the fifth arbitrary track off an album, solid enough but biding time until the next big hit. It’s not quite enough for a comeback, let alone a crossover or invasion; for that, the Sugababes need to sound a lot more free.

Sugababes slap on sexy stilettos as they unveil sleek new comeback look - Metro

Sugababes slap on sexy stilettos as they unveil sleek new comeback look

The Sugababes are reaching new heights in their mega high stilettos as part of their sleek ‘comeback’ look.

SugababesThe Sugababes are set to make a comeback
Following a year off the pop circuit, the trio’s revival is beginning to gather pace after they agreed to perform at next month’s Sainsbury’s Super Saturday at Clapham Common in south London.
They will be giving crowds a taste of their new single, Freedom, at the event supporting the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Joining Jade, 23, Amelle, 27, and Heidi, 28, at the show on Saturday, September 10, will be the likes of Pixie Lott, Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud fame and Olly Murs.
Former Sugababe Keisha Buchanan recently told Metro that she'd forgiven the band for forcing her out.
She said: 'As far as the current girls, I saw them a few weeks ago and wished them the best of luck.
'I never want it to be awkward. I feel I’ve forgiven them and that’s it.'

Read more:

Sugababes latest Schedule 3.8.11

Restarted the Sugababes Schedule Chart , hope it helps you keep track a little ~ JEF

Thu Aug 4 9:40am – 9:55am SUGABABES TV Postcard from T4 on The Beach Channel 4

Mon Aug 8 10:50am – 10:55am SUGABABES TV Video Exclusive of Freedom Channel 4

Sun Aug 28 All day SUGABABES PERFORM at Manchester Pride - Manchester

Sat Sep 3 All day SUGABABES TV Hollyoaks Music Show Interview - Channel 4

Sat Sep 10

All day
SUGABABES PERFORM at Sainsburys Super Saturday Clapham Common

All day SUGABABES TV Perform on Hollyoaks Music show - Channel 4

Mon Sep 19 All day SUGABABES release new Single Freedom