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Sugababes - 'Denial'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:57 UK time, Wednesday, 27 February 2008

SugababesThere's something I've always found very interesting about the chart performance of Sugababes singles. They're clearly a band who've built up a loyal fanbase over the years, and they're one of the few pop groups who enjoy continued commercial success hand in hand with critical acclaim. And yet - one foot wrong, and the record buying public makes darn sure they know about it.

Compared to the McFlys and the Girls Alouds of this world, who've yet to land outside the top ten even with their weaker singles ('See The Day', 'I Think We're Alone Now', 'Star Girl', 'Room on the 3rd Floor' etc etc etc), your average Sugababes fan is apparently not prepared to stand behind the release of a duff single. At least that's what I took it to mean when 'Change' failed to get above No.13, or 'Follow Me Home' failed to even dent the Top 30. Not that either was a bad song in and of itself, they were just both extremely lazy choices for singles when there were far better contenders on the albums in question, such as 'Ace Reject' or...well, 'Denial'.

This was always the track that stood out to me as the strongest on a surprisingly strong album (given that I didn't really care for 'About You Now' that much, I didn't have especially high hopes for the album). The great thing about it is that it's an excellent piece of ammunition to keep in your pocket, ready to fire at any rocksnob acquaintances who might try to tell you that pop music is empty and soulless: there's more raw, brittle emotion in this song than in any track I've ever heard fashioned by an earnest kid with a moptop out of nothing but his emo tears and authentic working-class chutzpah. The way that the girls reel off the lyrics of the verses in a very clipped, reserved way just feels so poetic - like a last lament delivered with perfect diction because at that stage it's the one thing left in your control.

What makes it even better is the way in which the staccato verses are juxtaposed with the smooth, harmonious bridge and chorus - one of the finest examples of the girls' voices working together in recent memory. I must have heard this song upwards of twenty times, and I still get goosebumps every time the "how can a flower bloom just over a day" line kicks in.

Indeed, the only problem that remains here is that generally whenever I get excited over how a band that I love has finally released a song that I love, the song tends to flop horribly (see here for further details), so all I can do is bite my tongue from here on in and pray that on this particular occasion my personal tastes are slightly more representative of those of the public at large. Please don't let me be wrong again, folks. Fergie won't return my calls any more. :(

Five starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: March 3rd

(Steve Perkins)


  1. At 07:44 PM on 27 Feb 2008, Stephen wrote:

    This song is ace, its the best one they've had since well hopefully what there next song will be, Mended By You, Genius. Defo 5 stars.

  2. At 07:27 PM on 28 Feb 2008, Emily wrote:

    Love it love it.
    video amazing !!

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