Tuesday, 20 October 2009

54: Sugababes - Push The Button

In amongst the frequent personnel changes, that have rendered them a mere shadow of their original lineup, it's easy to forget that Sugababes have been responsible for some of the finest British pop of the past ten years. It was the second lineup (Mutya, Keisha, Heidi) that were responsible for most of the group's finest moments, with four of the nine singles released by that incarnation topping the singles charts in the UK. The string of hits between 2001 (when Siobhan left) and 2005 (when Mutya was replaced by Amelle) reads like a Greatest Hits tracklisting... 'Freak Like Me' (#1 in the charts), 'Round Round' (#1), 'Stronger' (#7), 'Hole In The Head' (#1) and this song.

'Push The Button' was the first single from their fourth album, 'Taller In Most Ways', and was the last single released before illness forced Mutya to leave the band. With the perspective of hindsight, she either jumped from the sinking ship at just the right time, or her exit was the iceberg that began the process. Aside from 'About You Now', nothing in the post-Mutya era has even come close to the heights achieved between 2001-5. Mutya quit at the top of their game. In the October 2005 week that 'Taller In Most Ways' went on sale, the 'Babes were simultaneously top of the singles, album, airplay and download charts. And leaving the group after a song which sold half a million copies at home (as well as topping charts in Austria, Ireland and New Zealand and reaching #2 pretty much everywhere else) can't have harmed the bank balance either.

'Push The Button' is my favourite Sugababes song. It chugs along nicely, with the girls bouncing verses off each other. Keisha's vocal always stood out for me on this, when she raises the vocal stakes (and the tone) for the bridge: "I've been waiting patiently for him to come and get it, I wonder if he knows that he can say it and I'm with it". And then the harmonised chorus... the sweetness in the girls' voices shines through. It's just a lovely, sunny pop song.

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