Single Review: Mutya Keisha Siobhan – Flatline
There have been a silly amount of missed opportunities in the world of music. How brilliant would a Lady GaGa and Madonna duet be amidst this is-it-a-feud climate or a feature from Nadine Coyle on the latest Cheryl record – just IMAGINE the publicity. In a band as media friendly as the Sugababes and their infamous line-up changes, inevitably there aroused a lot of speculation about the original members, all now absent from the current Sugababes lineup, reforming. Surely not, I pondered. It’s just too good to be true. Not only are they capable of the most magnificent harmonies in the pop world today, they would literally be raking in the column inches by making their return. Colour me surprised, world, because Mutya Keisha Siobhan have done exactly that.
From the opening bars, you’re hooked. It is nothing like you expect, but at the same time, it’s all you foresaw. It is unique. Ofcourse, it has it’s similarities in the grand scheme of things, but in regards to their current peers? It’s something different. The underlining piano chords bring a touch of soul to the group that flavoured moments of their debut ‘One Touch’ and it’s these smaller characteristics that will help you forgive the girls for taking so bloomin’ long with the whole campaign. Elsewhere, indie-pop chants bring a new layer into the composition and will suit the casual radio listeners whilst elements of pure pop also creep in on the potentially-bigger-than-the-chorus bridge that Keisha commands.
So how are the girls themselves lining up these days? In the previous formation of the Sugababes it was too easy to forget what a brilliant vocalist Keisha actually is. Naturally, nobody can forget the slight husk that made Mutya Buena such a distinct vocal talent so when it makes it’s return on ‘Flatline’ it feels as if it had never disappeared. Siobhan Donaghy, aside from being one of the best songwriters on God’s earth, proves that quirky alt-pop isn’t her only talent as the middle eight could not have sounded any more pristine thanks to her beautiful delivery. So, all in all, Mutya Keisha Siobhan haven’t changed one bit. Thankfully.
Oh and girls weren’t lying when they said they rejected the big tunes. ‘Flatline’ is subtle. It has a great chorus but it does take a few listens to realise that it’s a pretty addictive one too. By the second or third listen, you’ll start to recognise how spectacular it actually is and on the fourth and fifth repeats, you’ll will it to hurry along. The rollercoaster of vocal lines allows their interlocking voices to produce those harmonies that everyone holds their breath for. It’s distinct and utterly MKS – it flickers your mind back to the ‘Overload’ days and sounds as current now as it did back then. It emits a purity that is inimitable and remains their trump card throughout this campaign, just as it did through their first.
Despite all the fuss and attention, the most obvious thing about Mutya Keisha Siobhan as that the news features and press is inconsequential. A mainstream selling point is a necessary evil for the popstars of today – ‘Flatline’ needs to be heard and thankfully, because of their history with the Sugababes, it will. You are always going to struggle to get people listening when you’re in a girlgroup. The word itself is like torture for a music snob but even they will sit up and pay attention to these girls; Mutya Keisha Siobhan have accrued a mass of credibility thanks to their mesmerizing debut and the continuation of that magic on ‘Flatline’. It’s like nothing else you see in the charts, it’s like nothing else we’ve heard for quite sometime and it’s all about the charm of these three ladies that makes it as special as it is.
Words: Simon McMurdo