Single Review: Sugababes – Freedom


If there’s one thing the recent ousting in the Sugababes has proved, it’s that the band and the brand is bigger than the girls themselves. Parading around with titles such as ‘biggest female act of the twenty first century’ and glorifying their six number one singles, the stickers on their CDs fail to mention that the band no longer includes any of the original members – something both fans and the media have latched onto and berated the trio for.

But first and foremost, the Sugababes are a pop group and the inner-dramas and conflicts may have been highly publicised but what the girls have managed to do is create music that stands above the stories and stays ahead of the game -innovative pop music such as the breakthrough hit ‘Freak Like Me’ and the chart topping ‘Hole In The Head’. Two tracks that were so ahead of their time, they sound current even today.

To put it bluntly, ‘Freedom’ is impressive. In typical Sugababes fashion, the girls rise from the ashes and show that their latest line up can still bring it. Heidi’s luscious voice harmonises beautifully with new member Jade Ewen’s incredible pipes with the latter reigning gloriously during the middle eight. Amelle’s fiery flair puts the finishing touches to their comeback track, chanting a post-chorus following the empowering hook ‘liberate yourself ‘cos freedom starts tonight’.

Standing alone, the track is wonderful, however releasing the single under the ‘Sugababes’ brand essentially invites people to compare it to the groups back catalogue and in doing so, the track loses some of it’s merit. But let’s not look only to Sugababes 4.0, as it feels that post-Change, the band have been chasing trends and attempting to stay relevant instead of setting new trends and creating the cutting edge music they shot to fame with. This new single goes a little further than the last two albums, it has a futuristic vibe and time will tell whether it stands alongside their biggest hits, but it’s certainly one that begs you to click repeat.

If a new band had released ‘Freedom’, it may have had more spark but the expectations that come alongside the Sugababes title have seen the track flounder slightly already. Interestingly, the track may also have been welcomed with more respect and acclaim had they not been tainted with the media circus that has surrounded them since Keisha’s exit.

It’ll be interesting to watch ‘Freedom’s rise and see whether the track pushes the Sugababes back to the top of the game, or even if the band continue the comparatively minor success that they have achieved with the last few single releases. The level of material in the band has rarely hung anywhere below ‘great’ (let’s not remember ‘Girls’ or ‘Walk This Way’) and with ‘Freedom’s release, the prospect of the bands eighth release just got that little more exciting.

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Words: Simon McMurdo


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