Friday, August 14th, 2009

Sugababes – Get Sexy

It’s a collage…


Iain Mew: Amelle is bluffin’ with her muffin, the synths ape “Boom Boom Pow” and the “Shut up and watch me walk!” exclamation is basically The Ting Tings. That’s before we get onto the trainwreck chorus, which manages to take Right Said Fred’s comedy posturing and make it both less coherent and, seriously, less believable. Playing spot the steal is the only way to salvage any fun here.

Ian Mathers: I usually like Sugababes, and I like “I’m Too Sexy”, but I think I’d prefer it if they just did a straight up Right Said Fred cover. And then the intro to this just makes me think of Girls Aloud’s “Sexy! No, No, No”, which just makes me want to turn this off and that on.

Edward Okulicz: Personnel changes aside, how did they go from “Run For Cover” and “Freak Like Me” to this? Right Said Fred, “My Humps”, some very dated Europop, a bit of “SexyBack” and goodness knows what else, all put in a blender until it’s got the consistency and quality you’d expect from such a mess. Rather than write a compelling song, which in the past wasn’t an issue for the girls and their producers, they’ve looked at their recent lack of success (which was down to bad songs) and incorrectly assumed it was because they couldn’t cut it in this post-Gaga landscape and gone and tried to create some kind of Frankenstein’s monster out of the last couple of summers’ worth of pop. And what comes out is not just bad, but creatively bankrupt, calculated, cynical and deeply embarrassing.

Alex Macpherson: A welcome change of direction: “Pussycat Dolls-style banger” is infinitely preferable to either the soporific ’60s pastiches with which the ‘Babes were last seen boring us senseless, or the cheapo, trebly electroshit currently blighting our charts.

Sophie Green: Their once distinctive voices have blended into a characterless pop girl hybrid, a sort of generic “ft.” vocalist.

John Seroff: Every element, from the THX-opening squeal to the hypertypical stuttering anti-climax, is lifted from other, better-known sources; it’s a sort of pop smoothie. That said, it’s also very fun.

Martin Skidmore: I guess they have gone for this kind of overtly contemporary American sound to have another go at cracking there – and because only one of their last five singles has gone top ten here. Good luck to them – they’ve been one of the most consistently superb acts of the decade.

Martin Kavka: This is elitist bullshit: the Sugababes are too sexy to be in this club, but for those who are not as sexy as they are, they encourage you to dance (even if you only “feel sexy,” although you may not be in actuality). This is offensive bullshit: the video places the Sugababes in cages and handcuffs. This is boring bullshit: once you know that the song is mainly a hard-house version of Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy,” it sounds just like you expect. God, this is such bullshit.

Anthony Miccio: Sexy like the alien in Species, leading us on with the verse only to joylessly jam their tongues through our skulls on the chorus.

Alex Ostroff: The girls’ marvelous pose as sassy spoken-word boss bitches gets completely undercut by the awkward and unnecessary interpolation that serves as a chorus. The Sugababes new label owner at Roc Nation may be too sexy for jail like he’s Right Said Fred, but Get Sexy is guilty of high treason against good taste.

Additional Scores

Chuck Eddy: [4]
Keane Tzong: [3]

13 Responses to “Sugababes – Get Sexy”

  1. The problem with this is precisely that it DOESN’T sound like Right Said Fred! Unlike Timberlee’s awesome “Heels” for instance. Not that RSF is necessarily a good sound for this band but it would make the chorus quote less annoying (also also “hurts” is in there cos it RHYMES WITH SHIRT! They should have sung “I’m too sexy for my skirt” and done a Bucks Fizz)

    Other than the chorus this is fine. 5 is about right.

  2. What’s wrong with elitism, Martin K?

    I tried to do a +/- format for my blurb but the system kept eating it, that or Will edited it, can’t remember anything else except for “still better than Girls Aloud”. Right Said Fred were awful and the vague interpolation of them drags this down far more than the generic sub-PCD sound, which is…OK. (Timberlee’s “Heels” works because it doesn’t sound like RSF! It uses it as a jump-off but the context is so different and Timberlee’s personality so strong that it never actually makes me think of RSF. The original “I’m Too Sexy” is the first song I remember actively hating, btw, and the years have not changed my feelings about it.)

  3. Agree that Timberlee improves on the RSF song to a ridiculous degree but the lift is still very very noticeable. Whereas with the Sugababes there doesn’t even need to BE a lift, the chorus honestly sounds nothing like “I’m Too Sexy” so quoting from it is really annoying. Especially as “I’m Too Sexy”, hate it or love it, had a MUCH stronger chorus hook and pushes “Get Sexy” out of your brain even as it’s playing. So all I’m saying is, why not just use the RSF song?

  4. I’m too sexy for this song.

  5. The Amelle bits are better than I remember; it would have worked better as a solo vehicle for her.

    Catfights was quite a nice album even if “Girls” was a horrendous pile of tripe and “No Can Do” not far behind it… I don’t see the Sugababes LP from which this is taken being very good at all.

  6. I don’t think the Sugababes have put out a decent longplayer all the way through since Angels With Dirty Faces. Three had some brilliant songs but also had some complete rubbish too, and after that, it’s filler ALL THE WAY.. except now it seems they can’t even muster decent singles.

    I would have given this zero but I’m trying to cut down on them.

  7. In retrospect this is really more of a five.

  8. Lex, I’d thought that the ‘Babes were not so subly implying that they were sexier than their audience; they are “too sexy,” we can “get sexy,” but we can’t be like them and get “too sexy.”

    Upon further reflection, I just think that the whole lyric is a mess. How can the ‘Babes both be “too sexy for this club” and exhort “let’s get sexy right now!,” a chant that implies that they are becoming sexy, and thus not sexy at the present moment?

    The song needs something like Rob Harvilla’s graphical dissection of the logic of “This Is Why I’m Hot.” This is not a point in its favor, imho.

  9. I’m not saying it’s a good lyric! Like the song itself, it’s incoherent and vaguely desperate, and only halfway acceptable because it could be worse: it could be a Calvin Harris collaboration. I’m just curious as to why elitism per se is a bad thing in pop lyrics.

  10. The kind of elitism that assumes that an audience both wants to be like the artist and can never be like the artist is simply a way of asking people to subsidize an artist’s self-absorption. This is my problem with a good deal of ego-stroking rap, but crosses over to other genres as well. When Mandy Moore’s _Wild Hope_ album was released in 2007, I adored the songwriting, especially on the tracks produced by The Weepies. But the combination of her navel-gazing lyrics with the belief that they mean something for her audience’s lives means that the whole album explodes into a million little insignificant pieces.

    There’s perhaps another kind of elitism, which one might describe as “artist and audience together against the world.” The Smiths’ “Hand In Glove” comes immediately to mind. The content of the pronoun at the end of “This one is different because it’s us” is beautifully plastic. I don’t find this kind of elitism deplorable at all.

    Dichotomies are always too hasty, and even now I can see how the border between these two types of elitism is porous or even perhaps inauthentic. But that’s my immediate reaction.

  11. Bloody awful!
    Even bloody worse than the spice girls charity single!¬
    Who wrote this bloody rubbish!!!

  12. Kavka: often the first type of elitism is actually the second type of elitism, but less upfront about it. The audience is almost always encouraged to relate to the performer in “ego-stroking rap.”

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