Music News: Can Sugababes Cross Over? Plus Rufus Wainwright, The Smiths, Nas, Buffy, Amy Winehouse, Annie Lennox

GuestbloggerPlease welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning occasional music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.

SugababesThis week, pop/rock/electro trio (as they’re billing themselves these days) Sugababes celebrate the triumph of having both the #1 single (“About You Now”) and #1 album (Change) on the official U.K. charts. It’s no small feat, as the ‘babes have been around long enough to issue five LPs and the ubiquitous greatest hits, and have surpassed the typical sell-by date that sees most pop acts reduced to subpar reality show stints.

But “About You Now” — written by Cathy Dennis (yes, that Cathy Dennis, who had the early ’90s green-bodysuit solo career and later penned Britney’s “Toxic” and Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”) — actually marks the Sugababes’ sixth British #1. In their home country, they’ve had more hits than the Spice Girls, and this year they became the first pop act to play the main stage at the Glastonbury Festival.

So where’s the love for the curvy threesome in the States? In recent years, urban-heavy American radio has warmed up again to British acts, such as Coldplay, Natasha Bedingfield, James Blunt and Amy Winehouse. Sugababes (aka Keisha, Heidi and Amelle) write a majority of their own material, and certainly their R&B-tinged pop merits them being a shoo-in for at least a hit or two on these shores.

Granted, the gals don’t play their own instruments, but then again, you never saw Beyoncé or Kelly Rowland shredding a whammy-bar-kickin’ guitar solo, either. It just seems that in a land where the only thing passing for fun pop on the American charts these days is Britney Spears, surely we should welcome the Sugababes with open arms.

Here’s the video for “About You Now”:

Shayneroad.jpg Rufus Wainwright does Judy! Judy! Judy! on CD and DVD this December.

road.jpg Morrissey performs a new track on Last Call With Carson Daly while Johnny Marr goes back to school and receives top honors.

road.jpg British pop star and X Factor winner Shayne Ward (pictured left) turns 23.

road.jpg Rapper Nas chooses yet another eyebrow-raising album title.

road.jpg Annie Lennox and Peter Gabriel to headline South African HIV/AIDS benefit concert for Nelson Mandela’s 46664 campaign. Lennox writes about her involvement with the campaign as a 46664 ambassador in the November issue of Instinct magazine.

road.jpg U2 to reissue four different versions of The Joshua Tree in November for the set’s 20th anniversary.

road.jpg The successful life and quick death of the nationwide Buffy The Vampire Slayer sing-alongs: “I was under the impression that everything we were doing was completely legal and had been cleared by the appropriate people,” says Buffyoke organizer Clinton McClung.

road.jpg Post-rehab, Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty record a song together.

Sex_pistolsroad.jpg TODAY’S NEW RELEASES:

The Killers’ new single, “Shadowplay” — a Joy Division cover featured on the Control soundtrack as well as the forthcoming Killers’ collection of B-sides and rarities, Sawdust (due November 13).

Thirty years after its initial release, iTunes adds Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols.

Soul singer Angie Stone’s The Art Of Love And War, from the newly relaunched Stax label.

The album/DVD combo R.E.M. Live.

Jimmy Eats World’s Chase This Light, exec-produced by Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins producer (and Garbage member) Butch Vig.

Ultimate Santana, featuring the guitar legend’s greatest hits and new tracks with Chad Kroeger and Jennifer Lopez.


  1. Rob says

    I have been a Sugababes fan since their first single — by chance I was on vacation in the UK and saw “Overload” on MTV. I bought the album in the airport on my way home. Over the years, I’ve watched them try unsuccessfully to crack the US. Their incredible cover/mash up of “Freak Like Me” on their second album did nothing here. Then I think “Hole in the Head” and “Push the Button” may have briefly made the U.S. dance charts.

    The problem is that they have always been too interesting — not pop enough for pop, not urban enough for r&b. This new album is on the pop side, but it has some great singles. I wish them all the success in the world, but at the same time, I like being in love with a group not many other Americans know about.

  2. David says

    The Sugababes are so sick awesome.

    Check out their cover of “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”. I play that at the gym, and it makes me want to kick people in the face.

  3. Leland Frances says

    “Rufus Wainwright does Judy! Judy! Judy! on CD and DVD this December.”

    “Rufus Wainwright wipes his ass with a microphone—on CD and DVD this December.”

    Oops, that’s redundant. Sorry.

  4. Paul says

    Annie Lennox writes about a serious topic and chooses Instinct as her venue? I used to write for that rag, and I finally had to stop because it’s so repetitive, sophomoric, and riddled with errors. It looks to have improved in recent years, but still. Any magazine would publish an article by Annie—why would she possibly go with such a marginal, third-rate fag rag?

  5. says

    So glad to see the Sugababes get some love on this site. Their new album “Change” is very good and filled with the sort of songs that Kelly Clarkson would have had on her latest CD if she wasn’t busy playing a banjo in the trailer park or whatever it was that made her make “My December”.

    As Rob said “Freak Like Me” is still their masterpiece, a mashup of Gary Numan’s “Are Friends Electric” and Adina Howard’s “Freak Like Me”, it’s the best pop song of the last ten years.

    But America is too preocupied with terrible hip-hop to give a damn about these girls.

  6. says

    I love NAS and his music, his lyrics are always controversial and very political, but to choose such a title for his album? I wonder how he’s going to react when non blacks are referring to that album.

    Side note, that british popstar can Shayne my Ward any time!!

  7. says

    Rob, David & Glenn… I’m a huge (American) Sugababes fan, too. “Easy,” the single off last year’s Greatest Hits, was better than “Freak Like Me” for me personally. I also love “Red Dress.” They’re 10 times more the thinking person’s girl group than Destiny’s Child ever was.

Leave A Reply