Music News: Sugababes Offer Catfights And Spotlights, Levi Stubbs, Leon Jackson, Labelle, Beyoncé


GuestbloggerRobbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own site called Chart Rigger.

Well, it was only a year ago last week when I pondered here on Towleroad whether U.K. pop trio the Sugababes could ever cross over in the States. So far that’s a “no,” but their new CD, Catfights And Spotlights, arrived in the mail today via Amazon, and all is right in the world.

Sugababes2Catfights… is the ‘babes’ sixth studio album, and was released in England on Monday. It contains the single “Girls” (see video below), which recently peaked at #3 on the U.K. singles chart (held back from the top spot by Pink’s “So What”). But that one is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the catchy, pop-hook greatness that lies waiting here.

A large portion of the album was written and produced by Klas Åhlund, who collaborated with Robyn on her most recent set and wrote and produced Britney Spears’ “Piece Of Me.” Max Martin co-wrote the track “Unbreakable Heart” with Åhlund.

TWO HIGHLIGHTS: The Motown-infused “You On A Good Day” and the slow-burning R&B jam “Side Chick.”

Someone at Universal here in the States needs to get on the stick and get these gals over here.

Order Catfights And Spotlights here. Catch the video for “Girls” below.

road.jpg A few music clips for the week:

1. Four Tops, “Reach Out, I’ll Be There”: I was crushed by the passing of Levi Stubbs, 72, on Friday. Not only was the Four Tops’ frontman one of the most memorable voices of Motown, he was able to convey a powerful sadness like no other in the rock era. Stubbs was also the voice of Audrey II in the film Little Shop Of Horrors. Just an all around classy performer.

2. Sugababes, “Girls”: The lead single off the Brit girl group’s new album.

3. Leon Jackson, “Don’t Call This Love”: Following in Leona Lewis’ footsteps, Jackson won Simon Cowell’s U.K. talent program The X Factor last year after being mentored by Dannii Minogue.

4. Guns N’ Roses, “Chinese Democracy”: Well, there might be a reason heavy metal died at the hands of Nirvana in 1991…

If_i_were_a_boyroad.jpg THE WEEK’S NEW RELEASES:

New singles from Beyoncé (“If I Were A Boy”), MGMT (“Kids [Soulwax Remix]”) and Björk featuring Thom Yorke (“Nattura”).

The reunited Labelle’s (Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendrix, Sarah Dash) Back To Now, their first album since splitting 32 years ago. Back To Now features production from Lenny Kravitz, Philly soul legends Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, and Wyclef Jean.

The High School Musical 3: Senior Year soundtrack.

Paul Van Dyk’s Hands On In Between.


  1. crispy says

    That Guns N Roses story has been all over the news this week. I don’t get why anyone would care that they’re finally putting out a new CD. Doesn’t everyone know that Axl Rose done lost his mind?

  2. paul says

    Well I care. those guys are extremely talented whether anybody knows it or not!! they sold over 90 million records worldwide and broke staduim records.
    if you don’t believe me that they are talented…revist their “trilogy” on cd’s Use your Illusion I & II.

  3. crispy says

    They were definitely talented in their time, Paul. I own all 3 albums… on cassette! I don’t guess I have any way to play them anymore.

    But you do know that Axl is the only one left in the band?

  4. Rafi says

    I rarely comment, but I was so moved by that Sugababes video…..

    Definitely my least favorite Sugababes single (if not song, period) ever. They’re so much better than that. I just got way less excited about the new album. :(

  5. says

    Re: Videos

    1> Rest In Peace, Levi. Your music will endure for eternity~
    2> What the f@#$ is a Sugababe? After that dismal track, I never wanna find out~
    3>Leona Lewis is a shrilling hack, so what should we expect from Simon Cowell? This guy (Leon Jackson) is awful too. Just when you thought it doesn’t get worse than American Idol~
    4>Guns and Roses were a great band ~ but, 17 years and this is the drivel Axl’s been sitting on? No wonder he’s the sole original member~

    Not a good week for music, eh?

  6. says

    The Sugababes album is much better than the single, for sure. I’d say it’s better than the last CD, if very midtempo.

    And the Labelle CD is nothing like the autotuned single either. It’s much more retro – Lenny Kravitz made it sound like it was recorded in the 70’s.

    I have to admit I love the Leon Jackson song.

    PS: Yes, Leona is not all that. Nothing original to her.

  7. BEB says

    I’ve had a chance to listen to “Catfights and Spotlights” and haven’t found a whole lot to interest me…besides “Girls.” It’s just a DEPRESSING disc on first listen. Contrary to what others posted, I really loved “Change” – “About You Now,” “Denial” and the title track could have easily fit in US radio…Thx Robbie for keeping them in the “spotlight.”

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