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Three [Germany]
     

Three [Germany]

by Sugababes
 

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Sugababes straightforwardly titled third release may have lacked a single quite as striking as "Freak Like Me," the tremendous electro-clash/mash-up cash-in smash from their breakthrough sophomore set, Angels with Dirty Faces, but otherwise it improves on that album in many respects. Following the same essential template -- tuneful, R&B-inflected dance-pop with

Overview

Sugababes straightforwardly titled third release may have lacked a single quite as striking as "Freak Like Me," the tremendous electro-clash/mash-up cash-in smash from their breakthrough sophomore set, Angels with Dirty Faces, but otherwise it improves on that album in many respects. Following the same essential template -- tuneful, R&B-inflected dance-pop with fresh-sounding but accessible productions, along with a healthy smattering of big droopy ballads -- with an expanded stylistic range, Three boasts a sonic approach both lusher and more intricately detailed, and, most significantly, stronger songwriting almost across the board, much of it contributed at least in part by the Babes themselves. And if it was less revelatory than "Freak," this album's chart-topping lead single/opener "Hole in the Head" was no less enjoyable -- a slice of bouncy, slightly off-kilter up-tempo pop reminiscent of Angels' second number one single, "Round Round." Both were produced and co-written by Xenomania, fresh from their career-making work on Girls Aloud's debut album -- and so were several of Three's other highlights, including the playfully funky "Twisted," and the ruminative, woozily floaty "Situation's Heavy." Elsewhere, Pete Craigie and Guy Sigsworth conjure up blankets of electronic gloss to swathe the barnstorming robo-pop of "Whatever Makes You Happy," the Eastern-tinged quasi-Diwali of "Million Different Ways," and the beautiful, throbbing slow-burner "Maya," a metaphysical missive to a lost friend that reflects: "If this universe is really shrinking/we'll be together in time." Then there are the ballads, arguably Sugababes' strongest suit: Three has no less than four of them (five if you include the less formally classicist "Maya") evenly spaced throughout the album, of which the obvious standout is the pitch-perfect "Caught in a Moment," a stirring, string-laden monolith of melody. It may seem incongruous for such unabashed sentimentality and frankly conventional arrangements to coexist with electronic dance-pop so thoroughly modern in sound and sensibility -- and indeed it's easy to imagine listeners attracted by one aspect of Sugababes' pop-craft being turned off by the other. But ultimately they are two sides of a coin -- timeless if sudsy ballads and flashy novelty dance tunes -- both very much in keeping with the great interpretive pop tradition, of which Sugababes are among our most consummate and sophisticated modern exponents.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/25/2008
Label:
Universal Int'l
UPC:
0602498658581
catalogNumber:
9865858

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sugababes   Primary Artist
Nick Coler   Guitar
Marius de Vries   Bass,Keyboards
Nick Ingman   Conductor
Peter Lockett   Percussion
Brian Higgins   Keyboards
Shawn Lee   Bass,Guitar
Brio Taliaferro   Guitar
Tim Powell   Keyboards
Prague Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Damon "Day" Wilson   Drums
Richard Causon   Keyboards
Tim "Rolf" Larcombe   Keyboards
Felix Howard   Guitar

Technical Credits

Andy Bradfield   Producer
Nick Coler   Composer,Programming
Pete Craigie   Engineer,Vocal Recording
Marius de Vries   Composer,Engineer
Nick Ingman   String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements
Linda Perry   Composer,Programming,Producer,Instrumentation
Mike Ross-Trevor   Engineer
Guy Sigsworth   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
Diane Warren   Composer
Jeremy Wheatley   Producer
Stuart Crichton   Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
Marcia Crayford   Orchestra Leader
Johnny Rockstar   Producer,beats
Gerard Saint   Art Direction
Tom Elmhirst   Composer,Engineer,Vocal Recording
Brian Higgins   Composer,Producer
Phil Fuldner   Producer
Shawn Lee   Composer
Brio Taliaferro   Programming
Richard Wilkinson   Engineer
Rob Dougan   Producer,String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements
Tim Powell   Composer,Programming
Karen Ann Poole   Composer
David Guerrero   Engineer
Keisha Buchanan   Composer
Mutya Buena   Composer
Niara Scarlett   Composer
Jonathan Shakhovskoy   Vocal Engineer
Heidi Range   Composer
Yoad Nevo   Producer
Tim "Rolf" Larcombe   Composer,Programming
Guy Farley   String Arrangements,String Conductor
Jon Shave   Programming
Sean McGhee   Programming,Engineer
Michael Bellina   Producer
Matt Duguid   Programming
Mat Maitland   Art Direction,Collage
Felix Howard   Composer
Miranda Cooper   Composer
Pete Martin & the Versatile Keys   Producer
Lisa Cowling   Composer

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