Album: Sugababes

Change (Island)
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Despite earning Brownie points for depriving X Factor winner Shayne Ward of his expected No 1, there's little else for Sugababes to crow about on Change. Mutya's departure has left Keisha firmly in control – on the sleeve, she looks chillingly like Diana Ross asserting her supremacy – but Change suggests this isn't a change for the better. "Push the Button" producer Dallas Austin knows how to wield repetition and key-change to extract maximum impact even from a hook as slim as "Back When", while the reliable hand of Xenomania ensures that "Never Gonna Dance Again" makes the most of its winningly logical melody. But elsewhere, things are fraying dangerously: the colourless title ballad is leaden rather than soulful, "My Love Is Pink" is a euphemism too far, and there's a disjunction in "About You Now" between the smooth pop sheen and the itchy, scratchy drumming. There are some positives: the infectious reggae-tinged soul created by Alonzo Stevenson for "Back Down", and the slouchy groove by Dr Luke that powers "Open the Door" – even if the latter does hark back 17 years to "Dub Be Good to Me".

Download this: 'Never Gonna Dance Again', 'Back Down', 'Open the Door'