With the departure last year of final founder member Keisha Buchanan, Sugababes finally slipped from being a band to a brand.
And in the ruthless manner typical of that brand, incomer Jade Ewen had soon replaced all of Buchanan's vocals recorded for Sweet 7 save for the single "Get Sexy" – but then, this is the group which once replaced an entire album of Mutya Buena's vocals a year after the original release of Taller In More Ways when she left, so what should we expect? The problem is that this policy of replenishment has eroded both the trio's character and its appeal, with 2008's Catfights & Spotlights being the poorest-selling album of Sugababes' career. That spiral looks set to continue with Sweet 7, which seems a far cry from the girls' Dallas Austin/Xenomania heyday: for all the involvement of new writers and producers such as Red One, Stargate and The Smeezingtons, there's nothing here with anything like the adhesive, infectious quality of "Push The Button". Mostly, it's just generic disco stompers like "Wait For You" and the vacuous "About A Girl"; and even the better tracks, such as "Get Sexy" and "Wear My Kiss", practice a craven form of extreme self-objectification, which in the latter finds them effectively subjugated to the status of accessories, as they compare themselves to the tie, watch or shoes with which a man completes his outfit.
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