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Taller In More Ways

Sugababes

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Sugababes were one of the most consistently successful British pop acts of the 2000s, with an unparalleled string of innovative Top Ten singles and solid if not faultless full-lengths. Their fourth, the awkwardly named Taller in More Ways, was no exception -- indeed it was their first album to hit number one, and among their strongest. As usual, the singles tend to shine the brightest, but there are only a handful of truly lesser tracks scattered among the state-of-the-art dancefloor stompers and towering ballads. The simple yet effective electro-pop club ditty "Push the Button" was the first single (and it topped the charts as handily as its predecessors had), but even better in that category is the monstrously funky "Red Dress," a Xenomania track reminiscent of their frisky Girls Aloud productions, that makes excellent use of a rejiggered horn section sampled from a '60s Northern soul cut ("Landslide" by Tony Clarke). In the latter column, both "Follow Me Home" and "Ugly" are aptly pitched inspirational mini-epics dealing, respectively, with romantic and body-image issues (even if "we only get judged by what we do" sounds like rather wishful thinking, the 'Babes make you believe it). And it gets deeper than that, in several ways: the breezy, ska-punk-tinged "Joy Division" (which has nothing to do with that band, musically or lyrically); the sugary synth pop of "Obsession" (a cover of '80s new wavers Animotion); the intoxicating, hard-hitting "It Ain't Easy," which pits a menacingly swung, twangy guitar riff -- lifted so blatantly from Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," it's a wonder Martin Gore doesn't get a writing credit -- against a martial strut and agitated double-time group vocals. "Gotta Be You" pillages less successfully: despite a passable foundation of synth-fuzz R&B with trendy tabla-esque skittering, it treads so melodically close to Aaliyah's majestic "Try Again" that it can't help but pale by comparison. Meanwhile, the final three cuts fail to leave much of an impression -- there's nothing like "Maya," the haunting closer on Three. Even so, the overall quality of the material, the production, and of course Sugababes' trademark vocal work -- subtly satisfying without being showy -- are enough to make this another winner from one of the winningest (and most winsome) pop groups going. [In 2006, following the departure of Mutya Buena from the group, Taller in More Ways was reissued with one new track and re-recorded versions of "Gotta Be You," "Follow Me Home," and "Red Dress" featuring new member Amelle Berrabah.]
© K. Ross Hoffman /TiVo

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Taller In More Ways

Sugababes

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1
Push The Button
00:03:38

Dallas Austin, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tony Reyes, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Edgeler, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rick Sheppard, Engineer, Programmer, StudioPersonnel - Graham Marsh, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Rossiter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Owen Clark, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

2
Gotta Be You
00:03:40

Dallas Austin, Producer - Terius Nash, ComposerLyricist - Penelope Magnet, ComposerLyricist - Jasper Cameron, Producer - Paul Sheehy, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Edgeler, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rick Sheppard, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Rossiter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Doug Harms, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris "Tricky" Stewart, ComposerLyricist - Owen Clark, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

3
Follow Me Home
00:03:57

Gavyn Wright, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - Jony Lipsey, ComposerLyricist - Brio Taliaferro, Programmer - Jeremy Shaw, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Isobel Griffiths, Orchestra Contractor, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Elliott, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Edgeler, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Karen Poole, ComposerLyricist - Jony Rockstar, Producer, Programmer - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

4
Joy Division
00:03:48

Jony Lipsey, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Shaw, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Cameron McVey, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jony Rockstar, Producer, Programmer - Richard Wilkinson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

5
Red Dress
00:03:36

Miranda Cooper, ComposerLyricist - Nick Coler, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lisa Cowling, ComposerLyricist - Tim Powell, Mixer, Programmer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Xenomania, Producer - Brian Higgins, Programmer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Edgeler, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Dario Dendi, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Lee, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, ComposerLyricist - Jon Shave, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Bradley, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tim "Rolf" Larcombe, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Zoe Smith, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Poulter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

6
Ugly
00:03:49

Dallas Austin, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Writer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tony Reyes, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Sheehy, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Edgeler, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rick Sheppard, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Graham Marsh, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Rossiter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Doug Harms, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

7
It Ain't Easy
00:03:04

Dallas Austin, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tony Reyes, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Sheehy, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Edgeler, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rick Sheppard, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Graham Marsh, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Rossiter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Doug Harms, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

8
Bruised
00:03:02

Guy Sigsworth, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Cathy Dennis, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sean McGhee, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

9
Obsession
00:03:50

Dallas Austin, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Holly Knight, ComposerLyricist - Tony Reyes, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Edgeler, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Rick Sheppard, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Graham Marsh, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Michael Des Barres, ComposerLyricist - Ian Rossiter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Owen Clark, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

10
Ace Reject Full Length Version
00:04:13

Miranda Cooper, ComposerLyricist - Nick Coler, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Powell, Keyboards, Programmer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Xenomania, Producer - Brian Higgins, ComposerLyricist - Richard Edgeler, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Dario Dendi, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Lee, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Keisha Buchanan, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, ComposerLyricist - Jon Shave, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Zoe Smith, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Poulter, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

11
2 Hearts
00:04:52

Gavyn Wright, Orchestra Leader, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Hutton, Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Archer, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Shaw, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Isobel Griffiths, Orchestra Contractor, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Elliott, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Cameron McVey, Programmer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jony Rockstar, Producer, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Wilkinson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Shawn Lee, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2005 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

Album Description

Sugababes were one of the most consistently successful British pop acts of the 2000s, with an unparalleled string of innovative Top Ten singles and solid if not faultless full-lengths. Their fourth, the awkwardly named Taller in More Ways, was no exception -- indeed it was their first album to hit number one, and among their strongest. As usual, the singles tend to shine the brightest, but there are only a handful of truly lesser tracks scattered among the state-of-the-art dancefloor stompers and towering ballads. The simple yet effective electro-pop club ditty "Push the Button" was the first single (and it topped the charts as handily as its predecessors had), but even better in that category is the monstrously funky "Red Dress," a Xenomania track reminiscent of their frisky Girls Aloud productions, that makes excellent use of a rejiggered horn section sampled from a '60s Northern soul cut ("Landslide" by Tony Clarke). In the latter column, both "Follow Me Home" and "Ugly" are aptly pitched inspirational mini-epics dealing, respectively, with romantic and body-image issues (even if "we only get judged by what we do" sounds like rather wishful thinking, the 'Babes make you believe it). And it gets deeper than that, in several ways: the breezy, ska-punk-tinged "Joy Division" (which has nothing to do with that band, musically or lyrically); the sugary synth pop of "Obsession" (a cover of '80s new wavers Animotion); the intoxicating, hard-hitting "It Ain't Easy," which pits a menacingly swung, twangy guitar riff -- lifted so blatantly from Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," it's a wonder Martin Gore doesn't get a writing credit -- against a martial strut and agitated double-time group vocals. "Gotta Be You" pillages less successfully: despite a passable foundation of synth-fuzz R&B with trendy tabla-esque skittering, it treads so melodically close to Aaliyah's majestic "Try Again" that it can't help but pale by comparison. Meanwhile, the final three cuts fail to leave much of an impression -- there's nothing like "Maya," the haunting closer on Three. Even so, the overall quality of the material, the production, and of course Sugababes' trademark vocal work -- subtly satisfying without being showy -- are enough to make this another winner from one of the winningest (and most winsome) pop groups going. [In 2006, following the departure of Mutya Buena from the group, Taller in More Ways was reissued with one new track and re-recorded versions of "Gotta Be You," "Follow Me Home," and "Red Dress" featuring new member Amelle Berrabah.]
© K. Ross Hoffman /TiVo

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