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Three

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 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.
© K. Ross Hoffman /TiVo

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Three

Sugababes

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1
Hole In The Head
00:03:38

Miranda Cooper, ComposerLyricist - Nick Coler, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tim Powell, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Niara Scarlett, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Wheatley, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Xenomania, Producer - Yoad Nevo, Producer, Additional Producer - Brian Higgins, Producer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Lee, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

2
Whatever Makes You Happy
00:03:14

Stuart Crichton, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - Guy Sigsworth, Producer, Unknown, Other - Pete Martin, ComposerLyricist - Craig Dodds, Producer, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sean McGhee, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gary Cooper, ComposerLyricist - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

3
Caught In A Moment
00:04:24

Steve Morris, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Marius de Vries, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Jonathan Williams, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Clarke, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Martin Burgess, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Fiona Bonds, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Williams, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Elliott, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Fenella Barton, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Karen Poole, ComposerLyricist - Marcia Crayford, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Pete Craigie, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Bowes, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Caroline Dale, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ralph De Souza, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Liz Edwards, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jony Rockstar, Producer, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - Timothy Grant, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Lynda Houghton, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Ivo Van Der Werff, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Pete Lockett, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Wilkinson, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jonathan Shakhovskoy, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Handy, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Caroline Dearnley, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gaby Lester, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Alison Kelly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Smith, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Manon Derome, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Shawn Lee, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Guy Farley, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - David Juritz, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dominic Seldis, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Celia Sheen, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Roberts, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Philippe Honore, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Melissa Phelps, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Douglas Mackie, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Ross Trevor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Mair, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jonathan Barritt, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Kok, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Benedict, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Briscoe, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sophie Barber, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jo Godden, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Vicci Wardmen, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Schmolck, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

4
Situation's Heavy
00:04:10

Edele Lynch, ComposerLyricist - Miranda Cooper, ComposerLyricist - Nick Coler, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Powell, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Xenomania, Producer - Brian Higgins, Producer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Lee, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jon Shave, Programmer - Tim Larcombe, Programmer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

5
Million Different Ways
00:04:29

Stuart Crichton, Unknown, Other, ComposerLyricist - Guy Sigsworth, Producer, Mixer, Unknown, Other, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - felix Howard, ComposerLyricist - Craig Dodds, Producer, Mixer, Unknown, Other, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Sean McGhee, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

6
We Could Have It All
00:03:36

Guy Sigsworth, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - felix Howard, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Dodds, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Mark Neary, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Johnny Dollar, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

7
Conversation's Over
00:04:04

Steve Morris, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jonathan Williams, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Clarke, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jony Lipsey, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Shaw, Unknown, Other - Martin Burgess, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Fiona Bonds, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Williams, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Elliott, Unknown, Other - Fenella Barton, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Karen Poole, ComposerLyricist - Marcia Crayford, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Thomas Bowes, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Caroline Dale, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ralph De Souza, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Liz Edwards, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jony Rockstar, Producer, Unknown, Other - Timothy Grant, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Lynda Houghton, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Ivo Van Der Werff, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Wilkinson, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jonathan Shakhovskoy, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Handy, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Pete Craige, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Caroline Dearnley, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gaby Lester, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Alison Kelly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Smith, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Manon Derome, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Shawn Lee, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Guy Farley, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - David Juritz, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dominic Seldis, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Celia Sheen, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Roberts, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Philippe Honore, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Melissa Phelps, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Douglas Mackie, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Ross Trevor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Steve Mair, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Jonathan Barritt, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Darrell Kok, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Benedict, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Briscoe, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sophie Barber, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jo Godden, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Vicci Wardmen, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Jan Schmolck, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

8
In The Middle
00:03:57

Miranda Cooper, ComposerLyricist - Nick Coler, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lisa Cowling, ComposerLyricist - Tim Powell, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Phil Fuldner, Producer, Additional Producer, ComposerLyricist - Niara Scarlett, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Wheatley, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Xenomania, Producer - Yoad Nevo, Producer, Additional Producer - Brian Higgins, Producer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Mogwai, Producer, Additional Producer - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Lee, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tim Larcombe, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Andre Tegler, ComposerLyricist - Michael Bellina, Producer, Additional Producer, ComposerLyricist - Matt Duguid, Programmer

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

9
Too Lost In You
00:03:57

Rob Dougan, Producer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Diane Warren, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Nick Ingman, String Arranger, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - Yoad Nevo, Programmer - Andy Bradfield, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Mario Luccy, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Prague Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra/Member, AssociatedPerformer - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Khris Kellow, Producer

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

10
Nasty Ghetto
00:04:13

David Guerrero, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Brio Taliaferro, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Linda Perry, Producer, Programmer, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Wheatley, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Damon Wilson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Chavez, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

11
Sometimes
00:04:32

Marius de Vries, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Jony Lipsey, ComposerLyricist - felix Howard, ComposerLyricist - Jeremy Shaw, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Wilkinson, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Causon, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Lee, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jonny Rockstar, Producer

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

12
Maya
00:04:43

Guy Sigsworth, Producer, Mixer, Unknown, Other, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Craig Dodds, Producer, Mixer, Unknown, Other, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Sean McGhee, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sugababes, MainArtist - Mutya Buena, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Keisha Buchanan, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Heidi Range, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

Album Description

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.
© K. Ross Hoffman /TiVo

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