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Taller In More Ways

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Album Review

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, Rovi

Customer Reviews

A Great Band!

I Love the sugababes and now it's on itunes! They are not like other girl bands they all have unique voices and sound great even though they had 2 line up changes they still have a great voice. I recommend 1) Push The Button 2) Red Dress 3) Ugly 4) Ace Reject 5) Better

They just get better and better

Sugababes are a multiplatinum-selling English girl group who rule the charts with their cleverly written songs (almost all cowritten by the girls themselves) and their beautifully sung three part harmonies. The original line-up marketed the girls as a quasi-R&B group not unlike Destiny's Child, but with more acoustic sounds. After founding member Siobhan Donaghy (whose first solo ablum is available on US iTunes) left the group, Heidi Range (a prechart member of Atomic Kitten) was brought in to help Sugababes reach their first #1 single with "Freak Like Me"--the first song off their sophomore album, Angels With Dirty Faces. This album featured more dance-oriented music and shot the girls to superstardom. The following year, 2003, the trio released another album, Three, which featured more consistent dance-pop and a few solo songs for each girl, allowing each to shine. After a year haitus, the girls returned in 2005 with their fourth album of new material, Taller in More Ways. This is the 2006 reissue version of the 2005 number 1 UK album, Taller In More Ways. The cover art actually depics the initial version, with former bandmate Mutya Buena in the center. She was replaced by similar-sounding Amelle Berrabah, who features on the rerecorded songs "Gotta Be You," "Follow Me Home," "Red Dress" (labeled here as the Radio Edit), and the brand-new song "Now You're Gone." I personally enjoy the newest line-up, as this is by far their best album. The opener "Push The Button," their first single from this album, is the highlight here, but almost all the tracks give it a run for its money. "Red Dress" was the third single released and the first with Berrabah, and was produced by power production house Xenomania (also known for producing all of similar group Girls Aloud's singles and all of the songs on their 2nd, 3rd and Greatest Hits albums.) I particularly enjoy the other Xenomania song here, Ace Reject, which is actually not longer than version on the original release (I suspect the original demo was shorter.) The only flaw in this album, in my opinion, was the 2nd single, "Ugly," which has a very cheesy, predictable melody and message, and comes off like the less talented sister of TLC's hit "Unpretty." The song does, however, include the titular line "taller in more ways," which is a great way to define the evolution of this girl group. I eagerly await their next studio album, rumored to be out by the end of the year, which will be their first full album with Berrabah. I hope US iTunes gets their previous three (or at least 2) albums soon! I'm sure I'm not the only one.


It's about time :D The Sugababes are one of the best girl bands ever, and I've had this CD for like a year. I'm so happy its finally on iTunes and hopefully the babes will start promoting themselves here. This album is great, with their hits like Push the Button and Red Dress. I'd buy those two as well as Gotta Be You , Now You're Gone, and It Ain't Easy if you don't want to get the full album. Go Sugababes =D


Formed: 1998 in England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Multi-ethnic U.K. trio Sugababes jumped aboard the teen pop bandwagon prior to the new millennium and exuded their own sassy demeanor without the frivolity of most mainstream acts. Siobhan Donaghy, Keisha Buchanan, and Mutya Buena were barely in their teens when they formed in 1998, sharing a liking of garage, hip-hop, and dance music. Initially, Sugababes were three friends who enjoyed singing along to the radio. Buchanan and Buena had been pals since primary school, and a chance meeting with Donaghy...
Full Bio
Taller In More Ways, Sugababes
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Dance, R&B/Soul, Pop/Rock, Teen Pop
  • Released: Jan 01, 2005

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