New Musical Express (NME) - 40 Based on rating 2/5
The human body regenerates completely over a period of seven years, meaning you’re literally not the same person you were in 2003. With the replacement of sole remaining founder member [b]Keisha Buchanan[/b] by [b]Jade Ewen[/b] in September last year, [a]Sugababes[/a] pulled off the same trick three times in 11 – and [b]‘Sweet 7’[/b] leaves us hankering after the good old days. This being the group’s first record since signing with [a]Jay-Z[/a] imprint Roc Nation in the States, it shares the Europop/Auto-Tune fixations of the US mainstream du jour: [b]‘Get Sexy’[/b] sounds like a lazy, latter-day [b]Timbaland[/b] joint, and [b]‘About A Girl’[/b] is a slice of future-house from [b]Lady Gaga[/b]’s chum [b]RedOne[/b].
Sugababes 4.0, as we might term them since Keisha Buchanan was replaced by Jade Ewen in the most recent reshuffle, delayed the release of this album by four months for reasons that haven't quite been explained. In the interim, Buchanan's vocals were rerecorded by Ewen – not that you can tell the difference – and a third single squeezed out. If that doesn't attest to the group's staunchly businesslike attitude toward their career, the music does: it was recorded in the US, and hotshot producers RedOne and Ryan Tedder have done their damnedest to make it as shiny and Auto-Tuned as possible.
Most of the discussion around Sweet 7 will likely centre on the new, fourth line up of most indie fans’ ‘accepted’ pop act. Because after a decade, Sugababes no longer feature an original member. Well, so what? Sure, it’s more obvious than ever that the initial days of three girls making music for the fun of it has long been replaced by a marketable brand, but it’s not like the music industry doesn’t have an illustrious history of band members changing direction and swapping partners at the rate of a Chelsea defender.
Sweet 7 doesn’t sell the Sugababes as individuals or as a brand. Al Fox 2010 Apparently, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. But try telling that to the Sugababes, who faced a cruel backlash following the departure last year of founding member Keisha Buchanan and the appointment of Eurovision star Jade Ewen. With postponed seventh album, Sweet 7, finally available, it’s interesting to see if the group’s charm can transcend their personnel issues.