Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Real Girl - Mutya Buena

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Let it be known that Mutya Buena was the "talented one" of the Sugababes. Well at least that's what her publicists have been anxious to have everyone point out recently.

Well if that was the case why is Buena's debut solo album little different from what you would expect the Sugababes to produce? And don't try and suggest that that's the point; the "talented one" drive was pretty much a less than subtle way of suggesting that Buena was too good to stay in the Sugababes and be "held back" by the pop industry. It goes without saying that if you want to find the "talented one" in the Sugababes, you don't look any further than Siobhan Donaghy.

Perhaps mindful of the lack of success her former bandmate has had though, Buena sticks firmly to the formula that brought her to the dance. Songs like Not Your Baby (which is the pick of the bunch for me) and It's Not Easy are good but you can't help feeling that if you threw in, oh, two other singers and had them sing it you'd have something even better.

The one fresh sounding moment is the collaboration with Groove Armada on Song 4 Mutya, which flies off the stereo. More like this and we'd have had a blinder.

But no, lets fill the rest with regulation pop balladry (no matter how much "street" attitude Buena tries to inject, it doesn't work) and, worst of all, a bizarre and god awful reworking of Be My Baby with Amy Winehouse. Painful IS the word.

Much like the Sugababes then, Mutya Buena has come up with an average album, kept above water by a couple of great potential singles. Sometimes, the more things change the more they stay the same.

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