[10] Sugababes, ‘Freak Like Me’

Freak Like Me

A cover of a mash-up. Of all the lazy, half-arsed singles… Good though innit? Sugababes were flunking hard after the diminishing chart positions of a host of sterling singles from their debut, then Siobhan Donaghy’s “I’m just popping out for a bit” act and the final indignity of having to co-opt a failed Atomic Kitten – but 80s geek Richard X slouched in to rescue them, and how. ‘Freak Like Me’ wrings some sexiness from the sullen minxes and its pummelling production keeps it young, fresh and new.

Junior says:
“I know this song so I don’t have to say anything about it.” I’m getting the feeling Jukebox Junior is reaching a natural hiatus. Perhaps in nine songs’ time. On the upside, Junior confessed to being a bit of a fan of the Sugababes’ career-changer.

Best bit: The second wiggly Star Trekky sound effect leading to full-force bass blast.

[16] Siobhan Donaghy, ‘So You Say’

One of an unending line of “new Kate Bush”es – Tori Amos, Bat For Lashes, erm, Patrick Wolf, Florence + The Machine, Marina and the bloody Diamonds, for all I know – Siobhan Donaghy fits the bill with a pop music that’s free, experimental, ostensibly commercial (albeit without the essential hits) and miles away from her unhappy work with Sugababes. ‘So You Say’ is forensically beautiful in every detail, and for that it’s quite remarkable.

Junior says: “It’s very quiet,” before the huge chorus swells forth, demonstrating a rather flowery take on the Pixies’ quiet-loud-quiet ethos. “I like the singing.”

Best bit: The da-da-ing and doo-doo-ing of the dizzily drifting middle section.