PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 February, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 February, 2001, 12:00am


One Touch

(London Records)

Pop music lives! The group's sickly name and the fact that they are three adolescent girls suggests that the Sugababes are nothing more than another in the line of the boy and girl band dross which masquerades as music. Thankfully, the similarities end there - the Sugababes have talent. Keisha, Mutya and Siobhan not only posssess great voices which belie their age, but even have some worthwhile tunes to sing, a few of which they co-wrote.

The opener, Overload, which has managed to get on rotation on Asian music channels, is instantly recognisable. It's an excellent slice of R&B pop with attitude. Same Old Story has a UK garage groove laid under the trio's soulful vocals and Look At Me a trip-hoppy number with a catchy (maybe too catchy) chorus. While Soul Sound and the title track One Touch lack sparkle, the chorus of Lush Life comes on like a rip-off of Deep Purple's Hush, but is none the worse for it. Real Thing has a down-tempo Euro-disco beat, while Promises has an emotive vocal as the young girls espouse wisdom about love. They may need some wisdom themselves.

Sugababes could be the best thing to happen to the British pop scene for a long time, but the same was said of an ingenue All Saints before they fell into the clutches of commercialism. One can only hope the Sugababes follow the Lauryn Hill and Macy Gray route and concentrate on soul and R&B.