I’ve rarely been so over-excited and hyper-anticipatory about the release of a new song – can y’all blame me?
It’s the original members of one of the most endearing and successful female trios of all time we’re talking about here, the Sugababes, reuniting after more than a decade since dropping their game-changing début album ‘One Touch‘, and notching up a massive 18 top 10 hits – including six # 1’s – on the UK Top 40.
Earlier this year, we were endlessly teased into medically unsound levels of insanity when a few seconds of ‘Flatline‘ – Mutya Keisha Siobhan’s (the regrouped original trio) objectively perfect (re)-debut single – was released as a snippet.
Since then, we’ve waited and waited. And we’ve waited some more. And it’s been hard, really hard.
The day before yesterday, I landed in Dubai as a stop-over on my way back to India after visiting the amazing city of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Having a few hours to kill, I lazed through my iPad only to find blogs and music websites ablaze with relentless reviews of MKS’s ‘Flatline‘ which had FINALLY been unleashed.
It’s a miracle I wasn’t arrested in Dubai for the violent shriek and incoherent warble that escaped my throat following the discovery – y’all know what a new Sugababes song does to me #sugastan. I might have even shed a few tears after listening to the song in its entirety, promptly going into overload (reference!) – forgive me for not being able to handle the sheer brilliance of the song.
Firstly, ‘Flatline‘ is produced by the incomparable Dev Hynes, the genius responsible for my fave song of 2012, Solange’s ‘Losing You‘.
Secondly, the harmonies. Back in the day there were The Supremes. Then there was En Vogue. And then there was TLC. And lastly there was Destiny’s Child. When it comes to harmonies with soul, there’s no other band that touches these 4 legendary acts, except for the original line-up of the Sugababes – Mutya Buena, Siobhan Donaghy and Keisha Buchanan – who arguably boast of some of the strongest vocal chemistry in the history of EVER.
And unsurprisingly, ‘Flatline‘ brings back those spine-chilling soaring vocal harmonies, that made the trio a house-hold name back in 2000, with a renewed vengeance. And that easily makes ‘Flatline‘ THE standout song of the year.
Much like Solange’s ‘Losing You‘, MKS’s ‘Flatline‘ starts over a relentlessly catchy 80’s Funk-Soul-meets-90’s smooth R’n’B beat (think Janet Jackson’s ‘Control‘ era). The lush melody takes over as each band-member’s distinct and unique vocals blends in seamlessly to create something akin to a sonic orgy of sorts.
The song gradually soars into an utterly MASSIVE chorus as the girls croon about a relationship gone wrong, “Stay gone / Darling, I can’t hang on / I can feel a flatline / There oughta be a wave…”.
And the grand finale. Over pounding drums, the song propels ahead to the final chorus via a spectacular bridge, especially where the ‘oooh-oh-oh-oh‘ chants keep growing stronger as do the drum beats. But it’s the girls’ stellar harmonies that take over culminating in a magnanimous crescendo before eventually melting away, leaving behind a lingering sense of melancholy.
This is pure and adulterated annihilation of ALL senses y’all, I CAN’T EVEN!
Easily one of the best songs I’ve heard this year!
The very core of the sound of the Sugababes has just been revitalized, and I cannot possibly wait for their new album.
If this doesn’t help them break out in the US and reach the staggering heights of success they’ve already achieved in Europe and Asia, American radio SERIOUSLY deserves a re-haul of their entire system.
Check out MKS’s immaculate new single ‘Flatline‘ right here :