Mutya Buena

Real Girl

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Fresh from departing the Sugababes, Mutya Buena released her debut album, Real Girl in June 2007. It reached the Top Ten on the strength of the title track, which samples the background music from Lenny Kravitz's "It Ain't Over Til It's Over" in the same way that her previous hit with the Sugababes, "Freak Like Me," used the music from "Are Friends Electric." There is a mixture of danceable R&B songs, like the album opener "Just a Little Bit," "It's Not Easy," and the collaboration with Groove Armada, "Song for Mutya (Out of Control)," which was also included on their Soundboy Rock album. There are also soulful ballads "Suffer for Love" and "This Is Not (Real Love)," a duet with George Michael on which they sing alternate verses; the track first appeared on his album Twenty Five. "Breakdown Motel" and "My Song" chug slowly along and Buena raps the verses on "B Boy Baby" before launching into a chorus consisting of a slowed down version of the Ronettes/Phil Spector '60s masterpiece which even Amy Winehouse couldn't save from dreary boredom. The latter singer, however, would have been proud to record "Strung Out," which opens with a solo piano and appears to be building into a minor key melodramatic ballad before breaking into a beat led R&B number.

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