Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)
|"Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)"|
|Single by Groove Armada and Mutya Buena|
|from the album Soundboy Rock and Real Girl|
|Released||23 July 2007|
|Format||CD single, digital download|
|Songwriter(s)||Andy Cato, Tim Hutton, Karen Poole, Tom Findlay|
|Groove Armada singles chronology|
|Mutya Buena singles chronology|
"Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" is a song produced by British music duo Groove Armada, featuring vocals by recording artist Mutya Buena. Initially intended to feature British singer Estelle, the duo ultimately decided to collaborate with Buena on the song following her departure from girl group Sugababes in December 2005. Supported by a new wave-inspired beat, dance synthesizers and a bass line, it is an uptempo electronic and electropop song. The lyrics were interpreted by the media as an "insult" to Buena's Sugababes replacement Amelle Berrabah, although Buena herself has denied such allegations.
The song's production was met with critical acclaim, and various critics named it the song of the summer, while The Guardian and Xtra! highlighted it as one of the best songs of 2007. The song peaked at number eight on the UK Singles Chart and reached number one on the UK Dance Chart. It reached the top 40 in Australia, Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands. The single's music video was filmed in Finsbury Park, North London and features a festival theme.
Background and development
"Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" was written by Andy Cato, Tim Hutton, Karen Poole and Tom Findlay, and produced by the former two under their stage name Groove Armada. The song features uncredited vocals by English singer Mutya Buena, a former member of girl group Sugababes. The song was included on Groove Armada's album Soundboy Rock (2007), and Buena's debut release Real Girl. It was initially intended to feature British singer Estelle with the title "Song 4 Estelle", but according to Groove Armada, "she didn't nail it at all". The production duo revealed how Buena ended up on the song, saying:
We needed an iconic voice. It's the voice of a generation, that generation of female pop acts. The same way that Robbie Williams left Take That at the right time, she left Sugababes at the right time. The Sugababes are a bit random for me now. It doesn't work any more. She's one of those pop voices, when you mention her, people don't go "What are you working with her for?" They go "She's cool." Mainly 'cos she's so scary.
They also spoke about their hesitance regarding the collaboration with Buena:
I thought she would be a little monster. Mutya came into the studio and she was nice. You forget how young she is - she's 21 - so she has her little mobile phone and is on it to her little mates talking about getting the right colour of hair dye. And in the middle of this you're trying to write a track. She has her own opinion and she can really sing - she's a very good performer.
Composition and lyrics
"Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" is an uptempo electronic and electropop song. It is accompanied by a New Wave-inspired beat and incorporates dance synthesizers and a bass line. The song was composed in the key of C major using common time, at a tempo of 120 beats per minute. The song is reminisicent of music from the 1980s. Popjustice described it as a "stompy electro version" of the Sugababes' 2006 single "Easy". "Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" contains a self-referential spoken introduction. The lyrical content is about seeing an old boyfriend with a new girlfriend; the protagonist stops at a red light in her car, where she witnesses her former boyfriend in the other lane with another woman. The song was interpreted by the media as an "insult" to Buena's Sugababes replacement Amelle Berrabah, referenced through the line: "That's who has replaced me? / What a diss". However, this speculation was later denied by Buena herself, who stated: "I've had to do a lot of explaining because of that line but it's got nothing to do with Amelle or the girls." The song's lyrical content also references American musician Prince; "I got Prince singin' 'Hot Thing' to me / I know every line". Some critics have stated that he was inspiration for the song's sound.
"Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" received critical acclaim from critics. Popjustice declared it "completely amazing", while Claire Allfree of Metro praised the song as an "excellent disco slamming" track. Dan Gennoe of Yahoo! Music described the track as "pop perfection" and called it the greatest summer radio anthem since "You Get What You Give" by New Radicals. Harry Guerin of RTÉ.ie described the track as one from Real Girl that represented Buena at her best, and praised it as a "massive hit full of 1980s thrills". Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times described it as a "glorious chronicle of romantic misery". Nick Levine of Digital Spy declared it the tune of the summer, while Xtra! included it on their list of best pop songs of 2007. Natalie Doyle of The Skinny wrote that Prince's influence on "Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" was evident in the beginning of the song. British newspaper The Guardian wrote that the track's combination of self-control, and Groove Armada's "dramatic, powerful and mood-elevating" production, propelled it as the finest pop song since Rihanna's "Umbrella". One of the newspaper's writers, Mike Sterry, called it the "greatest retro-future-pop record" of 2007, while Caroline Sullivan of the same publication highlighted it as "a grinding electronic rave-up", unmatched by other tracks on Real Girl.
"Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" achieved moderate worldwide success. The song debuted at number 94 on the UK Singles Chart on 7 July 2007 and reached number eight in its fifth week on the chart. On the UK Dance Chart, the single peaked at number one. It became Groove Armada's best-performing single in the UK to date. At the end of the year, the song came in at number 112 on the UK's year-end chart. "Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" entered the Irish Singles Chart on 19 July 2007 at number 49 and reached number 26 the following week. It also peaked at number 12 on the Finnish Singles Chart, number 24 on the Australian Singles Chart, and number 37 on the Dutch Top 40 chart.
The video for the song was filmed in Finsbury Park, north London and directed by Simon Henwood. With a festival theme, it features Buena singing seated in a car surrounded by an audience of fans jumping about, some dressed in animal suits in keeping with the Groove Armada "Get Down" video, and also features actress Tamzin Merchant. The video was released in July 2007, along with another version released on Buena's official website. The song's hook is featured in the video, and is inspired by the Ambitious Lovers song "Let's Be Adult" from their 1984 album Envy.
- So Fresh: The Hits of Summer 2008 + The Best of 2007 (liner notes). Various. Universal Music, Sony Music Entertainment. 2007.
- "Timbaland ends Rihanna's chart reign". Music Week. Intent Media. 30 July 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Adams, Cameron (10 May 2007). "Groove Armada Q&A". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- "Groove Armada Were Terrified Of Mutya". Contactmusic.com. 25 March 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Sullivan, Caroline (1 June 2007). "Mutya Buena, Real Girl". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Levine, Nick (23 July 2007). "Gay Spy's guide to the week ahead". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Sanneh, Kelefa (5 August 2007). "An Aid to Seduction and an Inspiration for a Dance Craze". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Percy, Shane (27 December 2007). "Best pop songs of 2007: who made the list?". Xtra!. Pink Triangle Press. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Gennoe, Dan (18 July 2007). "Groove Armada - 'Song 4 Mutya'". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo! UK & Ireland. Archived from the original on 23 August 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Groove Armada - Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control) Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com. Hal Leonard Corporation. Missing or empty
- Guerin, Harry (15 June 2007). "Mutya Buena - Real Girl". RTÉ.ie. RTÉ. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Segal, Victoria (2 June 2007). "Mutya Buena". The Times. News International. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- "The first completely amazing pop record of 2007". Popjustice. Peter Robinson. 20 February 2007. Archived from the original on 7 September 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- Empire, Kitty (8 April 2007). "Cut the suga and give us some spice". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Cosyns, Simon (4 October 2007). "Reggae rises again". The Sun. News International. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Buena Denies Sugababes Insult". Contactmusic.com. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Allfree, Claire (4 June 2007). "Mutya Buena: Real Girl". Metro. Associated Newspapers. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Doyle, Natalie (8 September 2007). "Groove Armada - Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control) Pt. 2 (Columbia)". The Skinny. Radge Media. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- "Groove Armada's Song 4 Mutya is the finest pop song since Umbrella". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Sterry, Mike (21 July 2007). "Mike Sterry's new releases review". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
- "Top 40 Dance Singles". BBC Radio 1. 5 August 2007. Archived from the original on 11 August 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Groove Armada". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "The Official UK Singles Chart 2007" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- "Chart Track: Week 30, 2007". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "Groove Armada feat. Mutya: Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Australian-charts.com – Groove Armada feat. Mutya – Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 37, 2007" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Groove Armada feat. Mutya – Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.