Volume 93, Issue 6

Friday, June 18, 1999


Spy Who Shagged Me a frickin' funny sequel

North By North East maps success

Major highways await Pavement

Both Geri and Moffats off to a fresh start

Psychological thriller an exotic summer read


Both Geri and Moffats off to a fresh start

Geri Halliwell

With rumours of animosity still lingering around Geri Halliwell and the rest of the Spice entourage, the former Ginger has just released her debut solo album Schizophonic.

Putting the past behind her, Halliwell was able to release a 10 track album illustrating her diverse musical background and solid vocals.

The album starts off with the first single, "Look at Me." The song features a very similar bigbeat sound comparable to the Propellerheads hit song "History repeating." On the Latin dance track "Mi Chico Latino," Halliwell digs into her roots and puts together a very catchy song with true Spanish flair.

One of the things Halliwell can certainly be commended for is her use of a full band on most of her songs. The trumpets on "Bag it Up" add energy and enhance Halliwell's cheerful vocals. The album carries a jovial and upbeat tone in general, making for a light yet enjoyable listen.

Although many categorized the Spice Girls as a talentless group propelled by their looks and brilliant marketing, throughout the album Halliwell proves she does have musical ability on her side. On almost every track she does an excellent job carrying the songs on her own, such as with the ballad "Goodnight Kiss" – sans the Spice behind her.

Halliwell's debut solo attempt shows a wide variety of musical talent and is a good start for a promising solo career. Despite her new image and more mature song writing, however, the album's major fault is its undeniable similarity to the Spice Girl sound which, for now, may hold Halliwell back from fully coming into her own.

–Paul Forster

The Moffatts
chapter I: a new beginning
Capitol Records

When people talk of all the new pressures facing female teenagers today, factors such as drugs, sex and violence dominate the debate. The pressure of choosing one boy pop group to fawn over, however, is rarely discussed and sorely overlooked.

The debate may soon be over, for a quartet of brothers have put out a new album which may finally allow young girls to leave a poster on their bedroom walls for longer than just one week.

First famous for their country sound, The Moffatts have changed their style and taken more of a bubble gum pop approach to their newest album, chapter 1: A New Beginning. The effort is a re-release of last year's album which contains five new songs, an interactive video feature and a free limited edition poster.

Chapter 1 is an above average album when compared to its competition (Hanson and the like). The radio-friendly songs like "Until You Love Me" and "Miss You Like Crazy" do show signs of talent. As well, because of their country background, they sing high naturally, instead of through their noses.

However, one cannot help but feel the Moffatts have sold out to a degree. Where the Moffatts ultimately fail is in singing about things they have no experience with. Can these baby-faced youngsters experience unrequited love of such strength that would make the lyrics of "My heart is bleeding/Can't you see/I wish that you could hold me" in "Misery" seem genuine? The answer, sadly, is no.

They'll simply have to be content with thousands of adoring teenage fans, reams of cash and mainstream airplay, courtesy of their new sound.

–Luke Rundle

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Copyright The Gazette 1999