Volume 94, Issue 54

Tuesday, December 5, 2000


That's a good play, Charlie Brown

Disc of the Week

Biographical play an inspiring work

Disc of the Week

Spice Girls

Apparently, the Spice Girls are tired of letting Britney and the boy bands have all the fun, so they've made a grand return, re-affirming their place on the planet of pop music with the album, Forever.

Now that former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is long gone and Melanie C is back from her solo venture, the Girls have a fresh new look, but sadly, there's nothing new to the sound or sentiment.

The first single, "Holler," is certainly not as spicy as "Wannabe," but still passable. Vocals are layered over funky beats to create a crisp yet somewhat over-produced sound. Over-produced? Remember, this is a Spice Girls album.

Other tracks also use this successful pop formula. "Wasting My Time" is ripe with disco-era electronic backbeats, glazed with smooth vocals. Meanwhile, "If You Wanna Have Some Fun" is a call-back to an earlier, more carefree spice era.

The standout feature of the new record is the vocal work of Melanie Chisholm (Mel C). Perhaps her solo project gave her a boost of confidence, but one thing is clear – she has never sounded so strong. "Let Love Lead The Way" proves once and for all that she is the vocal backbone of the group.

Lyrically, the album is indicative of the Spice Girls' confidence in their abilities, yet it also deals with the Geri factor in a sincere, mature manner. The track "Right Back At Ya" is a statement of affirmation following her unceremonious departure.

An even clearer example comes from the previously released single, "Goodbye." On it, the Girls sing, "The times when we would play about/ The way we used to scream and shout/ We never dreamt you'd go your own sweet way."

A Spice Girls album is not rocket science, but one expects certain elements – catchy choruses, videos with accompanying hand signals and an all-out overload of Girl Power.

By these standards, Forever should not disappoint.

– Matt Pearson

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Copyright The Gazette 2000