Self-confessed Sporty Spice fan David has some very good things to say about Melanie C’s newbie ‘Version Of Me’ in his latest album review.
The year is 1996 and I am glued to the TV as an eight year old because there is a new band with a crazy new music video and an extremely catchy song. I’ve got my VHS player ready to record it so I can play it back on repeat and try to learn the dance moves.
There’s a girl in the group with Adidas track pants, a gold tooth and reminds me of myself (as an eight year old athlete anyways). This is obviously the Spice Girls’ debut album and I am head over heels for Sporty Spice. So much so, that my mum is forced to the local toy store to pick up a Sporty Spice doll for me amongst all the other crazed parents and when she comes back with Posh, I refuse to speak to her for a week.
I have always loved Melanie C and her voice and so when she went solo, I suitability felt like her number one fan.
Her debut came out in 1999 (if you ignore that collaboration with Bryan Adams in 1998) and I was hooked.
Always seen as the “voice” of the group, Mel has always created interesting bodies of work. And with a solo career spanning 15 years so far, she has had a longevity that any artist could envy.
Melanie C’s seventh studio album is now here and ‘Version Of Me’ harks back to her debut, while showcasing her affinity for a good pop tune.
Working with London based electronic duo Sons Of Sonix, she has created a lush, complex and very polished set. The lyrics are amongst some of the most personal yet and I think this is why she sounds so believable behind them.
Album opener ‘Dear Life’ is a letter to the powers that be asking for some guidance. It’s stoic and really relatable (particularly if you’re having a less than stellar day).
Lead single ‘Anymore’ is amongst the best pop tunes this year. Its unique sound means it stands out in a sea of tropical house.
The thing I love most about ‘Version Of Me’ is just how consistently good it is the whole way through. Previous efforts have been a bit more of a mixed bag but this is a consistently good album.
In the press leading up to the release, she’s talked about always wanting to make an electronic album but not having felt confident enough to do so. I can honestly say it doesn’t sound like she had any reason to worry.
Criminally, this album won’t hit number one (it’s out the week Lady Gaga’s new album is out) and that’s a crying shame.
This is the best Mel has sounded in years and deserves the attention, accolades and success its music warrants.
Whether you’re a Spice Girls fan or not, any fan of pop should have this album in their collection – one of the best this year.
VERDICT : 5/5.
MUST LISTEN : Dear Life, Anymore, Version Of Me, Room For Love, Blame.