This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the best and most consistent solo Spice Girl album to date: Emma Bunton‘s Free Me.
While it’s safe to say none of Ginger, Sporty, Scary, Baby or Posh’s albums will ever alter the course of music history like that of their collective endeavours, there is still something special about Emma’s second album that keeps me coming back.
Free Me arrived just a few sleeps before Valentine’s Day in 2004 but love wasn’t particularly in the air for solo Spice Girls records anymore.
The three best moments in Geri Halliwell‘s solo career:
1) Brassy jazz tracks have always been Geri‘s forte.
Geri’s discography could’ve done with more camp Bette Midler influences and less faux-rock a la ‘Scream If You Wanna Go Faster’. Even back with the Spice Girls, songs like ‘Lady Is A Vamp’ had Ginger’s sass and swagger all over it. Rather bittersweet to hear her bookend her last solo record Passion with two brilliant jazzy numbers: ‘Passion’ and ‘So I Give Up On Love’.
2) ‘It’s Raining Men’.
She’s always had the gays on her side. But in 2001 she pulled out two flaming rainbow cards: a camp disco classic and a Flashdance-inspired video to boot.
Ah! The excitement of the world’s very first solo Spice Girl album. Where the remaining Spices veered off to make American R&B, Geri stayed behind to fill the market’s void of flamboyant, boisterous pop. There were still traces of Ginger but make no mistake, Schizophonic is 100% Geri fun, from the sunkissed ‘Mi Chico Latino’ through to the brazen ‘Bag It Up’.
Her last solo single, ‘Desire’ (2005), is probably the best indication of what Geri would sound like if she was still making music today: a saucy concoction of big band mixed with modern Euro pop.