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New album, new look

A more mature flavor for Spice Girls

The Spice Girls are (clockwise from upper left) Melanie B., Emma Bunton, Melanie C. and Victoria Beckham
The Spice Girls are (clockwise from upper left) Melanie B., Emma Bunton, Melanie C. and Victoria Beckham  

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Now that the Spice Girls have dropped their "Spice" nicknames, will we have to re-think "Girl Power" too?

Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham casually let it be known during a recent round of interviews promoting the new Spice Girls album, "Forever" (Virgin Records), that they no longer wish to be addressed as "Baby Spice" and "Posh Spice," respectively.

That's in keeping with the somewhat more mature image makeover they've undergone in the first music video from the album. Decked out in black leather and sophisticated urban chic outfits, they dance to the slinky beat of "Holler," co-written and produced by urban music whiz Rodney Jerkins. No more star-spangled hot pants.

"Ginger Spice," Geri Halliwell, who wore the aforementioned patriotic ensemble, is gone -- pursuing her solo career. Melanie B. (formerly Scary Spice) and Melanie C. (once Sporty Spice) round out the remaining foursome.

The latter two were doing promotional work in Japan and Europe. "We just thought for us to get to as many places as we could, we had to split up," Beckham said.

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"It's a bit more grown-up, this album," she said of the 11-track CD, the group's third.

"We've kind of been out of the public eye, even though we haven't stopped working." Bunton said. "And ("Right Back At Ya," one of the tracks on "Forever") is just a real strong statement saying we're back."

With worldwide CD sales estimated at 38 million since the group exploded out of England in 1996, the Spice Girls may have been upstaged subsequently by a wave of teen-pop acts they acknowledge "opening the door for."

"I think kids these days are so grown-up that they appreciate all types of music," Bunton said. "I don't think they'll go, 'I don't want to hear that; they haven't been 'round for a while.' Our fans are loyal. They've been there."

Adds Beckham, "We've still got the melodies, we've still got the nice 'strong girl' lyrics going on."

Perhaps it's time to trade in "Girl Power" for "Young Woman Power?"



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