ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
 ASIANOW
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 NATURE
 ENTERTAINMENT
   movies
   music
   tv
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 HEALTH
 STYLE
 IN-DEPTH

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 TIME INC. SITES:
 MORE SERVICES:
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines
 pointcast
 pagenet

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

 SITE GUIDES:
 help
 contents
 search

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 WEB SERVICES:
Music

Review: Former Spice makes mild debut

Halliwell

June 14, 1999
Web posted at: 1:11 p.m. EDT (1711 GMT)

By Mary Jo DiLonardo
Special to CNN Interactive

(CNN) -- The wait is over.

Geri Halliwell, the artist formerly known as Ginger Spice on Tuesday releases her debut solo album. The disc is a lightweight collection of catchy pop tunes, a mix of everything from Madonna to ABBA to the Spice Girls themselves.

It won't break any musical ground, but it's likely to do quite well on the radio and on the charts.

C'mon. You were expecting Andrea Bocelli?

There's a little something for everyone on the aptly named "Schizophonic," which runs the gamut from Indian chants and Latin salsa to '70s funk and disco. Halliwell goes from introspective to brassy, demure to wily.

Make it easy on yourself

Many of the songs -- all penned at least partially by the artist -- seem to be autobiographical and focused on her split with the Spices.

"SCHIZOPHONIC"

"Look At Me"
[160k MPEG-3] or [215k WAV]

"Walk Away"
[205k MPEG-3] or [280k WAV]

"Mi Chico Latino"
[160k MPEG-3] or [215k WAV]

(Courtesy EMD/Capitol Records)

She growls about "big hair / little break-up" in the debut single, "Look at Me." Backed by a 16-piece orchestra in "Walk Away," she sings, "Walk away this time with my head up high / Walk away just me and myself / Walk away with pride, nothing left to hide. But it just feels right to be one and just walk away."

There are a couple of songs on the disc that have instant crossover appeal for the pop and soft-rock charts (not unlike some mushier Spice Girls' stuff). The tender ballad "Lift Me Up" could easily make its way to radio as a pleasant hit. The problem arises when Halliwell tries to go half-Latino, half-disco on "Mi Chico Latino" or adds an electric sitar to the orchestration on "Let Me Love You." It's a little too Madonna-esque.

As one of the Spices, Halliwell was better known for her physical endowments than her vocal prowess. As soon as she jumped ship, the other Girls were quick to point out that Ginger didn't do much of the group's actual singing.

Although her voice is far from rich on this disc, what she lacks in depth, Halliwell makes up for in emotion and attitude. Besides, if pop music were all about substance, the Backstreet Boys might not slather on so much hair gel and Britney Spears may not have had breast implants.

Everything changes

Speaking of breasts, the ex-Spice keeps hers demurely tucked away. It's a far cry from her former look -- poured into a Union Jack micro-mini outfit, sporting brash red hair and glam makeup.

Her wild antics have also been toned down. Halliwell -- who kissed Nelson Mandela and once even pinched Prince Charles on his bum -- now is an ambassador of good will for the United Nations.

While the remaining Spice Girls have stayed in the headlines by getting married and having babies, Halliwell has remained in the spotlight. She has spoken out for breast-cancer awareness, taken part in Comic Relief in Uganda and sold her trademark outfits to benefit a children's charity.

But can Old Spice make it as a solo act?

"Who knows just where I'm going?" Halliwell sings. "Does tomorrow belong to me?"

Only time will tell. But this seems a decent start.


RELATED STORIES:
Prince Charles 'spices' up his image
October 29, 1998
Ex-Spice Girl has new title: Goodwill ambassador for U.N.
October 20, 1998
Halliwell visits Uganda for charity program
October 16, 1998
Spice World collapsing with Ginger's departure?
June 1, 1998

RELATED SITES:
Official Geri Halliwell site
Capitol Records
Geri Halliwell on Capitol Records
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

MORE MUSIC NEWS:
Mick doesn't want world to know what he makes
B.B. King brings the blues to Big Apple
Pride to be first black member of Country Music Hall of Fame
Springsteen song prompts police protest
 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.