Melanie C returns with trendy pop album
The Spice Girls celebrated the 20th birthday of their break out hit ‘Wannabe’ this year and Emma Bunton, Melanie B and Geri Halliwell teased a reunion. Melanie C wasn’t joining them for the little celebration though and soon after it turned out she was working on new solo material. After waiting for five years for more original material, we finally have a new record to listen to! After the release of the contemporary sounding pop anthem ‘Anymore’, Sporty Spice drops the album Version of Me that follows a similar trendy path.
‘Anymore’ certainly was a promising first taste of the record. The track is well produced and has an incredibly memorable chorus. If there was any (pop)justice in the world she would have had a big hit with such a well written on trend song. Of course that did not really happen, but that did not stop her from sending more electronic pop that sounds right on the money our way. The album opens with ‘Dear Life’, an anthemic pop tune with a big soaring chorus and an important question: “Dear life, what do you hold for me?” Unfortunately we can not answer that, but we can tell you that Version of Me holds a lot to enjoy for admirers of Mel’s distinctive vocals.
With ‘Escalator’ she delivers the most electronic track of the new album with some unexpected synths in the bouncy chorus. It probably is the most interesting and daring composition and production on the album and we applaud her for that. On the darker title track, driven by dramatic strings ad thunderous drums, she delivers a clear message to the person from her past who keeps haunting her: “Why can’t you let go of me, I don’t have the patience anymore!” One of the absolute best choruses on the album comes from ‘Room For Love’, a midtempo track with prominent beats and a typical 2016 electronic production.
The most obvious hit potential on Version of Me is definitely the track ‘Numb’. If you ever wondered what it would sound like if Melanie C sang on a Major Lazer or DJ Snake track, this would be the answer. The same way of creating instrumental hooks is used in the chorus, and the melody line in the verses is strong enough to carry the parts in between. This is not to say that Melanie C is only chasing trends on this record, as she also delivers classic guitar pop on a song like ‘Loving You Better’, in a style that might have fitted with the earlier Spice Girls work as well.
Although this might not be a groundbreaking or headturning album in any way, it is definitely more than serviceable with strong compositions and well executed productions that seamlessly capture the period they were recorded in. It is not Melanie’s most original work, but she shows she knows how to stay relevant and follows a trend convincingly while still being able to put her own mark on it, with those easily recognizable distinctive vocals of hers. If she keeps up this good work, we are excited for another 20 years of Mel C in the music industry.
Must listen: Anymore, Dear Life, Room For Love, Escalator, Version of Me