Geri Halliwell - Scream If you Wanna Go Further
Its the return of the UK's favourite celebrity fag hag and boy have we missed her round these parts. We were getting worried we'd have to keep listening to the No Frills model of Ms Bunton, media whore Posh or Mel "Do you like My Tits" B / G whatever. Geri always a Spice Girl at heart even if Ginger is no more, her boobs have disappeared and she's known as the one who likes its a little bit G.A.Y.
"Scream If You Wanna Go Faster" is the album that controversially encourages kids to adorn roller skates, a tartan mini-skirt and grab onto the back of a speeding car. Well maybe with the exception of the tartan skirt - its not really my colour is it!!! As she confesses on "Heaven & Hell" the life of Ms Geri Halliwell is both a joy and a trial. While grabbing at and adoring the lense she has also suffered the pitfalls of the tabloid circus. And then there is the day to day drama of being a woman in the year 2001. Diet. Get a man. Get a job. What Am I Doing with my life? It could almost be a diary entry of Bridget Jones.
Musically a mixed bag between the ridiculously camp ("Shake Your Bootie Cutie"), the touching ballads ("Calling") and the downright pitiful ("Lovey Dovey Stuff"). The ultimate highlight comes on "Strength Of A Woman" when Geri goes all Ronan Keating / Greg Alexander stylee and proves the hypothesis that pop music is no more than just a simple formula tweaked to perfection. It may be contrived but as much as the Steps and Scooch sound was all the rage last year, you just can't get away from that vaguely credible Greg Alexander sound. Proving that pop music has got some real soul "Don't Call Me Baby" takes on the Real Northern Soul contingency and slaps them round the face with a wet plimsoll. Laying herself bare as the woman who needs to be loved, the woman who needs the all praise and attention and deep down knows that everything is temporary. If Muse or Radiohead would have come out with lines such as "Would you bleed, if I leave, either way nothing changes" they would have been hailed as genius.
If you're after the perfect pop album this year this ain't it. The A-Teens takes that prize with the forthcoming album "Teen Spirit". Like all major league pop artists this ultimately fails as an album and relishes in those 3 minute moments of pop perfection. There are some classic tracks on display and for that reason alone "Scream...." is a worthy purchase for any self-respecting pop fan. And more than that it surpasses the Spice Girls solo efforts with ease. I think the only question to ask is what touches your camp little soul - Geri Halliwell or Noel from Popstars? I think we'll let you decide.