New Music for Lockdown 7 – Spiceworld by the Spice Girls

I am a simple man who genuinely enjoys trashy, awful eurodance from the late ’90s, so how is it I can find no joy in this pile of utter trash?

I will be honest, that’s not strictly true though. Some of it was just less than trash.

I picked this album because it seems the Spice girls are having something of a renaissance with millennials desperately realising that Fall Out Boy’s greatest album is now 15 years old and they are all, like myself, trying to grip onto to anything that makes them feel young again. A few close friends of mine have listened to it recently and I realised that it was one of those ever-so influential albums everyone should apparently listen to once.

So I did.

I regret my decision.

I’m guessing my neighbours do too as I spent the day yelling at Spotify. The important question is then, what did I find so hateful about Spice World? Is it not just harmless fun?

The first track, Spice up your life (and no, I’m not adding the hyperlink because they don’t deserve the YouTube ad money) is harmless, cheesy, bubblegum fun. It’s a good tune, a fun message and the music isn’t trying to be anything more than it is – a silly pop song. And it does put a smile on my face! It’s fast enough to keep you going and the don’t try to sing much in it because they were playing to their strengths.

I do like that the alum then immediately gives you a hint at what to do by calling the next track Stop, because I wish I had. The song itself pained me, a slow drudge that tries so hard to be sentimental and full of emotion that you end up choking on the sickly sweetness, thick like molasses. A love song with no soul and a bass line with so much distortion and volume it overpowers the track. It’s garbage, puerile, vapid garbage.

I wanted to know how well this album was reviewed when it debuted and was sort of surprised to read that on the whole it was treated favourably. It wasn’t going to be a critical darling, but most critics were very kind and actually praised the production and talent on display. Looking back, I refuse to believe they were not influenced by the marketing efforts put in to the Spice Girls and their Girl Power. As a product I can’t fault them, mass-market and highly consumable, you can slap their names and slogans on anything and giving them all distinct, easily created and copyableq characters was pure marketing wizardry. Shame that the music seemed to take a backseat.

The song that I genuinely did shout out and had my flatmate rushing through to see what the problem was was Viva Forever. This quasi-Latin number lacks everything. Soul, a tune, tempo, a hook, and most of all joy. The singers aren’t performing while smiling, the sound isn’t bright instead is more like a wet weekend in Skeggy.

I don’t like being a ranty internet man, and will concede that there is a song other than Spice up your life I enjoyed; Do It. The organ at the beginning reminded me of Fatboyslim and the more syncopated electronic backing was bouncy enough to sway to and, most of all, the joy has returned! It’s bright, fluffy, and totally without serious substance, like candyfloss. and as I said at the beginning, I like eurodance so am a big fan of candyfloss. It made me smile.

I am never listening to this album again. Not because it was too experimental or powerful for me, more that I’m afraid for my soul if I do.

Right, I need a pick-me-up after that and I want to listen to something very different. Tomorrow, we’re heading to Ireland.


Published by Adam Unwin

Yeah, I write stuff occasionally, make things up on stage, and like saying words other people have written in a dramatic way.

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