Baby Spice's humdrum comeback

Ahead of the much-anticipated Spice Girls reunion tour that kicks off this month in Ireland, Baby Spice, or Emma Bunton, has released her fourth solo record - her first in 13 years.

The collection of 10 songs by the British singer mostly features covers of tracks from the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a smattering of songs from the 1990s and early 2000s.

It certainly is a comfortable, "happy place" for Bunton vocally, whose singing chops shine on the cover of soul number You're All I Need To Get By.

Originally by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, she teams up with English R&B singer Jade Jones - her long-term partner and father of her two children. It is a heart-warming number with a short cameo by one of their children at the start of the song.

She stays in the same 1960s-style, Motown-era pop vein for the two original songs - album opener Baby Please Don't Stop and Too Many Teardrops - which stay within the safe zone of her vocal range.

However, Baby Spice's saccharine voice does not have the emotional grit or soul for covers such as that of Bee Gees' Emotion, nor the sexiness for Candie Payne's sultry number, I Wish I Could Have Loved You More.

  • POP

    MY HAPPY PLACE

    Emma Bunton

    BMG

    2.5 stars

Thankfully, she slips in a fanservice number in the form of a delightful duet with superstar Robbie Williams on the Spice Girls' 2 Become 1.

This acoustic guitar-driven version of the smash hit is the only real bit of excitement on an otherwise earnest but humdrum effort.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2019, with the headline 'Baby Spice's humdrum comeback'. Print Edition | Subscribe