808s / The UK's Greatest Hits

The UK’s Greatest Hits: 29. Spice – Spice Girls

Spicegirls-spiceSpice – Spice Girls – 1996

First listen?: Yes

I was very excited to listen to Spice for the first time. The debut album by the biggest girl group of all time is something you’d assume I’d have heard before. I really do like Spice Girls, but I was a bit young to be a fan at the time so I only know the singles. And what singles they are here. Wannabe, Say You’ll Be There, 2 Become 1, Mama, Who Do You Think You Are. 5 star tracks every one of them and each a #1 to boot. I quite like that the singles are quite diverse, Wannabe is full of cocky attitude, Who Do You Think You Are taking it up a notch with a touch more class (See: Camp). 2 Become 1 and Mama manage to be sincere ballads, showcasing that Spice Girls can pull off both, there’s some talented vocalists here. Last but certainly not least is Say You’ll Be There, without question my favourite Spice Girls song, a straightforward pop record that’s oozing with personality from all 5 girls throughout.  Of course though, I’d heard these songs before and when I mentioned on Twitter that I was listening to Spice for the very first time the hugely positive response I got made me very excited to hear the rest. Given how good the singles are, surely the rest would be nothing less than great pop songs? Unfortunately I was left cold after tracks like Naked and If U Can’t Dance that never seem to end. Last Time Lover sees them up the sex appeal, which feels jarring with the naturally confident and matter of fact sexiness of a song like 2 Become 1 or even Wannabe. I didn’t mind Love Thing, which features a brilliant Mel B and Geri led rap section, but even that felt a bit stale side by side with such great singles. I’m probably being too harsh on the album tracks from a girl band debut, but my expectations were super high thanks to some ‘every song is 10/10’ talk over on twitter. As a moment in pop history, Spice will be remembered for all of the right reasons; a string of massive hits that introduced the world to 5 normal, but extraordinary girls. As an album though? You’re probably better off with Greatest Hits.

Rating: 5/10

Will I listen again?: No. I’ll never stop listening to the hits, but I’m not sure I would bother going back to the album in full.

Best Track: Say You’ll Be There (Also WHAT A VIDEO)

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