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A sweet, sugary, beneficent debut from Emma Bunton
on October 23, 2001
Sweet, sugary, beneficent: those are three words I'd use to describe Emma Bunton and her voice. Seeing those winner smiles in those magazine pictures, there is no way she could be a bad seed.
If anyone would be successful doing a solo album, I instantly thought of Emma. She was one of the better singers in the Spice Girls and A Girl Like Me is twelve songs of just her singing so yay! She co-wrote most of the songs and the consistent and cohesive sound boosts this album to the same level as Spiceworld.
"What Took You So Long", her #1 song, is what I feel like telling her in regards to this album. "Take My Breath Away" owes a bit to Shawn Colvin's "Sunny Came Home"
"A World Without You" is a lovely string-tinged ballad whose inclusion in the Spice Girls' Forever album might have saved it. As it is, Emma's got it on her album and if this hasn't been released as a single, it should! I can easily picture Olivia Newton-John doing this back in the late 70's.
"High On Love" is another ballad in the same vein, with acoustic guitar added, but the other song is better. Speaking of acoustic guitar, it helps make Emma's album unique from the solo releases of her bandmates (or is it soon-to-be ex-bandmates?)
"Sunshine On A Rainy Day" has a prominent backing chorus much like Natalie Imbruglia's "Wishing I Was There". And "Better Be Careful" has a rock acoustic guitar and a bouncy pop sound reminiscent of "Philadelphia Freedom" or Culture Club's "In The Church Of The Poison Mind".
The title track belongs at home in the realm of old school disco, and Atomic Kitten or Geri Halliwell would not feel out of place covering it.
Her cover of the Edie Brickell song "What I Am", which has a bouncier beat than the original, is my favorite here. Besides, Emma is the better singer of the two. Interesting how they have the same initials--E.B.
I still can't understand why this album didn't do so well in the U.K. I hope Virgin Records doesn't drop her like it did Melanie B. A pop album of this calibre can only come from... well, a girl like her.