Review Summary: The Spice Girls, one of the most popular groups of all time, relive their popularity with a largely impressive collection of their biggest songs.
Love them or hate them, the Spice Girls are one of the iconic musical groups of the 90s and the most successful girl group of all time. I unfortunately happened to be in the fifth grade when their debut album Spice
came out in 1996, and thanks to my under-developed taste in music, I grew an affection for them and now they’re stuck forever as a guilty pleasure for me. So when they released their greatest hits compilation two years ago, cleverly titled Greatest Hits
, I found myself, a 20-year-old ruffian with a firm affection for heavy music, squealing like a little girl. With their greatest hits compilation, are the Spice Girls everything I remember them to be, or were they just talent-less fluffs with a big hit song here and there?
Shockingly enough, Spice Girl’s Greatest Hits
does feature some fantastic songs. “Say You’ll Be There”, “Who Do You Think You Are?”, “Spice Up Your Life” and “Stop” are just as free-wheeling and enjoyable as they were back in the day, with stomping grooves and inspired hooks. Each of these songs even has, dare I say, a unique spice to it: who can resist the harmonica solo in “Say You’ll Be There”, the funky bass line of “Who Do You Think You Are?”, the salsa charm of “Spice Up Your Life” or the catchy horns in “Stop”? I sure as shootin’ can’t, and they prove to stand up to the test of time as being truly catchy numbers.
The ballads found on Greatest Hits
are also stellar songs. “2 Become 1” (that, now in my later years, has revealed itself to be way more sexy and scandalous than I remember), “Too Much”, “Goodbye” and “Viva Forever” are all very tasteful and emotionally sweeping. “Too Much” still proves to be my favourite Spice Girl’s song, as it houses a punchy bass line, strings, horns, flanger-soaked guitar and fantastic vocal performances and hooks, most specifically Sporty’s pre-chorus showcase. As with any successful pop group, the Spice Girls can make you dance, but they can also make you weep like a baby.
Of course, my trip down memory lane isn’t all smiles and sunshine. “Wannabe”, complete with its downright awful lyrics and hambone rapping, makes me want to jump off a cliff. “Mama”, although a good vocal performance, is way too cheesy to have any merit. “Move Over”, once accompanying a Pepsi commercial, is complete and total filler. Cuts from their four-piece effort Forever
, “Holler” and “Let Love Lead The Way”, along with the two new songs included, “Headlines” and “Voodoo”, are minimal efforts that are just plain average listens. As with most greatest hits compilations, some good songs in their catalogue that weren’t on the radio fail to make the album, most specifically “Love Thing” and “If You Can’t Dance” from Spice
and “Never Give Up On The Good Times” from Spiceworld
. It’s a shame that these great songs didn’t make the cut, but for a greatest hits collection of a pop group, that’s mostly par for the course.
In the end, I’d like to think that my love affair with the Spice Girls is justified. Sure, they had some downright stinkers, but most of their catalogue is fun, funky and just an all-around good time. Girl power, man! Girl power!
Now excuse me while I go climb a mountain and furiously beat my chest.