It is very easy to write a review on an artist you like, but it isn’t easy to be impartial. With the Spice Girls, I can’t be. It has reached a point where I can’t tell if their music is 90s trash or a masterpiece, and I frankly couldn’t care less – the beauty of it lies in the eye (ear?) of the beholder. I love it, I love them, so the deal is done for me, and it is a valid deal.
Melanie C has released a new album, and she is a fifth of the Spice Girls, yes, but her second album, Reason, was mediocre. This Time has a few cute tracks, maybe? Beautiful Intentions is better but lacks something, and Northern Star is very good. That’s about how unbiased I am able to get where Melanie C is concerned.
The UK album version and the German version have different tracklisting order, but I am going with the UK version as it runs smoother. The track opener, titled The Sea, just like the album, starts with the crescendo sound of waves. With the waves, strong tambours, also in crescendo. The song instrumental arrangement is powerful, sort of orchestral, kind of reminds me to Nothern Star. If I tried to be impartial I would say this song is quite good.
When Weak starts it reminds me to Florence & The Machine and I think it’s because of the orchestra again. The instrumentation in this album is very rich, full of nuances. Weak is sort of a bitter ballad, which seems to be what Melanie does best. This song is maybe not as good as The Sea is, but it’s also good. I don’t know. I really haven’t felt like skipping any of it just yet. I can’t say the same about Reason.
Third track is Think About It. Back when I reviewed it, I said it was quite like Rock Me, which is true, but it has something Rock Me lacks: the 7th Heaven remix. Literally the best remix Melanie C has ever had since the Hex Hector remix of I Turn To You and we all know that was a loooong time ago.
Beautiful Mind is no Beautiful Intentions. It is actually a bit First Day of My Life, in a sort of inducing-happy-feelings kind of song. It is not as good as First Day of My Life though, and maybe it is a bit boring, it lacks epic (note my efforts to be unbiased here). It is, therefore, a bit bland.
One By One is lovely. The guitar on it is lovely, her voice is gentle and there are violins playing in the background. I like it a lot. This song could have been in Northern Star and it could have been a single, released instead of If I Were Me (dreadful lyric alert: I can’t live without my phone but you don’t even have a home. W-T-F).
Stupid Game is not lovely. With this song, we go back to bitter Melanie, and we abandon the guitars and the orchestra, embracing electronic beats and synths. It is quite strong and very good remixes could come from this. It is apparently the second UK single, and I approve.
All About You has the same sort of vibe that was recurrent in Beautiful Intentions – You Suck A Lot And You Lost Me And I Am Lactating With Rage. Lyrically speaking it could have been on that album, but instrumentally speaking it isn’t as strong. Melanie is not screaming, she’s kind of whining. It is a bit meh.
Burn. Now here comes one of the best of the album, and possibly of Melanie C’s career. At first when I heard the preview I thought it sounded a bit like California King Bed , and I still think the chord progression is similar but the songs don’t really have much in common. The piano and the violins again are lovely.
Drown is also a very good ballad. I suddenly don’t know what’s happening because these two are probably the strongest tracks on the album and they are put together, they are both ballads and they are both quite emotional, I feel like there’s too many feelings floating around right now.
Get Out of Here showcases Melanie C’s best vocals. This song is a bit soulful and the melody progression almost sounds like Feeling Good. (keeping the distances). There’s a lot of backing vocals in this song, at some point they almost swallow Melanie’s voice.
The next track is Rock Me, which I’ve already talked about.
Let There Be Love has a guitar riff that reminds me to Madonna’s Ray Of Life (again, keeping the distances). It is a nice song but it hasn’t left me with much to say about it. A bit meh too.
Enemy is the perfect closing of the album, in which Melanie C goes Adele. This is Melanie C’s best ballad, ever. It is seriously very good and emotional. It could be one of those songs used in a Grey’s Anatomy episode, with someone about to die/be saved, a lot of slow motion runs through the corridors and Meredith crying dramatically in slow motion as well.
In Melanie C’s career: Nothern Star > The Sea > Beautiful Intentions >>>>> This Time >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Reason.
In the big scheme of things: The Sea is a good album if you like soft, relaxing music, pop rock and ballads.
I do, so here’s my verdict:
Must listen to: The Sea, Think About it, Burn, Drown, One By One, Enemy
And of course, this: