The latest solo album from Ex-Spice Girl Mel C is very different to what has gone before. This was a pleasant surprise actually, not the Rock/Pop follow up to last year’s The Sea (See New Reviews, Oct 2011) but a more Theatrical-based compilation of Covers, more Operatic and Orchestral than usual.
A deliberate choice of tone, as the songs have been inspired by her Theatre work, most notably Blood Brothers and the upcoming Jesus Christ Superstar tour.
The tracks range from ‘Maybe this time’, from Cabaret, the excellent ‘I know him so well’, a duet with Emma Bunton, a cover version of Joni Mitchells ‘Both sides now’, a fun remix of ‘Aint got no/I got life’ and ‘Something Wonderful’ from The King and I.
Because it is so different from both her previous Solo and Spice Girls albums, it seems like a radical departure, but as her sleeve notes mention, several songs from her College days and Theatre tours have been simmering away, so putting them all on one album was a great opportunity to showcase some different styles and vocal challenges, which are admirably met.
The album is well worth listening to, as I recognised several tracks from productions I’ve seen, such as The King and I/Anna and the King and a very nice change of pace for Sporty Spice after the Olympic Triumph.
Stages is out now.