One more chance for Melanie C

Everybody says that Victoria Adams or Posh Spice was the Spice Girl who did the best thing after the group split up. She married football superstar David Beckham. As the grandmothers of old used to say, "Ginamit ang utak" although I do not think any girl would need much convincing to marry Beckham. She now lives in a castle as the queen of celebritydom. She is moneyed, beautiful, a fashion icon and Beckham’s true love. I do not think any girl can ask for more.

So what has happened to the other Spices? Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), Emma Lee Bunton (Baby Spice), Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) and Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice) are all still struggling to make it as solo artists. They all attained some degree of success with their first solo efforts thanks to the phenomenal success of the Spice Girls but sales of their products have drastically dwindled and not much is heard about them nowadays. There might be something big cooking for the Spice Girls’ 10th anniversary next year though.

But before we go into that, here is Mel C again with a new solo album entitled Beautiful Intentions. Musicwise, Mel C is the most credible among the Girls, who were often accused of not being able to carry a tune. Mel C can truly sing and even excels at rock. In fact, she was the first among them to venture into solo territory via the duet of When You’re Gone with rocker Bryan Adams. Her first solo album Northern Star was well-received by fans and critics alike. Reasons, which came next, was not as successful. Beautiful Intentions is her third.

She must really mean that title for what she has produced might just be her best work to date.

Beautiful Intentions
is a remarkable collection of 11 songs that she herself composed. Yes, a Spice Girl can write songs. Listen to the lyrics and you will even discover how personal these are. What do you think is behind titles like Next Best Superstar and Better Alone?

This Spice Girl can also sing and has just the right chops for her guitar-driven rockers like Beautiful Intentions, Next Best Superstar, Last Night On Earth, You Will See, Never Say Never, Good Girl, Don’t Need This, Little Piece of Me, Take Your Pleasure and You’ll Get Yours. Better Alone, and Here and Now, tones things down a beat and Spice Girls detractors would be shocked to know that she also has the soft intense vocals required by these songs.

There is no chance that she will ever be able to duplicate her Spice Girls success as a solo act. But then Mel C can look into the future happy with the artistic choice that she made and the knowledge that she is good at it.
The Best of Brandy
Brandy made a lot of hits as the R&B teen sensation of the ‘90s and the biggest and the best among these are included in The Best of Brandy, which I must say is one bona fide greatest hits collection. Everything in the album is pretty much what should be expected save for two surprises that she managed to come up with. I don’t think these songs made it to any of her past albums.

One is her version of Phil Collins’ Another Day in Paradise with Ray J. Nice. The other one is a recording of what I believe is one of the best R&B tunes ever written, Rock With You. This was a big hit for Michael Jackson and was one of the cuts in his Off the Wall album, which I still believe contains his best work to date. That one was produced by Quincy Jones and the version included in Brandy’s hit collection is listed as Rock With You by Quincy Jones with Brandy and Heavy D. But no matter how it is billed the song remains a great piece of R&B music and Brandy, bless her, is up to the challenge.

The other songs included are The Boy is Mine, a duet with Monica, Top of the World featuring Mase, Who is She 2 U, Afrodisiac, Never Say Never, I Wanna Go Down, featuring Queen Latifah, Yoyo & MC Lyte, Sittin’ Up in My Room, You Don’t Know Me (Like U Used to) featuring Shaunta & Da Brat, Almost Doesn’t Count, Baby, Full Moon, What About Us? Talk About Out Love featuring Kanye West, Brokenhearted featuring Wanya Morris of Boyz 2 Men, Have You Ever? and Missing You with Tamia, Gladys Knight and Chaka Khan.

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