Wednesday, 6 January 2010

2000 Melanie C featuring Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes: Never Be The Same Again

It's become accepted currency that, of all the Spice Girls' solo careers, Mel C's is the only one worth the candle. After sitting through the last three Ginger Spice efforts, I find it hard to disagree, though I will caveat that by saying that I've always thought Mel B's single has been unfairly overlooked and that Mel C herself has more than her fair share of stinkers in the cupboard. Not so this though; built around a gritty, rat-a-tat-tat R&B rhythm, at first blush it's startling just how far removed 'Never Be The Same Again' is from both the Spice Girls canon and (as a serendipitous point of reference) the Halliwell confection that it dethroned. Whereas Geri always tried so desperately hard to be everyone's friend, 'Never Be The Same Again' is all about the attitude, a song that demands you take it seriously and on its own merits instead of riding the hype surrounding the name of the woman fronting it. By taking the pop/rap/R&B road, Chisholm is jumping onto a bandwagon sure, but she does it with a confident style, and, like Mel B before her, drafting in a rapping Lisa Lopes as co-driver gives it a shot of urban street credibility that the rest of the Spices would never come close to. "It's not a secret anymore. Now we've opened up the door, starting tonight and from now on we'll never, never be the same again" Mel's stripped of sweetness staccato bark is 'woman in control' girl power of the believable kind, but 'Never Be The Same Again' would have been a hit even if Mel hadn't been caught up in all that nonsense baggage of old.

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