Wednesday, 3 February 2010

2001 Emma Bunton: What Took You So Long?

Took so long for what? To release a solo single? Surely the one time Baby Spice wouldn't be so presumptuous as to assume that the world was waiting to see what Emma did next? From where I was standing, Bunton floated like gossamer over the Spice output, stamping nothing of herself onto it in the process and instead seemed overly keen to use that two finger 'girl power' salute to make up for what she didn't have in personality or identity within the band - just what was that 'Baby' about anyway? And so it comes as no surprise to find that same lack of identity carries over into her solo single; Bunton's voice in isolation is as thin as air at high altitude and as such 'What Took You So Long' wisely gives the chunky R&B outings of both Mels a wide berth. Instead, 'What Took' is the mainstream pop of Geri's powered by an almost cowpunk acoustic strum of purpose that bullies Bunton's voice into its wake. Which isn't a disaster, but it leaves her as the girl in the corner at her own party. Inoffensive to the point of bland, there's not much to 'What Took You So Long' beyond the expected level of professionalism, and that's as slick as it's unmemorable. But it does mean that, to date, 'Posh Spice' is the only one of the girls not to have a solo number one hit. Wonder if it keeps her awake at night?


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