For all the kickings I’ve dished out to her regarding her solo career, I have to confess that I sometimes find it difficult to tell if Geri Halliwell is very stupid, very brave or very clever. Certainly clever for making a smidgen of talent spread over an awful lot of bread since 1999, but I’m finding there's an elusive quality to the woman that means, try as I might, I can’t to pin down with certainty enough to answer my own question, this latest release being a case in point.
'It’s Raining Men' of course was originally a 1984 Hi-NRG disco hit for The Weather Girls back in 1984. Was Halliwell brave/stupid enough to think that soggy wafer that passes for her voice was ever going to compete with not one but two disco divas (Izora Armstead and Martha Wash) with the soprano blast of a siren delivering the three minute warning? How could she? Those girls in the original soak the fist thick groove in a wash of oestrogen fuelled joy born of women glad to be women; when they sing "I'm gonna go out, I'm gonna let myself get ab-so-lut-ley soaking wet" you know they don’t just mean they're not going to take their brollies with them. In contrast, Halliwell’s take is a functional drought zone, flat and dry as a puddle of dust.
But then she probably never set out to match them at their own game, and that's because she was also probably clever enough to know she didn't need to; Halliwell knows the song is icon strong enough for her just to turn up and do the bare minimum, that is to breeze over the proceedings like a thin film of oil and happy to let the tune itself do all the heavy lifting. Indeed, Halliwell’s main input is being Geri herself, playing to the gallery of the gay following she'd attracted while simultaneously donning skimpy pants and sports bra in the accompanying 'Flashdance' aping video to ensure the straight male fans weren't too alienated by it all.
Brave, stupid or clever? I still can't tell. But what I do know is that Geri Halliwell singing 'It’s Raining Men' is akin to filling a spacehopper with concrete; it still looks much the same as it ever did, but by god it's a lot less fun to bounce on.